Filed Under:Claims, Investigative & Forensics

3 keys to engaging claims consultants

Making the most out of your data requires thinking outside of the box

A successful collaboration between consultants and insurers involves setting clear, specifically defined goals at the outset. (Photo: Shutterstock)
A successful collaboration between consultants and insurers involves setting clear, specifically defined goals at the outset. (Photo: Shutterstock)

For insurance carriers, finding ways to capitalize on the growing volume and velocity of information is a critical challenge.

Engaging with knowledgeable experts can help carriers make the most of the data generated and collected in their claims systems and operational databases.

Partnering with outside personnel with industry expertise to assess claims data and thoroughly analyze results alongside industry benchmark data and analytics can make a significant impact on your business — often resulting in greater efficiencies and effectiveness across many different processes.

As with any engagement, however, there are a few key tips to follow to lay the groundwork for success and assist the consultant in helping your company achieve your business goals. We have identified three best practices that improve the chance for success before, during and after engaging with a claims consultant. 

1. Develop an analytics-driven culture from the outside in.

Carriers may not have the breadth of data needed to assess all market trends or factors within the scope of their claims operations. Most carriers can only see inside their own house. A partner who has access to a vast databank encompassing broad industry information, and who can easily interpret the data inside and outside of a carriers’ portfolio can provide a broader perspective. Choosing a consultant who has access to vast sources of data and analytics-fluent expertise provides the best chance for increased value. 

2. Have an open mind.

An outside consultant may also bring some ideas and concepts to your company that differ greatly from how things were done previously, challenging your comfort zones. Be willing to consider new ways of thinking and the possibility of disrupting your own organization.

One of the key benefits to the avalanche of data now available is the potential for uncovering relationships or opportunities that were previously undiscoverable. This will naturally challenge our willingness to embrace new opportunities and recommendations, so those who can accept change and are willing to eschew old practices will thrive in the increasingly competitive marketplace of tomorrow.

3. Engage with a consultant in ongoing, multiple intervals.

To elevate the success of your claims results, it’s essential to approach performance with a set of clearly defined goals. Agree with your consultant on ongoing targets using advanced methods of benchmarking and manage consistently towards those targets. When your company implements recommended changes, ongoing monitoring procedures should also be implemented as well so the changes can continually be optimized to their full potential. You should be monitoring the data consistently to see if new trends are developing so you can make adjustments and proactively manage the processes.

With the industry in a constant state of flux, meaningful partnerships are more important than ever, and true partnerships are not built with transactions, but rather with the collaborative achievement of common goals. Engaging with a consultant who believes in this foundation and is committed to long-term, mutual success turns possibilities into reality. These beliefs all serve to extract the greatest value from carriers’ data resources.

While many consulting services simply drop-in, assess and make one-time recommendations, partners who work to implement continuous action plans and measure the effect of those changes alongside clients’ organizations often have the greatest positive impact.

Edward Olsen, DC, CPCU, is a senior business process consultant at Mitchell Auto Casualty Solutions. Contact him at Ryan Mandell is the director of claims performance for Mitchell’s Auto Physical Damage business unit. Contact him at

Related: Working with environmental consultants: What risk managers need to know

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