The bedrock of all contents claims is the original inventory. If it is inaccurate or lacks detail, the entire process deteriorates and produces a less-than-ideal outcome. As a result, the customer experience suffers.
That's why a specialist should create the original inventory regardless of the size of the loss. On small losses, staff adjusters can document the first notice of loss (FNOL). For large losses, creating an accurate inventory is even more crucial – and difficult. Expecting independent adjusters to create inventories is problematic because they're hampered by time constraints and may not be properly trained. What's more, asking policyholders to take inventory can impact customer satisfaction. During the recent California wildfires, for example, many policyholders resisted having to complete total loss inventories because of the stress involved. On top of this, customers can make inaccurate assessments of indemnity.
Ask yourself if your team has the necessary training and enough time to produce accurate inventories. Deploying specialists in the field on large losses speeds up the inventory process and leads to happier customers. It will also result in more accurate indemnity, while reducing expenses by making adjusters more efficient.
As for process, having a defined process for inventory creation, based on severity and other extenuating circumstances, is essential. Carriers should formulate and commit to maps that define the inventory creation methods suited to each claim, and specify which specialists should be involved.
Meanwhile, the technology should help carriers create inventories efficiently, enabling all parties involved to collaborate in the inventory creation process. The right technology will:
- Reduce the time to complete the inventory, meaning lower costs
- Produce quicker turnaround and settlement times, meaning happier customers
- Produce more accurate inventories, meaning better indemnity control