Advitorial by Maria Lupia – Founder and Director of Angel Claims Management Services
Last year, a complaint against CommInsure and the media attention associated with it compelled ASIC to launch an investigation into insurance claims handling. ASIC’s review found that:
- The average time taken to process Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Claims was around 22 monthswhere the industry quoted it should take only 6 months
- The level of claims withdrawn was high
- Claimants were confused by the process
- Claimants did not know what to do when the claim was denied; and
- Claimants were not aware of their rights.
ASIC have committed to an in-depth analysis of claims handling in the next 12 months. They contacted some 50 superannuation fund trustees putting them on notice regarding claims handling information requests with a view to understanding more around claims withdrawn, the handling process and assessment timeframes.
Providers of professional services, such as accountants, are faced with daily challenges keeping up to date with various accounting standards, superannuation legislation, property management as well as being as well informed across all areas of business whilst providing the highest standard of service to their clients for a reasonable fee.
If one of your clients walked in the door today having been unable to work for a period of time due to either ill health, an accident or becoming disabled would you know how to advise them on their entitlements or know where to start to submit a claim from their superannuation fund on their behalf.
Addressing the complexities of submitting a superannuation insurance claim on behalf of clients
This includes multiple variables around various waiting periods, policy definitions, variation in forms to be completed for individual insurers and the coordination of documentation from medical practitioners, the employer (where relevant) and/or the client as the claimant.
Add to this time lost as a result of the insurance company’s inefficiencies, delays and staff turnover, your frustration levels will be high.
The potential impact of such a labour intensive process on your business is such that you risk the following:
- Loss of productive time
- Delays in the claim being assessed and frustrations as a result of documentation incompleteness or errors
- Impact on professional standing/competence as a result of a lack of clarity and confusion should the claim be denied
- Increased accounting fees to clients to cover additional time costs or
- Possible loss of revenue due to inability to charge for managing the claim or inability to take on additional clients/provide additional services due to the time factor associated with these claims.
The Solution: Angel Claims Management Services
Angel Claims Management Services is a business service dedicated to helping people who are unable to work due to ill health access their superannuation entitlements.
I am the Founder. I understand the claims process well having had extensive experience in this field and can therefore offer an end-to-end claims management service where I become the advocate for the client and manage the claim until finalised.
This allows the client to focus on their health and well-being without having to be concerned with trying to meet all the demands placed upon them, especially when many are very unwell and in a very fragile state.
Angel Claims Management Services would link in seamlessly with your current services. The main objective is to develop a partnership between our organisations such that it delivers value to both in terms of growth and reputation and most importantly achieves the best possible outcome for the client.
Key outcomes for your organisation and your clients are:
- Reduction in time spent following up insurers regarding clients’ claims allowing you to focus on your core services
- Keeping your fees for service reasonable and not blowing out due to chasing the claim
- Providing your client with a specialised service reducing the claims assessment time-frame and maximising the chances of success by way of ensuring that the claim submitted contains all relevant documentation, is submitted in a timely manner and constantly monitored and followed up.
- Most importantly to ensure that the client is protected from the overwhelming demands made by insurers allowing them to focus on their health and in some cases, enjoy their last days with family with peace of mind, thereby reducing stress about their future financial stability.
The value proposition that I provide to your clients and the differentiation between my services and that of others providing similar services are as follows:
- Because I am Angel Claims Management Services, I am the primary point of contact and your clients will always speak to me and ONLY me. Not a junior, not a person in a contact centre. Therefore, they will not need to continually retell their story nor leave messages for claims assessors that go unanswered for days.
- I am not bound by corporate targets, guidelines or processes. My aim is to understand the individual needs of each client, thus giving them a personalised service that is professional yet empathetic.
- I understand that clients won’t be able to travel to an office so I will meet with them in their home at a time that is convenient to them and I am available weeknights and weekends.
- Our first meeting is with no obligations and free of charge. I have a no gimmick all-inclusive fixed fee regardless of how much work I need to do.
- My services specialise in managing the claim and I will ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to submit a complete claim.
- I will continually advocate on behalf of the client and I am passionate about helping clients when they need it most, sheltering them from the overwhelming demands of insurers and allowing them to focus on getting better or spending quality time with their families and loved ones.
Benefits of using Angel Claims
Reducing the claims processing time-frame
As mentioned, the ASIC review determined the average time taken to process TPD claims was 22 months. A key goal of Angel Claims Management Services is to reduce the time taken by insurers to assess and issue a decision on the claim to the shortest possible time.
Maximising a claim’s chances of acceptance
I cannot guarantee that claims will always be accepted as they are completely dependent upon the definitions of the policy, the client’s particular medical situation and if they meet those definitions. However, I can assure you and your clients that by ensuring all relevant medical evidence, forms and other supporting documentation is completed, submitted correctly and in a timely manner this will maximise the claim’s chance of success.
As previously stated the impact of such a complex process on professionals is such that they risk the following:
- Lost productive time collating, checking, chasing documentation and the claim with the insurer.
- Delay of claim being assessed due to errors or omitting necessary requirements when submitting the claim.
- Increased accounting fees to clients to cover time costs.
- Possible loss of revenue due to inability to charge for services or inability to take on additional clients/provide additional services due to the time factor associated with these claims.
By utilising Angel Claims Management Services these risks are mitigated.
For clients, the financial benefits of a claim being assessed in a timely manner cannot be underestimated. The positive impact on their lives and that of their family as a result of reduction in stress cannot be quantified, however is a very real result of my service as is evident in the following success story on AngelClaims.com.au: Alan’s story by Brittany, his daughter.
Those professionals that establish a partnership with me will in fact, be creating a value proposition by referring their clients to a specialist ensuring they are receiving the best possible service to meet their needs.
This can only contribute to the end goal of providing exceptional customer service to your clients.
Maria Lupia – founder of Angel Claims
SMSF Community disclaimer: This article is included on SMSF Community with consent by the author and to be considered general information only.