Fleet Response: Expertise in 3rd Party “Nuisance Claims”

When it comes to property damage claims, Bette McNamara laughs and says she has “seen it all” in her 25 years as Risk Services manager for the nation’s largest senior housing provider. Those claims include everything from delivery trucks hitting a portico and contractors cutting water and gas lines – to residents flushing adult diapers, starting fires by burning popcorn or accidently putting a car into reverse and hitting one of facility’s buildings. “These are my residents’ homes. I need to keep them safe. This is what I am alive to do!” says McNamara with her characteristic passion and determination.

But her primary focus in managing claims on a much larger scale, with millions of dollars in damage caused by hurricanes, fires, pipe breaks and such. These claims demand much of her attention. That’s why she’s pleased to partner with Fleet Response to take the smaller “nuisance claims” off her plate as they pursue recovery from third-party insurance carriers. “These claims are also problematic because they don’t provide replacement cost value, but only actual cost value with a depreciation. I rarely get a full settlement. It takes a lot of time to talk them up to a reasonable sum. That’s what Fleet Response does so well – and they take it off my hands.”


McNamara points to some key factors that make Fleet Response her go-to subrogation vendor. “Their fees are very reasonable, and when my CFO wants a full report on the bottom line, that matters. And Fleet Response is persistent. We have so many little nuisance claims that go off my radar. For example, when Texas froze last year, I didn’t have time to worry about a smaller claim when a mover hit a sprinkler pipe in West Virginia! Fleet Response keeps up with nuisance claims like these they proactively contact me if they have questions.”

The cherry on top for McNamara is the personal service from Fleet Response staff. Her primary contact is extremely responsive, creating a routine of communication that works well. This includes quarterly phone calls to provide claim settlement status. “It’s something I can take off my plate,” explains McNamara. “He runs with it. I just give him the data he needs and if I don’t – he gets back to me.”

Bette has been working with Fleet Response for more than five years and is pleased to see a nearly 35% increase in recovery dollars over their previous subrogation vendor. “We’re very happy with Fleet Response. Last year we submitted about $735,000 in claims, and Fleet Response recovered about $622,000 after depreciation and fees. That’s darn good to get, and those are claims I didn’t need to touch. It’s the volume that makes it tough. We can get anywhere from 50 of these per year to well over 100, with claims averaging between $5,000 to $20,000.”


While the dollar amount for damages due to a hurricane or tornado can be large, the insurance claim process is typically straightforward and not contested. But other property damage claims often involve a party denying responsibility, and that adds an extra layer that McNamara isn’t typically involved in.

“We recently had a case where a contractor was working on a water line and ended up cutting the main water line, then broke into our gas lines and irrigation lines. The firm is denying it’s their fault. I don’t want to have to figure out code enforcement and easement issues – but I know that Fleet Response can do this. They handle the arbitration and take it all in stride.”


McNamara is excited to see further improvements from Fleet Response’s expertise in technology. “I report to our CFO and ultimately, the bottom line is what matters. Real-time access to claims data will be extremely helpful, especially when a report is needed immediately. The Fleet Response VISIBILITY dashboard is great, allowing me to go in and see the data I need to report and to give me the tools for analytics. It’s just another way Fleet Response proves their value as a subrogation partner.”