Last Thursday I wrote a post Citizens Property Insurance employees and providers should read this blog due to systemic claims mishandlingwhich says in part:
Our law firm had just received a letter from Citizens’ Property Insurance where the letter date was approximately 60 days before the envelope with the letter was sent. Public adjuster George Quintero of Vanguard Public Adjusters complained about many letters from Citizens Property Insurance, which were severely outdated. I have attached as a footnote some redacted letters provided by Quintero.
My bet is that this has happened hundreds if not thousands of times ̵1; I can’t imagine that the practice of backdating letters, presumably to hide evidence of delays and inactivity, is isolated. I wonder if the Claims Department will report to the Citizens Board on this and other issues complained about by their policyholders at the next Citizens Board meeting.
So my question to the readers of this blog is whether you believe that a Citizens Property Insurance press release issued the day after the post was a coincidence or done in response to this blog. The Citizen’s press release stated:
Today, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation began notifying policyholders and agents of potential delays in policyholders’ claims-related communications due to processing delays caused by its contracted vendor, Exela Enterprise Solutions, Inc. Citizens claims staff have also been made aware of these challenges and are ready to assist policyholders.
Policyholders will not be adversely affected by provider failures in mailing, and deadlines that may have passed will be reviewed and extended by citizens where appropriate.
Any policyholder who believes they have been affected by delays should contact their agent, call Citizens at 866.411.2742 to reach their assigned adjuster, or submit a request through Contact Us on the Citizens website. Policyholders can also submit additional claims documentation through the Citizens website.
To address the backlog caused by supplier failures, Citizens increases production from the suppliers and hires an additional third-party supplier on an emergency basis to process the backlog. All affected Citizens’ claim documents have been sent and the entire backlog of all other policyholder documents as described above will be cleared by mid-April.
Citizens remains committed to quickly resolving any issues that may have affected our policyholders.
Regardless, it’s refreshing to see an insurance company make a public statement that it made a big mistake in its claims handling. Every business entity will have some embarrassing mistakes happen at some point in time. Thousands of policyholders not receiving written communication for two months after a major disaster will result in many complaints and frustrated customers. Stopping these actions, compensating for them, and then preventing them from happening again is all that claims management can do once the problem is discovered. In this case, finding the reason why the problem was not fixed earlier is another step towards better claims management.
As a footnote, vendor Citizens Property Insurance blames these claim delays after publishing a white paper, 3 things your claims process should do … and how to get therewhich says in part:
It’s a truism: “If you’re in the insurance business, you’re in the claims business.” The promise to pay on a customer’s claim is what property and casualty companies are basically selling. After the policies are written and the premiums are collected, everything else revolves around processing claims – as cleanly and efficiently as possible.
An afternoon thought
Mistakes are always forgivable, if you have the courage to admit them.