When your insurance customers experience a claim, you want them to report it as soon as possible. You probably require prompt reporting because you know a timely FNOL is important to get the claim off to a strong start. But what about your customers? They want the claim to go smoothly, too. And guess what? They’re underwhelmed with the FNOL process. Some of them are downright angry.

Here are three ways your FNOL process may be failing to impress your customers.

1. Your FNOL Process Is Slow and Repetitive.

If you can offer a speedy FNOL intake followed by a quick claims process, you may be able to win the customer’s loyalty for life. On the other hand, if you waste the policyholder’s time, they might start shopping for new insurers before the claim is even finished.

According to HubSpot Research, 33% of customers say the most frustrating aspect of customer service is having to wait on hold, while another 33% say they’re most frustrated when they have to repeat themselves to multiple representatives.

Answering the phone quickly is a good start, but it won’t amount to much if your reps keep transferring the call and starting the process all over again. You need reps with the expertise required to get the claim process rolling.

2. Your FNOL Process Is Inflexible.

Imagine you have a policyholder with a claim. Let’s say his name is Ken. Ken knows he needs to report the claim ASAP, and he’s hoping to do it after work, but he finds out he can’t. He has to wait until office hours the next morning. Even worse, he can’t speak to a representative in his native language. Now he’s struggling to explain what happened and he’s going to be late for work. Needless to say, he is not happy with the FNOL process – or his insurance company.

Claims are a pain. Policyholders want to get them handled as conveniently as possible. To do this, they need flexible options.

  • Time: Claims don’t just happen when it’s convenient. Policyholders should be able to report claims 24/7 – including on holidays.
  • Method: Policyholders should be able to get help through their communication method or choice, whether that’s phone, email or chat.
  • Language: Just offering English and Spanish isn’t enough. According to a CIS analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, 67.3 million U.S. residents speak a language other than English at home. This includes 3.5 million Chinese speakers, 1.8 million Tagalog speakers, 1.5 million Vietnamese speakers, 1.3 million Arabic speakers, 1.2 million French speakers, and 1.1 million Korean speakers.

3. Your FNOL Process Is Discriminatory.

The New York Times recently described how some minority policyholders suspect that their claims are being handled in a discriminatory manner, but it’s difficult to prove this because insurers don’t make the claims data available for scrutiny. Regardless, the suspicion is there.

Discrimination can infect other parts of the insurance process, including underwriting. However, Carrier Management points out that awareness of diversity and inclusion is especially important in claims due to the adversarial nature of claims. It makes sense. When people are already going through a difficult time, differences in culture and class can contribute to misunderstandings and negative feelings.

Because the FNOL kicks off the claim, the tone set during the FNOL intake will affect the entire process. It’s important to get it right. This requires representatives who are both empathetic and knowledgeable about claims.

Need Assistance?

Covenir’s premier FNOL team can help you delight your policyholders by overcoming deficiencies in all three of these areas. Learn more about FNOL outsourcing and read an FNOL case study to see what’s possible.