I’m sure I’m not the only person fed up with insurers causing us more work. Insurers demanding supplement requests be in writing, and on their own forms, got me a little fired up. In protest I managed to anger Geico enough that they threatened legal action. They don’t like their logo being desecrated (I used some digital magic to make the gecko on the top of their supplement request form flip Geico staff the bird.) and hired some high profile legal firm from Washington DC to let me know it. Liberty Mutual may not know it, because I haven’t had the chance to use it yet, but I’ve defiled their supplement request form also. Their logo of Liberty holding a torch has been changed to Liberty giving the middle finger salute.
When I got my first supplement request form from Allstate, I started work on software that would automate the process. Don’t be fooled, insurers claim this new procedure is supposed to increase efficiency and make the supplement process easier. But the real reason for requiring you to fill out a form to request a supplement is because they fully understand human nature. They know many of you are too lazy to fill out that form. They know that many of you will ignore small supplements if faced with sitting down and filling out and faxing a form.
The most efficient supplement request procedure is when the body shop picks up the phone and calls the appraiser. Those days are quickly disappearing. Insurers want to control every minute of their appraisers’ day. Supplement request hotlines have been common for years. Separating you from the appraiser is all part of insurer’s control over your business. Supplement request forms ratchets up that control an extra notch or two.
My new Supplement Request Software takes some of this control back. It takes literally seconds to fill out and email a supplement request. The form is generic. No logos, no insurer specific format. But all the information they ask for, and more, is on the form. There is absolutely no logical reason for any insurer to reject the form generated by this software.
When you first start the software it grabs all the estimates that you have extracted using the EMS feature of your estimating system. When you start the software for the first time you will have to browse to the folder where your estimating system stores the EMS files. That’s all the setup you’ll have to do.
All you do is click the customer’s name in the box on the left and type in whatever additional information you want to give the insurer. You can also choose to leave everything else blank and form will just contain the bare essentials about the claim. As long as you fill out the insurance information in your estimating system, that information will be pulled into the software and printed on the form.
Once you have everything filled out to your satisfaction, you can print the form and fax it, or you can create a PDF file and email it. The software creates the PDF file automatically and opens your default mail client. If you use a web based mail like yahoo or hotmail the PDF file is saved to a folder on your computer so you can attach it to an email manually. Here is what the form looks like filled out.