How Preferred Provider Relationships Can Help Lower Costs and Expedite Claims Resolution for Insurance Carriers
The myth that most insurance claims are resolved pre-litigation is true: most carriers do not want to deal with the time, hassle, and expense of fighting over a claim in court. Even if only a small percentage of claims result in litigation, this still means more money spent on outside counsel, deposition resources, and investigations. Also, factor in the potentially unknown expense of a jury payout: from 2014 to 2017, jury awards in auto insurance cases nearly doubled (from 27.7 million to 54 million.) It is safe to assume that nearly five years later (and on the heels of the global COVID-19 pandemic) award payouts and litigation costs are still on the rise. With known statistics like these, it behooves insurance carriers to try and settle as many claims – as quickly and efficiently – as they can as it could mean the difference of millions of dollars.
Unfortunately, to achieve successful claims resolutions, insurance carriers still must invest a substantial amount of time and energy in reviewing each claim, one-by-one. But there is good news: litigation support services can substantially save carriers both time and money in a variety of commonly overlooked ways. This potential cost reduction is contingent on the carrier selecting the right litigation support services provider. By engaging in a preferred relationship, insurance carriers can reduce costs in three key areas.
1. Faster claims resolution (and a reduction in pre-litigation headaches.)
An important part of a claims adjuster’s job is to obtain medical records. And they need these records – hospital records, phone records, doctor’s notes, and clinic records – to effectively do their job. Records not only help them ascertain what the plaintiff is requesting or saying their claim is, but also if the carrier should settle the claim, and if so, how to go about it.
I’ve heard from claims adjusters about their struggles in attempting to retrieve medical records themselves, which can eat up a lot of time in requests, follow-up calls, and chasing down lost records or unfulfilled requests. The better play is to outsource to a specialized record retrieval provider who fulfills hundreds of requests each day. (U.S. Legal Support fields a record request nearly every twenty seconds!) Outsourcing to a provider that specializes in record retrieval means requests are filled faster, in turn creating time savings by accelerating claims resolution, and saving money in the process.
2. Save time (and money) by utilizing rapid-transfer technology.
Each insurance company has their own customized claims systems where adjusters can access the files they need to complete their work. Again, their goal is to get as many claims closed out and settled as fast as possible. And so, rather than the insurance companies having to go to a third-party portal, log in and pull-down records, and then upload into their own system, it makes more sense for them to partner with a record retrieval partner that has the capability to upload records directly into the claims system.
When partnering with a nationwide litigation support services provider, there are big benefits, namely the scale of a nationwide retrieval network and the range of technology. At U.S. Legal Support, we’re able to send data back and forth directly from our portal to our clients’ claims file systems. We can do this with records, but also with court reporting transcripts as well
So, an adjuster can start their day and look and see that, “Oh, I have the records from U.S. Legal Support; I have the transcripts and the exhibits I need.” It’s in the file; already done, saving them a ton of time and effort from not having to pull all that information together in one spot.
3. Recognize economies of scale by bundling services.
If insurance carriers are willing to work with a large provider of litigation support services, there may exist an opportunity for discounted rates by bundling court reporting and record retrieval services. With a national pricing program that has both favorable rates and additional coverage, bundling seems like a win-win.
But there’s an added benefit to bundling services many carriers may not realize – data and cybersecurity. By relying on outside or staff counsel to select court reporting and record retrieval services, you are potentially trusting hundreds of different companies with the most sensitive data your company possesses. Do you know if they are all mitigating cybersecurity risk? Do you know what safeguards they have in place? Vetting that many providers would take an immense amount of work. Instead, by working with a company like U.S. Legal Support which offers SOC 2 Type 2 and HIPAA compliance across all data centers and facilities, this means carriers can rest easy knowing their litigation support services are consistent, cost-effective, and that any sensitive info is being transmitted at the highest level of security between us and claims staff.