Insurers looking to boost operational efficiency and identify areas for cost savings often turn to outsourcing. While there are many insurance workflows that can be outsourced, the First Notice of Loss, or FNOL process, is one of the most common. FNOL in insurance refers to the initial report made by the policyholder to the insurer following a loss, which is a critical part of the claims process. By outsourcing the FNOL process, insurers can streamline their operations, improve customer service, and achieve significant cost savings.

Outsourcing the FNOL process provides a wealth of benefits for both insurers and their policyholders. Insurers’ teams can regain valuable time and focus on their core activities, while policyholders enjoy more prompt service from an experienced team of specialists.

As the market becomes more saturated and competitive, insurers are increasingly implementing this win-win strategy. Outsourcing the FNOL process helps insurers foster their competitive edge and provide a better policyholder experience, all while enhancing their internal efficiency. Continue reading below as we discuss how outsourcing FNOL can improve the claims process.

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What is Insurance FNOL and How Does It Work

FNOL is the first step policyholders take when they need to file a claim. This might even be the first time they contact their insurer since initiating or renewing their policy, which makes it an important interaction. Offering an exceptional FNOL in insurance experience here is an opportunity for insurers to improve policyholder loyalty and retention.

What Is an Example of a First Notice of Loss?

Any time a policyholder experiences damages or a loss thats covered by their insurance policy, they will need to contact their insurer to initiate the claim process. So, if they get into a fender bender, there is a fire in their kitchen, or any other type of covered incident occurs, policyholders need to go through the FNOL process to let their insurer know they need to make a claim. 

What is Required to File an FNOL?

Typically, insurers need a few key pieces of information to file an FNOL, including: 

  • Policyholder’s name.
  • Policy number.
  • Contact information.
  • The date, time, and location of the incident.

Insurers will often request additional information from policyholders during the FNOL process, like a detailed explanation of what happened and the extent of damages or injuries caused by the incident. 

6 Steps to Initiate a FNOL Insurance Claim

These are the crucial steps involved when a policyholder initiates a first notice of loss claim:

Contact the insurance provider 

To begin the process, policyholders need to contact the FNOL services team after an accident or incident. They can do this through any of the channels provided by their insurer, such as a phone call, an online form, a mobile app, or live chat.

Provide detailed information about the incident

Policyholders should provide the FNOL team with accurate details about the incident, including answering any follow-up questions about what has occurred. If key details are missing and need to be requested after the fact, it can significantly slow down the claims resolution procedure with back-and-forth communications between the policyholder and the FNOL team. 

Submit documentation and photos

It may be necessary for policyholders to submit documentation and photos to support their claim. This might include photos or videos to help the insurer assess the extent of the damage of insured possessions, or any receipts or invoices incurred as a result of the incident. 

Review policy coverage

Next, the FNOL representative will verify the policy to ensure it is active and the reported incident is covered. They will also check for any deductibles or coverage limitations. This is a crucial step that helps detect any fraudulent claims and limits potential losses for the insurer.

Conduct the investigation

Once this information has been verified, the claim will be assigned to an adjuster, who will investigate and assess the details of the incident until they reach a resolution. The adjuster needs to ensure the claim is valid and determine the proper amount of compensation the policyholder should receive. Policyholders can avoid processing delays by fully cooperating with the adjuster and answering follow-up questions quickly and honestly. 

Follow up regularly on your claim’s status

The FNOL representative may provide updates on the claim as its filed, processed, and assigned, though policyholders may want to follow up on their own to get more specific and frequent status updates. Doing so can help ensure the claim is processed efficiently and help them receive any reimbursements promptly upon approval. 

4 Tips to Streamline Insurance FNOL Process

Given the importance of the FNOL process in increasing policyholder satisfaction and building loyalty, insurers should look for ways to streamline this part of the claims process. But, while the process might look straightforward, there are some consistent challenges that insurers need to address if they want it to run smoothly. Here are some helpful tips for improving the FNOL process. 

Access mobile reporting options

Insurers can make the FNOL process more convenient and streamlined by offering policyholders a way to report an incident or loss through a mobile app or self-service portal. This way, policyholders can initiate the process anywhere and anytime, and submit details and documentation directly from their device. Mobile apps also allow policyholders to track the status of a claim and communicate with adjusters as needed for better transparency and efficiency. 

Use AI for initial claim assessments

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools can also be utilized in the insurance FNOL process to help adjusters make a quick initial assessment on new claims. AI algorithms can help assess the extent of damage from the photos, videos, and other documentation policyholders provide, eliminating some of the tedious work for adjusters and allowing them to focus on more critical or complex cases. 

Simplify information collection with templates

Completing pre-defined forms or templates on the insurers website or mobile app can help ensure that all necessary details are provided upfront. In turn, this can help reduce back-and-forth communication with policyholders as they request follow-up information to investigate and process the claim. 

Leverage an outsourced customer service provider

You can also outsource the FNOL process to a reputable outsourced customer service provider. This arrangement not only provides your team with meaningful operational efficiencies, it can also enhance and speed up the filing experience for policyholders. Third-party providers who specialize in handling the insurance FNOL process will have proven methods and practices in place for more streamlined filing, and are often available around the clock, so policyholders can initiate their claims whenever they need. 

How to Outsource Insurance FNOL Process

As we discussed above, managing the FNOL process in-house can be highly repetitive and resource-intensive, taking up a good chunk of your staffs working hours. While it is critical to offer empathetic and high-quality service to policyholders when they need it most, you also want to give your team more time to focus on what they do best, whether that’s sales, underwriting, or other tasks. 

For many insurers, the key to finding this balance is outsourcing the FNOL in insurance and claims process to an experienced business process outsourcing (BPO) partner. This is a proven method of ensuring your policyholders receive an optimal experience and expert claims services while maintaining your teams productivity elsewhere. Plus, many BPOs are available 24/7, so no matter when a crisis occurs, policyholders can get the prompt service they expect. 

If you decide to take this route, do your research to find a reliable outsourcing partner who is experienced with handling FNOL services and make sure to inquire about their commitment to quality service delivery. 

The Bottom Line

The FNOL process is a key touchpoint between insurers and policyholders, so ensuring this process is efficient and streamlined can help boost policyholder satisfaction and retention. By outsourcing first notice of loss, insurers can speed up the claims filing process and give their team the freedom to focus on core activities. 

At Covenir, we understand that in today’s competitive marketplace, insurers need to stay agile and adopt a more policyholder-centric approach if they want to stay ahead. Our FNOL and claims team is comprised of expert specialists who can handle all claims initiations with professionalism, empathy, and efficiency. We integrate seamlessly with your team to offer on-brand service that your policyholders expect on your behalf—so you can focus on the strategic initiatives that move the needle forward for your business.

With 24/7/365 FNOL service available in 175 languages, you can offer reliable service for your policyholders to initiate a claim at any time, from anywhere, with Covenir as your outsourced partner. Our team is flexible and scalable, so we can tailor our services to meet your exact FNOL support needs. To learn more about our FNOL and claims services, get in touch with us today—we’d love to hear from you.

Ask us about our staffing solutions for FNOL and more.