We have a large claims team who handle customer claims and also liaise with brokers and third party suppliers, such as repairers. When a customer makes a claim they are allocated a dedicated claims handler. This means that the individuals who work in the claims team have the satisfaction of dealing with a customer from the start of their claim until resolution.
All the claims teams sit together and the claims director interacts with every member of the department individually, providing strong leadership and creating an environment of collaborative team working.
The claims department comprises of five areas:
Technical Support Unit
Responsible for the department’s administration, including scanning and attributing post and emails, generating new claims on the system, managing engineering reports and salvage, notifying injury claims to the Compensation Recovery Unit, and handling windscreen claims.
This is where any budding Claims Handler starts their career. It is an area that is sheltered from incoming telephone calls and direct contact with customers, providing an environment that enables trainees to learn rapidly without undue distraction. As well as new trainees, existing claims handlers are able to return to the academy from the Technical Teams to provide them with an opportunity to refocus their activities.
This is the largest area of the claims department with four Technical Teams and plans to increase this further over time. Each has a Team Leader and one or two deputies, together with a mixture of Claims Handlers at various levels of experience. Each individual has a portfolio of claims suited to their level of experience. Each claim is handled by the same individual from the moment it is notified until it is settled. There is no specialisation of activities, so no individual will perform the same task repetitively and can expect a varied working day.
Counter Fraud Team
There are individuals who exaggerate or invent claims, or take part in activities to gain financial advantage and the insurance industry is considered fair game. This includes activities such as misrepresentation of fact, claiming for injury when there is none, pretending to be an injured passenger in a vehicle when they weren’t there, claiming for injuries sustained in accidents that did not occur, deliberately causing accidents to claim for personal injury and claiming where there has been no loss. At the lower end of the scale there are individuals simply exaggerating their claims. At the other, there are organised criminal rings engaged in fraud on a large scale.
The Counter Fraud Team tackle a wide range of fraudulent activity. Through the use of various databases and investigative techniques, they have successfully identified fraudulent activity, prevented payment of false claims and assisted in bringing individuals to account for their actions.
The success the Counter Fraud team has in stopping fraud enables Sabre to keep the cost of insurance down for the vast majority of customers who are honest.
Liability Claims Unit
The Liability Claims Unit deals with genuine claims from claimants who have suffered serious to catastrophic injuries in road accidents and claims from the dependants of those killed. Typical injuries include significant orthopaedic injuries, amputation, paralysis and brain damage. The claims can reach sums in excess of several million pounds. The team engages with the victims through their representatives and actively involve themselves in the injured person’s rehabilitation to secure the best possible outcome from the injury sustained.
Starting a career in claims
In the initial weeks following induction, a Trainee Claims Handler can expect to spend a short time in each area of the department to understand the roles and meet every member of the department. Training in claims handling starts at this time and new recruits learn how to deal with soft tissue personal injury claims, third party vehicle damage claims and credit hire claims.
Trainee Claims Handlers complete their probation in the Training Academy and stay there until they are ready to move to a Technical Team. We appreciate that individuals learn at different speeds and their progress is tailored accordingly. As they progress, they start to deal with repair and total loss claims,recoveries, fire and theft claims, split liability claims and claims with more significant injuries.
New trainees start on Sabre’s Milestone Scheme, which rewards them in line with their performance with pay increments every three months during the first two years and at six months in the third year to ensure that the remuneration received reflects the value added to the individual through the investment in their training.
Typically, career progression is through Trainee Claims Handler levels 1 – 3, Claims Handler, Senior Claims Handler, Deputy Team Leader & Team Leader. There are also opportunities to diversify into the Counter Fraud Team or Liability Claims Unit.
A career in claims is demanding, diverse and ultimately rewarding.