Post-pandemic, businesses across the country have recommitted to the mission of addressing diversity, equity and inclusion. Much emphasis has been placed on diversity and inclusion (D&I) during recruitment, yet the same can’t be said about D&I directives focused on the claims handling process.

Executive Summary

What impact do cross-racial, cultural and ethnic issues have on the handling of claim? Insurers are starting to do more to examine how diversity impacts claims handling and resolution, including taking part in an initiative to track how often candidates with diverse backgrounds are selected as mediators and arbitrators in insurance-related matters. Such data, which is presently unavailable, will allow insurers to benchmark their results against the overall industry.

D&I efforts shouldn’t end at time of hire, said industry experts, who believe diversity and inclusion should be considered within all departments throughout the insurance supply chain. The sometimes-adversarial nature that occurs during claims handling and resolution, in particular, where adjusters are often in contact with claimants of different backgrounds, is ripe for D&I awareness.

It’s a lofty goal, especially in claims, where the overwhelming majority of workers compensation adjusters are white women, according to K. Martine Cumbermack, an Atlanta-based insurance defense attorney and partner with the law firm of Swift Currie, who has studied diversity as it relates to the workers comp claims resolution process.

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