By Matthew Vanderford
Have you ever taken anything apart to see how it works? I have – and sometimes I ended up with extra pieces when I put it back together. I remember when that happened with a watch when I was younger. I took the back off, looked at the guts – took them apart one by one to see how they were connected, and then put it all back together again. When I looked at the watch ticking away, I was very proud – not bad for an eight-year old! But then I noticed something – I realized there was a piece that didn’t make it back into the watch, but the watch was still working. Puzzled, I took the watch apart again and for the life of me couldn’t remember where the piece went. The weird thing was, the watch still worked after putting it back together – missing piece and all! Still not satisfied that I put it back together the right way, I took it apart again and still couldn’t figure out what happened. Finally – frustrated, I guessed I knew more than the watch manufacturer, eliminated this extremely unneeded piece and put the watch back together again. Voila! The watch worked – genius!! But no matter what, I enjoyed the process, it taught me to pay attention.
Remember the movie Rocky? He needed to go the distance – so he sought help from Mickey – an old timer with lots of boxing knowledge. And with that transference of knowledge, came the inner skill to last 12 rounds. Ever watch a cooking show such as Top Chef? When it comes to making great food in a hurry and good enough to stand the test of food critics, there has to be a process, or the food won’t be done on time and they’ll lose the opportunity to become Top Chef!
And processes are important – especially when it comes to insurance – and especially when it comes to filing insurance claims. If you want to have a successful claim – understanding the processes in which insurance companies operate and handle claims is extremely important. Because if you’re not paying attention, you can end up with a denied claim.
The insurance claims process is no different. There is a process. And the first rule to know going into a claim is TIME. Understanding how time works in a claim is very important. There are key triggers in policy language that demand claims to be filed in “acceptable” time periods, language that require certain documents to be filled out within a set time, language that requires your time to be made available for any investigation the carrier feels necessary, language that requires insurance companies to respond to specific forms, and depending on the state, time tables set up that require insurance company adjusters to acknowledge, inspect and answer the insured when they file claims and have questions.
TIME is key to understanding how you, and The Machine are held accountable for good faith claims practices. Time is the foundation of claims. And unlike like a watch that can be taken apart again and again, a claim doesn’t have that type of grace. Once things are compromised it’s very difficult to put it back together again – for the insured and insurer.
“You see, it’s much too easy to relinquish control, to hand over the reins of authority and lose the ability to direct time.” – Jim Rohn