Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


06:14 PM
Connect Directly

Rating Commercial Carriers on Claims Performance

Speed isn't all it's cracked up to be -– at least not when it comes to what corporate risk managers want from their insurance carriers.

Speed isn't all it's cracked up to be -– at least not when it comes to what corporate risk managers want from their insurance carriers.

That's among the findings of Greenwich Associates' (Stamford, Conn.) "2010 Large Corporate Insurance Study," which asked 683 corporate risk managers to assess the performance of their insurance carriers in claims. The study revealed that while claims processing speed is unquestionably important to corporate customers, risk managers today are placing even more importance on factors such as collaboration, communications and transparency.

That's actually not so surprising considering what we are learning about the concept of customer experience and what customers (whether businesses or consumers) desire and expect in their relationships with their financial services providers. It's more about choice, flexibility and personalization then strictly transactional speed.

The 683 corporate risk managers participating in the Greenwich Associates study ranked three factors as their most important criteria in assessing the performance of their insurance carriers in claims: 1), coordination with brokers, 2) processing responsiveness and 3) willingness to pay. In all of these categories, the top-three ranked carriers were FM Global (which got the highest ratings from the corporate risk managers in all three areas), Travelers Insurance Co. and The Hartford Insurance Co.

On the topic of coordination with brokers, Greenwich Associates consultant David Fox notes that the complexity of commercial claims raises many questions, including the definition and causes of a loss and extent of coverage. "It is in the process of resolving these issues that companies rely on brokers as their advocates and facilitators, and they also expect carriers to engage with them in exactly that capacity," he said in an executive summary.

Regarding claims processing responsiveness, the focus is on transparency rather than speed, according to the Greenwich Associates study. "Responsiveness does not refer to immediate or even necessarily speedy payment," according to Greenwich Associates client associate Brett McNeice, in the executive summary. "Rather, companies are looking for carriers to be transparent about how the processing cycle is progressing and to be proactive in communicating to insureds about where they stand."

Similarly, attitudes about carriers' willingness to pay claims account for the fact that the complexity of commercial claims requires many steps in the resolution process. However, noted Greenwich Associates relationship manager Robert Mata in the executive summary, "The question is: Is my carrier doing everything it can to expedite the process, keep me informed and get my claim paid as quickly as possible."

Greenwich Associates also named four insurance carriers winners of its 2010 Claims Excellence Awards: FM Global, Travelers, Chubb Corp. and The Hartford. Honorable mentions were awarded to Old Republic Co., AEGIS and Allianz.

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters