08 Feb Rethinking Risk: Why you should choose a Specialized TPA
4 out of 10 accident claims in a privately insured fleet are likely to involve a third party, according to data from Fleet Response. The intersection of these – accidents resulting in general liability to a third party – is what keeps corporate risk managers up at night. It’s the most expensive type of claim that privately insured fleets tend to incur – and each one has potential to become The Big One: A case study in risk management, safety compliance and the vital importance of handling every piece of the claim just right.
Recognizing this, such claims are often handed over to the same Third Party Administrator (TPA) that manages the company’s other category of high-risk claims: workers’ compensation. But auto accident claims are a specialty. They should be handled by a Specialized TPA.
Here are 4 reasons why Third Party claims should be handled by a specialized TPA:
According to the Martindale-Nolo Research’s 2015 workers’ compensation study, the average workers’ compensation claim takes 15.7 months to settle, and 39% of all such claims are open for 18 months or more. But handling 3rd-party general liability in a roadway accident different. It’s less like workers’ compensation and more like other truck or auto claims, according to Roger Cervenka, Director of Client Services at Fleet Response. “The faster you can reach the 3rd party to talk to them, the more likely the claim is to be contained and settled without blowing up,” he says.
“Where your fleet is concerned, we’re already receiving the first report of loss; if there’s a third-party injury, we’re in position to know it faster than anyone. There’s no disconnect, no handoff, no waiting period. By the time you learn about a Third Party general liability claim, we can already be working to close it.”
VISIBILITY AND PROCESS COMPLIANCE
In order to handle these claims swiftly, risk managers must be able to make immediate assessments on the level of risk that each new claim presents. That requires on-demand access to driver safety records and documentation of compliance with corporate safety policy. Last year, an informal poll of Fleet Response clients identified the difficulty of obtaining such records from a hodgepodge of corporate and vendor systems as a serious concern. [Related article: A measured approach to managing risk]
Fleet Response sets the industry standard for providing clients with on-demand access to information about fleet safety, drivers’ records and documentation of corporate safety compliance. “We have all your claim and safety data in one place. When you need information, it’s not sitting in a file folder on someone’s desk,” Cervenka says. “It’s online and available when you need it.”
The longer a file stays open, the more it costs to an administrator. A TPA built around long-term claims like workers’ comp will have a different process, staff, and cost structures than one designed to resolve claims quickly. Therefore, a Specialized TPA built specifically for the speed required in Third Party general liability claims may be able to charge less for the service it provides.
Fleet Response specializes in the fast-moving claims management of roadway accidents involving general liability as well as property damage. It measures the lifecycle of a claim in weeks – not months or years – for lower administrative expenses.
The ability to settle Third Party general liability claims has a lot to do with tone and approach. Companies that manage workers’ comp cases are good at working with state regulatory agencies and medical bureaucracies – but they aren’t necessarily where you’d want to send an angry individual who was injured from an accident with one of your vehicles.
“Our core business involves talking with people every day who’ve just been in accidents,” according to Cervenka. “We represent our clients to consumers who are in stressful situations. We know how to make sure they’re safe, get whatever help they need, and feel cared-for – all of which is vital to a fast, fair settlement.”
At least 1 in 10 accident claims involves an injury.
If a Third Party Administrator isn’t optimized for handling Third Party general liability claims that arise from your company’s fleet operations, who is? Historically, nobody. But today, Fleet Response offers Specialized TPA services – managing Third Party party general liability claims as a natural extension of its business.
“We’re a specialty claims administrator,” Cervenka says. “Our expertise at reducing downtime and minimizing expense offers the same set of skills needed to manage general liability claims.”
To discuss risk management of your company’s Third Party general liability claims, contact Jeff Fender, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Fleet Response, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Roger Cervenka, Director of Client Services at Fleet Response