Verisk Insurance Solutions – Commercial Property announced last week that has introduced a service called PhoneAssist in response to industry requests for help with follow-up calls to insureds on recommended remediation, and other types of risk control verification.

Through the service, Verisk can also help carriers conduct low-cost phone surveys for certain businesses, and oversee pre-survey contact verification to help ensure efficient field operations.

“Our experience shows that as much as 40 percent of the contact information supplied by insureds is incorrect or incomplete,” said Rick Vance, director of Verisk Insurance Solutions National Processing Center, which is implementing the PhoneAssist program.

“Chasing down that information is critical for field surveys, but many insurers would rather have their staff performing other work.”

Glen Brooks, vice president of Verisk Insurance Solutions – Commercial Property, highlighted the assistance with follow-up calls about remediation.

“Many core underwriting functions are essential but nevertheless time-consuming and expensive for insurers,” he said.

“We designed a way to relieve our customers of some of the more burdensome aspects of underwriting while helping to improve their efficiency. PhoneAssist embodies the fundamental nature of the work as well as the reality of performing what is, quite frankly, a somewhat tedious function—making hundreds, if not thousands, of phone calls to verify risk mitigation factors.”

In the announcement about PhoneAssist, the Verisk unit noted that an on-site field survey may not be necessary for every insured. For some businesses, such as a home-based landscaper or general contractor working out of a truck, the PhoneAssist service can be used to conduct low-cost phone surveys to gather underwriting and loss control information, which may ultimately save time and money and improve the speed with which new business can go on the books.

When an insurer conducts an on-site survey and makes recommendations for mitigating risks at the property, there’s typically no follow-up to determine if the property owner performed the suggested remediation. Deprived of that knowledge, insurers might either decline to insure the property—losing business—or issue coverage that potentially results in unanticipated losses.

Through PhoneAssist, Verisk’s staff contacts property owners by phone or mail to confirm actions taken; determine a specific plan for taking action, including a time frame; or to confirm that no action has been taken and why. A final report helps the insurer underwrite properties with the risk profiles acceptable to it.

PhoneAssist operates out of Verisk Commercial Property’s National Processing Center in Marlton, New Jersey, and includes more than 120 highly trained insurance professionals.

Verisk Insurance Solutions – Commercial Property is a unit of Verisk Analytics

Source: Verisk Insurance Solutions – Commercial Property