1. The first step is a thorough assessment of risk.
If risk is underestimated, your policy will be of absolutely no use (or will be a complete liability) in a bad or worst-case scenario. If overestimated, you’re paying good money for coverage you don’t need.
Work only with a broker who is experienced in this form of coverage. They have to have the knowledge and experience to accurately assess the various risk involved for your specific policy.
2. The next step is to “shop” the policy application to a variety of carriers.
Some brokers are affiliated with only a handful of carriers, which severely limits your options.
Once you have shopped the possibilities, your broker should provide you with a portfolio of the best possibilities and work with you to make the best decision.
We qualify all carriers to make sure that they are “rock solid.”
3. The next step is to “watch the language.”
The selected carrier (who offered you the best deal) now takes the policy outline and “translates” it into a final policy contract.
And you wouldn’t believe the little slips of the tongue that can creep into a contract at this stage.
To protect your interests, have your broker thoroughly go through each and every contract to locate and clarify/eliminate all phrases and clauses that would be unfavorable to you. For example:
- adverse language
- ambiguous language
- unrealistic timetables
- burdensome compliance requirements
Also make sure that you get each and every inclusion available to you. There are various options available for different types of insurance. But because carriers usually try to include only the bare minimum, you might never even hear about some of the available benefits. This is where your broker can help you — we know this type of insurance and every benefit, discount and option available.
4. Policy implementation.
Some brokers, at this stage, might leave you on your own. But this is where a service support department is very important.
Implementing a new policy—especially a major policy—can be a nightmare. An excellent broker will help implement the policy and educate your staff. You should know how to maintain compliance, what reports are necessary, how to identify potential claims, and what information must be present in order to submit a claim.
5. On-going support.
Just one late—or omitted report can make or break whether you get reimbursement on a claim. Therefore, go with a broker who offers this support and service. Your broker should:
- Monitor reporting to assist you in getting the necessary reports in and on time.
- Spot-check the paperwork to see if everything is in order.
- Monitor the run-out period of your policy to help you make sure that compliance is maintained and any outstanding claims are paid
6. Claims reimbursement.
Your broker should work aggressively to assist you in getting your claims reimbursed in a timely fashion (usually 30 business days or less). We offer this service for no charge.
In fact, our clients have the lowest claim-rejection-rate in the business, as stated by several of the carriers that we work with.
With the above steps done you can be sure that you will have a policy in effect that will protect you and be an asset to your company.
This is informational piece is brought to you by McPhee & Associates, Inc., with 34 years of experience in managing risk in the managed care industry.