Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Insurers asked to adopt approved repairer scheme for claims

River Canal Rescue Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, is asking insurers to review their clams handling processes in order to get boaters back on the water within days of an incident.  During a presentation at the recent Crick Boat Show, Stephanie emphasised the speed at which claims can be resolved if the insurer runs an approved repairer scheme. 

When an incident occurs, insurers typically require claimants to register the claim and complete and return a notification form with a minimum of two repair/replacement quotes.  Upon approval, the claimant is left to progress and pay for the work, submit an invoice and wait for reimbursement.

River Canal Rescue estimates this process, on average, takes between two weeks and three months.

Insurers running an approved repairer scheme, however, have authorised River Canal Rescue’s subsidiary firm, Canal Contracting, to make repairs up to an agreed limit, so there’s no need to source and pay contractors up front.   The breakdown specialist says this process; from notification to repair, can take one or two days as often only a single call is needed to the insurer for the claim to be registered, authorised and progressed. 

Stephanie went on to outline common causes of claims, such as navigational errors, grounding, accidental damage and vandalism and explained how to reduce further losses.   She also put insurance jargon into plain English and advised on claimants’ responsibilities.

Stephanie comments: “Boaters, particularly recreational ones, who insure with firms without this scheme, tend to resent the amount of time it takes to get their craft repaired and one of their biggest frustrations is having to return home to complete a claim form and source quotes/failure reports in order to obtain repair authorisation.  This takes up time and can involve a fair amount of travel to locate suitable contractors – all before anything is agreed. 

“Insurers must adapt their processes and take into account the stress and trauma often faced by boaters when they make a claim and equally, claimants need to understand the requirements and limitations of their policy.”