Our newest blog, a two-part series, looks at the relationship between a servicer and adjuster and how they can work together to increase efficiencies and processes to expedite the claims process. We interviewed Alisa Aschenbrener, one of our top adjusters, to get a clear perspective on how to strengthen servicer-vendor relationships:
As an adjuster with DIMONT for nine years working both home and vehicle claims, Alisa has seen firsthand how important the servicer and vendor relationship is to filing efficient and timely claims. Mortgage and auto loan servicers handle one of the nation’s most financially and organizationally sensitive operations. When claims are filed against damaged collateral, servicers’ jobs get a lot harder—especially with claims related to foreclosures or natural disaster—highlighting the need for a reliable vendor to assist them through the claims process.
Building a seamless integration with both the servicer and vendor takes time and sometimes is the result of trial and error, which is why a strong partnership between the servicer and vendor and an experienced adjuster is key. Some servicers choose to process claims in-house, which can take months to set up properly with an already time-sensitive process. When working with an outside vendor communication is integral to the claims process, just as is having access to servicer loan systems. Filing damage claims doesn’t have to be a mess of misinformation leading to big financial losses. Through years of experience we can offer insight on how to make the claims filing process easier for both parties while adding as little stress as possible.
This two-part series will discuss some things that can help facilitate an efficient claims process and build a stronger vendor and servicer relationship:
Timely access to properties through PPV
There is a balanced harmony that exists between the servicer, claims vendor and the property preservation company (or PPV). PPVs are a lifeline for properties in default or foreclosure that are in need of maintenance or repair, and they serve as the “eyes” of the operation. Additionally, PPVs are in a position to repair the property and ensure it remains in proper conveyance condition, which aligns with both servicer and vendor goals as far as prompt claim filing resolutions.
The PPV also serves as the go-between for the vendor and access to a property, which is important to establish a solid perspective on damage timeframes and full damage extent. PPVs are crucial in providing access to the property for the insurance carrier through meet and greet requests or additional work that needs to be done to the property for the insurance inspections, such as de-tarping a roof, pumping out the basement or removing debris.
Ensure the right documents are uploaded in a timely manner
This next point is important for all invested parties. Timely document requests are extremely important when it comes to claim resolution. Usually there is a POC at the servicer, but sometimes it can take several weeks to get a document needed to process a claim. The most crucial documents to be uploaded include inspection reports from PPVs, loan origination appraisals, the need to prove interest, and change in risk/occupancy forms.
Vendors can also better assist servicers by gaining better access to systems and documents. Delays in getting the right documentation can delay claims, costing the servicer time and money while impacting resolution of the claim with the insurance carrier. Servicers and vendors would both benefit if vendors had better access to servicers systems and documents, especially when servicers are overwhelmed with foreclosures and damage claims brought on by natural disaster.
Fully understand the claims process
It’s difficult for a servicer to be fully educated on the claims process. As people move and business’ evolve consistency is key, which is why having a strong vendor in place with years of experience and technology to aid in the claims process is crucial. The right vendor can provide education gained from years of experience of claims management and filing, and they will have the training and education necessary to resolve the claim for maximum recovery.
Most claims don’t fit into a cookie cutter mold, so it is vital to understand that the claims process takes time and is dependent on someone with the experience necessary to adjust and respond to changes on a file. These changes could include assignments with changes in occupancy, PPVs not responding to meet and greet requests, lack of proper documentation, understanding perils and claimable vs non-claimable damages, and different requirements across different carriers and states—which will be discussed more in part two of this series.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts and interested parties involved in the proper and timely conveyance of a property. Stay tuned for part two of this blog post, where we’ll dive deeper into what it takes to be a claims adjuster worthy of being a servicer’s number-one resource for filing claims!
About Alisa: Alisa began her adjuster career at AAA as an auto adjuster. She is fully licensed as a public adjuster in all jurisdictions. Alisa is a mother of two boys and is happily married living in San Diego. Her favorite aspects of adjusting include researching and solving the puzzle of complex claims, learning something new every day, and being part of a team of experienced adjusters.