A claim department is a difficult system to measure. An engineer who designs a bridge can precisely predict and measure the deflection from a load on the structure. A claim manager can’t be nearly as sure about the effect of decisions made in the claim office. Some aspects of accuracy in property claims can be accurately measured, but much of the work is more ambiguous. Did a delay in investigating the claim cause the claimant to retain an attorney? Did a concession in settlement negotiations avoid future time, expense, and indemnity payments?

With more than $113 billion in claim payments in 2008 just from U.S. auto carriers, managing quality is an important job that affects not only the financial bottom line, but also customer retention and employee satisfaction. A lot of time and money are allocated to performing quality assessments. Now is a good time to take a close look at the process to make sure it is effective.

Transforming QA Efforts

It’s ironic that the name commonly given to the systematic monitoring of a system or process to assess outcomes versus a standard is called quality “assurance.” Nothing assures a quality outcome every time. However, it is possible to transform your assessment system into a quality management (QM) system by including a few ideas to give it every chance of helping you improve the claim process.

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