Thursday, February 11, 2010

Your Cell Phone is for more than calling in the claim!

The rapidly expanding capabilities of cell phones in today’s world are mind boggling to say the least. Calling, texting, email, pictures, video and web browsing are all just the tip of the iceberg. As the saying goes “We’ve only just begun”; with an “App” for everything from picking out wine to purchasing stocks the utilization of these handheld marvels of technology seems limitless.

One area they can be very helpful for right now is the claim process. Using just the features that are already built in to most phones today you can acquire, retain and forward key information related to a claim in real time. This will allow you to see a faster and more accurate settlement process with the insurance carrier or other party.

These devices can be helpful for virtually any type of claim, however I will use a typical auto accident as my example. Most auto accidents are of the “fender bender” variety, meaning 2 cars and no injuries. Regardless of who is at fault, you can use your phone to:

* Call the police so the accident can be reported.
* Take pictures of the accident scene, including positions of the vehicles and damage.
* Record information on the other driver such as name, contact, insurance and vehicle information.
* Gather information on witnesses, passenger and other parties(i.e. police officer) involved.
* Record information about accident itself including, time, date, weather conditions, road information, traffic conditions, etc.
* A record of events can be written while events are fresh in the mind, statements can even be recorded!

All of this critical yet often forgotten or lost information can be easy stored and transmitted to your agent for organization and processing. They in turn can get this to your own insurance carrier in a more timely fashion. This will help your agent to stay on top of the claim for you, speed up the work of the adjuster and get you to a satisfactory conclusion much faster.

If you in fact are the negligent party, it can help you to defend yourself and limit your exposure. With accurate information you can better aid your insurance company in defending you and limiting the potential for faulty or exaggerated claims by the other party. This is especially true if unfortunately it is more then a dented fender and people have been injured.

As illustrated, the benefit of a portable communication device at the time of a loss is in the gathering and retaining of information. Information is the key to any situation, the more you have the better off you are. Losses are more easily handled with accurate and pertinent information. These magical objects can make a world of difference and save you time.

Oh but please remember, it is better if they aide you AFTER the claim and not be the CAUSE OF a loss. Please do not use them while you are driving. :-)

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