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Examining the details. Identifying relevant documents and items for a case beyond what the claimant’s attorney requests, places an insurer in a better position for a successful outcome. (Photo; Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock)

Claims professionals are asked to wear many different hats during the claims handling process. From gathering information, communicating with claimants and evaluating risk to attempting early resolution, there are several critical tasks during the early stages of any claim.

It is logical that to evaluate a claim and its possible value, the professional will need relevant information, not limited to the theory of liability and the extent of any damages. While this information is generally obtained to facilitate the initial evaluation, claims professionals should remember that any early investigation also paves the way for the discovery process should the claim develop into a lawsuit. While it is difficult to predict which claims may find their way into the court system, professionals need to understand that the investigator’s hat may be the most important aspect, and defending claims in litigation becomes much easier when more information is gathered early in the process.

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