Most people think about insurance as paying claims. Insurance play another important role, that is, to take care of the settlement of the claim.
For example, if you meet with a traffic accident, and you are sued for negligence, the insurance company handles the settlement of the claim. It frees you from the worry about settling the claim. And the insurance company also pays the claim.
As the insurer's claim officers are more experienced on the settlement, they can handle it better than the consumer.
Similarly, under a medical insurance policy, the insurer's doctor can provide a second opinion to make sure that you are getting the right treatment.
For insurance company to play this wider role well, a few conditions are necessary:
1. The claim officer and the policyholder must have the same goal - to seek the most cost effective way to settle the claim.
2. There must be trust between the two parties
3. The policyholder should seek the advice of the insurer earlier, for example, before getting the medical treatment or repairing the car. The insurer should be organised to provide this wider service.
The current state of affairs in insurance companies in Singapore is not up to this standard. More needs to be done to improve the claim process.
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