It's not an easy time to be an insurance claims professional. Increased claims and a slow economy have brought added pressure to lower litigation costs. Many claims professionals find themselves braving the fine line between handling tasks that are appropriate for an adjuster, and those that require a law license. Time and time again, we see claims professionals delegating simple ministerial tasks to a law firm--tasks that could easily be handled in-house-raising their litigation costs unnecessarily.
Realizing that everyone is looking for ways to decrease overall litigation costs, The Bassett Firm has come up with a list of easy ways you can save valuable money. We've taken the time billed on similar issues in recent cases to show the potential savings of eliminating these tasks. This is part one of a five part series. Make sure you check back next week for three more tips on how to lower your litigation costs.
1. Send over the entire claim file the first time:
This sounds so basic, yet rarely do we receive everything the insurance company has on our new client.
2. Contact information for all parties:
We need the contact information for everyone involved in the lawsuit: clients, attorneys, witnesses, law enforcement members, insurance contacts, and experts. Sometimes these people are hard to find, but some paralegals will charge you for every .10 or so it takes to find them. You could do it for free.
3. Obtain all documentation from your insured/our client:
It can be difficult to obtain all the documentation a client has on their accident-but it is crucial that we have it. Clients are often scared by the litigation process, and speaking with a law firm can sometimes just make things worse. As the insurance representative, you can ease those fears and obtain important documents in a timely fashion thereby saving the client the angst - and you the money.
If the claims professional on one of our recent cases had completed these three simple tasks, she or he would have saved $1,264.00 This may not sound like much, but extrapolate that savings across 100 claims she or he is currently working and suddenly they have saved their company $126,400.00. Would these tips work in your office?
Mike H. Bassett is a Senior Partner at The Bassett Firm. Mr. Bassett's practice focuses on Insurance Defense, Transportation Litigation, Products liability, Premises Liability, and Employment Litigation. He received his B.B.A from the University of Texas El Paso in 1984 and his J.D. with distinction from St. Mary's School of Law in 1987. Mr. Bassett was voted a Texas Super Lawyer in 2006.
R.G. Bradshaw Hawkins is a Law Clerk at The Bassett Firm. Mr. Hawkins received his undergraduate degree with honours from University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and is in his second year at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas.