The Most Valuable Commodity That a Claims Adjuster/Handler has is…TIME
I have spent the better part of my twenty-one year career in the insurance claims business. I have handled all types of claims to include worker’s compensation, general liability, auto liability, product liability, medical liability and property. The common thread with handling all of these types of claims is that there are large caseloads associated with the job description. In reality, it is very difficult to manage large amounts of claims effectively and many times adjusters have to deal from a reactive position instead of being proactive. I have many friends in the business across all lines of insurance and the topic of time, and how to somehow get everything done, is always at the forefront when it comes to their insurance claims career.
The truth is that there is no absolute system that cures the time management dilemma but there is a viewpoint that may help. There is only so much time in the day and depending on the type of claims being handled, an adjuster may have a pending claims list of seventy-five to two hundred claims. All of the parties involved in all of those claims want to call and send emails and managers want updates. Dealing with emails first thing in the morning is important. Responding, then filing the emails will create a sense of organization. Obviously, periodic monitoring of the email during the day is also important but knowing there is a time to do something productive with the email will help you focus on other important matters. Also, if the to do list is twenty items long for the day, do not focus on the amount of tasks. Instead, focus on the quality of the claims work completed. It is better to get five claims thoroughly completed for the day than to get twenty claims done incompletely. There is an average of twenty-one workdays in a month, so one could get over one-hundred claims in great condition after only one month of working on a pending. I understand that there are many interruptions but even if you focused on three claims a day, that pending would be in a good position after sixty days. The psychology is that over a relatively short amount of time, quality still trumps quantity, even with an overwhelming pending.
Whether it is career related or personal life, time and how we use it boils down to focus and being in the moment. It is difficult not to dwell on the past or think about the future. Trying to make the most of the present time in your career also helps you to live in the moment in your personal life. Trying to have more realistic self-expectations of what you can truly get done in a quality manner, during the course of the day, will improve how we feel about our production. Time is the most valuable commodity we have. How we spend that time is important. How we view our time spent is just as important. Quality time on work product creates confidence and career satisfaction. The insurance claims industry will demand quality and quantity. It is the adjusters’ mission to be in the present moment, delivering a quality product over a realistic amount of time.
Another suggestion would be to share your viewpoints about time and your overall plan with your supervisor. Tying quality work with an executable plan shows initiative and also helps to create a team environment. In summary – plan, focus, and be in the present moment…time is our friend.
Good luck with those claims and if you need any investigative work on the pending…please let me know!
Dan Tompkins, Director of Sales is a former business owner (14 years) of a Property/ Casualty Adjusting Firm recently acquired by Alliance Risk Group. Dan is an experienced Licensed Insurance Adjuster and has worked as a claims examiner and public adjuster. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Justice from Oswego State University with a minor in Forensic Science.