Overview: What is a Claims Company
If you have ever had to file a claim with your insurance company, regardless of what the circumstances might be – Medical claims, Accident claims, claims for the death of a loved one, Workers Comp claims, Catastrophic property damage claims – you probably are aware of the loops and hoops you have to go through to receive a settlement.
Enter the claims company and suddenly, what might have been an almost hopeless effort on the part of individual policy holders to receive reimbursements, seems to flow smoothly!
So what exactly is a claims company, and what services do they provide? Read on to learn more!
What are claims companies?
At the very basic level, a claims company is usually an organization that helps individuals, residential property owners, or commercial organizations navigate the oft complex process of filing an insurance claim, and working with the policy holders and other parties-at-interest (including the insurers) until the claim is either honored or lawfully dismissed.
Image Source: What is a Claims Company
These are businesses that are usually accredited as independent insurance consultants and are (often) not associated with any insurance company or an insurance broker.
Individuals and businesses might hire a claims company so that the processing of their claims might be expedited.
What can they do for you?
Like a service of any type, be it banking, investing, home buying, or website development, a claims company might do for you what you pay it to do. I.e., the service you receive from them is directly predicated (like any other service provider) on the contractual obligations entered between them and their clients.
Often, it is the level of fees that determine what the claims company will do for their client.
But their services also depend on the type of insurance policy against which the claim is being processed.
For instance, a property damage claim might require the claims company to:
- Work actively to find temporary or alternate shelter for the client (After a disaster)
- Review the insurance policy for a property to understand what claims might be made
- Work with the insurance company to inspect the property and assess for damages
- Come up with a fair value assessment of the replacement cost for damaged property
- File the necessary paperwork (or online claims forms) with the insurer on behalf of a client
- Follow-up with the insurance company until the claim is finalized
If a claims company specializes in workplace accidents, for instance, then the list of services they offer to clients might be different, including accident investigations, claiming workplace disability reimbursements, and medical claims processing.
Most companies tend to offer a “one window” solution to their clients.
However, some companies may also allow clients to pick and choose the service they wish the claims company to deliver.
In general, their role is to review the claim in light of the policy and assist claimants in filing and receiving fair compensation/reimbursements against those claims.
So what makes a good claims company?
The term “good” is relative to what each individual claimant is looking for in a company to assist him/her with their claim.
Ultimately, however, the primary objective of engaging a claims company is to get peace of mind.
And that’s what a “good” company should deliver to its clients!
So if the company can:
- Get exactly the settlement (amount of reimbursement or other expected benefit/s) for the policyholder that he/she was expecting
- Get that settlement/reimbursement quickly
- Do so in a way that doesn’t unnecessarily inconvenience the policyholder
- Offer their services at a reasonable/cost-effective (for the claimant) rate
…then that company, in the eyes of the claimant, would definitely rank as the best claims company to hire!
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However, it might also be in the claimant’s interest to keep the following points in mind when searching for a “good” claims company:
- Check to ensure that the company is accredited by a regulatory body, such as the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA). This ensures that they follow a strict code of professional and ethical conduct
- Licensing and permit requirements may vary from state to state (country/country). Check to make sure the company you work with is licensed/permitted to operate in the field of your particular claim
- A claims company may “wow” clients with a long menu of services they can offer. However, if they don’t have expertise or experience dealing with a specific type of claim – one that YOU are contemplating pursuing – then that’s not the right company to hire
Other things to look for include: Years of experience, track record, customer testimonials, and the “warm and fuzzy” feeling you get from an in-person meeting.
Obviously, some claim circumstances (e.g. a home or medical emergency-related claim) may not offer claimants the luxury of evaluating prospective claims companies for all of these criteria.
However, any amount of diligence possible should be applied in order to look for a “good” claims company.
10 Claim companies to consider
The best way to look for a claims company is to seek personal referrals from friends, colleagues, or family members.
However, searching through online directories or lists might be the next best option.
Supporting insurance claims is a complex process, and there are companies that can help policyholders and claimants with a broad array of specialty services.
Image Source: Search for the right claims company
Before embarking on a search for the right claims company, make sure you know, at least at a very high level:
- What type of service you are looking for (Residential, Commercial, Health, Workers Comp)
- What type of a service provider you are looking for (Independent Advisors, Affiliates of Insurance providers)
- Broadly, what services you may need (Inspection, Appraisals, Re-inspection, Dispute Resolution, Damage Assessments)
Knowing the above will help you focus on the right claims company to help you with your claims.
The following is a list of companies to consider, though they may not necessarily be able to assist with every type of claim, or work with clients in every State:
American Claims LLC: Property owners looking for help filing a claim against their home/property insurance policy will find this company to be an ally.
Claimants, who are cautious about a claims company with a possible conflict of interest, need not worry about American Claims LLC.
The company only represents policyholders and is not affiliated with any financial or insurance organization.
U.S. Adjusting Services: Established in 1993, this family-owned and operated business is a claims company that specializes in claims related to Catastrophes, Auto/RV Claims, Commercial Claims, including building and property damages, and claims arising out of floods.
The company supports a broad array of clientele, including insurance companies, self-insured corporations, and government agencies.
Insurance Claims Group, Inc.: If a policyholder has unsuccessfully tried to make a claim, and is now in a dispute with the insurer, then Insurance Claims Group might be a great choice.
The company specializes in offering insurance claims help for both carriers and policyholders involved with an Insurance Appraisal Dispute.
They act as either independent insurance appraisers or as insurance appraisal umpires in the claims dispute resolution process.
Alternative Claims Management: Businesses that own, maintain, and manage large fleets of vehicles often get bogged down with insurance claims.
Established in 1997, Alternative Claims Management is a claims company specializing in the recovery of Property Damage, Diminution of Value, Loss of Use, and Administrative fees.
Fleet owners will especially appreciate the monthly claims status reporting provided by the company.
Allied American, Inc.: The company delivers a broad spectrum of services across the claim life cycle, and delivers support to clients for all major perils.
Some of the services offered by Allied American Inc. include: Catastrophe claims, Mediation and Appraisal, Claims investigation, and various types of claims audits.
It provides services to homeowners and commercial businesses.
Florida Claim Management: The company caters exclusively to the medical claims needs of the legal profession, self-insured businesses, and insurance companies.
Established in 1994, Florida Claim Management handles medical claims that require independent evaluation, diagnostic testing reviews, and medical evaluation.
Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, Inc: While Arrowhead does not directly adjust insurance claims, it is a claims company that manages insurance programs for third parties, including homeowners, businesses, and insurance providers.
And in that capacity, it acts as a claims advocate, providing resources to policyholders to process their claims. Services include Commercial Auto, marine and Workers’ Comp, Homeowner insurance claims, and other personal policy claims.
The company offers policyholders a convenient 24/7 claims service using a 3trd party administrator.
Peoples Insurance Claim Center, Inc.: The company has been in business for over 15 years, working exclusively to represent residential and commercial policyholders.
Its over 30+ staff members are adept at claims preparation, presentation, and negotiations, and have handled 55,000+ claims to date, varying in size and complexity.
Claimants can get support with Water, Wind, Fire, and Flood damage, Roof leakages, Theft/Vandalism, and a host of other commercial and residential claims.
Insurance Claims Adjusters: Established in 1990, Insurance Claims Adjusters specializes in Property, Casualty, and Commercial insurance claims for both residential and business policyholders.
The company operates as a full-service, independent insurance adjuster, and offers a full slate of claims management services to its clients, from day-to-day losses to property and casualty losses to damage inspection.
Claimants may either opt for “bundled” services or select the type of services they need individually.
Insurance Claim Consultants, Inc.: Staffed by a team of Insurance professionals, Structural Engineers, Certified Public Accountants, Building Estimators and Content Auditors, Insurance Claim Consultants handle claims for both residential and commercial home and property insurance claims.
Unlike many of its peers, this claims company also offers to work directly with the policy holders’ legal team, ensuring that all the finer points of a claim are addressed.
The decision to go with a specific claims company could ultimately impact the outcome of a policyholder’s claim. It is vital therefore to carefully consider all of the points discussed here before engaging a company to process a claim on your behalf.
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