Tips for Being Professional with Policyholders
July 1, 2020
As adjusters, we have a special role when adjusting claims and interacting with policyholders. Policyholders are often dealing with the trauma of a loss, combined with other stressors and overwhelming information. This is where your professionalism is crucial in your role as the claims adjuster. Mastering professionalism is critical for adjusters hoping to sustain a long and successful career in adjusting. Here are a few tips:
It’s extremely important to first acknowledge the policyholder’s distress. Remember, they may be in the midst of a traumatic time in their life. As an adjuster you want to be aware of their state of mind—be sympathetic and empathize with the policyholder.
Be considerate of the policyholder’s time, keep appointments, and honor commitments. If you schedule a time to meet with the policyholder or set aside a time to speak via phone, please honor that commitment. Things may happen; however, it only takes a simple call or email advising the policyholder you will be running late due to an unforeseen circumstance.
Treat each policyholder with respect throughout the claims process. Respectful behavior will help ensure a happy, considerate, and professional relationship with policyholders. Adjusters should treat each policyholder with respect, fairness, and equity during this stressful time in their lives (taken from Claims Manual).
Adjusters must respond promptly to telephone or email inquiries. Return phone or email messages within 24 hours of receipt of a message from the policyholder. Be available to answer questions and also provide each policyholder timely status and advise when issues arise throughout the claims process.
Be an Expert.
Adjusters demonstrate their expertise by explaining coverage early in the claims process in a clear manner. Present clear and correct information about the claim to the policyholder. You can inform the policyholder of the exclusions in the SFIP and the steps necessary to pay their claim promptly.
Note from the NFIP Claims Manual: Adjusters represent the NFIP and demonstrate its commitment to improved customer experience. Adjusters will likely be the first and perhaps the only NFIP representative a policyholder meets after a flood. The NFIP depends on the adjusters’ professionalism, expertise, and compassion to help policyholders recover from what may be a devasting experience for them.