When choosing a builders risk insurance partner, agents should consider a number of factors. Clients and agents will be best served when working with a provider that handles claims swiftly, and whose processes are designed to streamline claims processing from start to finish. With builders risk insurance, getting fast claims payment is important so construction isn’t stalled for an unreasonable amount of time.
When evaluating a potential provider, consider the ease of submitting claims.
Do claims need to be submitted on paper, or can they be submitted over the phone? Providers that still require all claims to be submitted using manual, paper claim forms may take longer to process and pay policy proceeds.
For even more convenient claims submission, look for a provider that offers the ability to submit claims 24/7 online through computers or mobile devices. Also, consider how the provider will communicate with you and the client. Choose a provider that offers updates and communication throughout the process via a variety of means, including through an online portal, email, mail and telephone notifications.
Of course, any type of property loss or damage can be devastating. For example, when someone suffers a loss on a homeowners or auto insurance policy, the insured wants the proceeds as soon as possible to restore or replace their home or vehicle.
Claims handling and payment are almost, if not entirely, out of the hands of their insurance agent. Clients also trust that their agent is bringing reliable partners to the table that will stand behind any covered loss incurred. As a result, an insurer that drops the ball or drags its feet with processing claims will reflect poorly on the agent who placed the policy with the insurer in the first place – and can put the entire client relationship at risk.
Keep in mind the provider’s history of paying claims in a timely manner. When losses occur, knowing that your clients’ insurance provider is reliable can offer real peace of mind. With commercial or residential construction projects, claims payments aren't just needed to restore property to its pre-loss condition; obtaining prompt insurance payments after a loss can be critical to avoid extended project delays and additional expenses. Construction projects involve a lot of moving pieces and parties often cannot proceed with their contractual obligations until a claim has been paid. To find claims payment history and other customer satisfaction measures, agents can visit the state insurance department’s website or call their state insurance regulator. Independent ratings based in part on claims management may also be available through providers like J.D. Power.
Consider, for example, a new commercial retail construction project. While the project is underway, thieves break into the site and steal copper piping, other materials, equipment and tools needed to continue the construction. The project is on a tight timeline, but the electrical and plumbing work cannot proceed until the stolen materials and equipment have been replaced. Waiting for an extended period of time for a determination of fault and a claims payment decision is just not an option for an owner who may be relying on income or rents to remain in business.
Agents searching for a builders risk insurance partner should evaluate providers' claims submission and payment processes and choose a provider committed to handling claims quickly, efficiently and professionally.
This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.
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