Agencies spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars purchasing E&O insurance protection each year. Beyond fainting hope that this insurance never has to be used, automation with an internal documentation process in place can help prevent claims from being filed and provide protection if/when one is filed.
Curtis Pearsall of Pearsall Associates makes the following suggestions:
"Be sure to develop and maintain a clear and documented procedure detailing the expected and accepted usage of automation. There is no doubt that two agencies can have the same agency management system but use it differently.
To ensure compliance, agencies should perform periodic quality control measuring the manner in which each employee is using the system comparing it with the expected approach"
He goes on to say,
"There is no doubt that documentation that is timely and professional can make all of the difference in the world in how an E&O claim is resolved. Agency management should make it clear to all of the staff the importance of timely and accurate documentation in the agency management system. They should also stress with the staff the importance of keeping the documentation in the system professional and clear.
When an agency has an E&O claim, the defense attorney assigned to your agency will request a copy of your file, paper as well as electronic. Thus documentation that has been entered will be part of the discovery process and the last thing you want is to have some of this documentation be negative and harsh of your customer.
Keep it professional. Also, since abbreviations are common as a means of gaining efficiency, the agency should come up with a listed of acceptable abbreviations for the staff to use. Basically, the goal is that anyone should be able to review the file, paper or electronic, and know exactly what the issues are and what the status is of any unresolved matters."
In an attempt to identify and resolve any potential misunderstandings between the agency and customers or prospects, it is highly recommended that the agency staff not only document the conversation in the system but also document back to the customer the essence of the conversation. Obviously it is best to identify these potential misunderstandings before the loss as opposed to after it."
Tracking documentation and ongoing activities within an agency management system such as AgencyBloc can help prevent or mitigate E&O losses. An accepted process of documentation is what truly counts, regardless of how it's done. AgencyBloc's Activity Tracking feature is one tool to keep an organized record of on-going interaction and documentation.
AgencyBloc allows agencies to track E&O documents for agents as well as store an unlimited number of other files in the system. Storing this information in AgencyBloc makes it easy to quickly run a report and see all upcoming E&O expiration dates.
Being organized and prepared for an E&O dispute can be the difference between a small case and a big disaster.
We appreciate Curtis Pearsall's permission to use excerpts from his article, "Is Automation your friend or foe in preventing E&O claims?" Curtis Pearsall is President of Pearsall Associates Inc., a Risk Management Consulting firm specializing in helping agents protect themselves.
Learn more about AgencyBloc's Activity Tracking, document storage, and E&O features as well as find out how you can use AgencyBloc to track and store all of your important interactions with clients, prospects, and internal staff. Schedule a live demo or sign up for a FREE TRIAL.