Make Your Insurance Claim as Easy as PIE

How to Make Your Insurance Claim as Easy as PIE
There’s been an incident. You need to start the claims process. To many in this scenario, this responsibility not only looms large, but can feel intimidating. Whether the situation involves an employee injury, an auto accident, or property damage, follow this PIE recipe to make the process faster, easier, and less intimidating.

Photograph: Capture images of the scene. Photograph vehicle damage, physical injuries, and the location of the incident. Documenting everything when it happens will help provide accurate information for all parties involved.

Inscribe: In addition to taking photos, write down all the details. Things may seem crystal clear at the time, but memories fade. Create clear notes that cover who is involved, where it happened, what time, what the circumstances were, and any other pertinent data. This material will be helpful for insurance providers as well as for you when you review the situation later on.

Expedite: File the claim ASAP. The sooner you can get all the information to your insurance provider, the better. Fresh information is clearest. Supplying details right away also allows the carrier to provide quicker and more accurate service.

As you go through this process, keep in mind that your insurance provider is your partner, there to help you through every step. Like you, the insurer wants your claims process to be as efficient and painless as possible.

Contact your agent if you have questions, and respond as quickly as possible to your insurer’s requests. Providing additional documentation or statements in a timely way will help create a seamless process for your claim.

GIGO Is Impacting Decision Making – and Not in a Good Way

Some decision makers will talk the talk about leveraging data to increase revenue and better serve their customers. But when it comes to walking the walk, they stumble.

Although the data ecosystem has spawned a dictionary of buzzwords such as “predictive analytics,” “Hadoop,” and even the term “Big Data” itself, many remain skeptical about the quality behind the buzzwords. It’s the GIGO syndrome – Garbage In, Garbage Out – and it’s affecting businesses both small and large.

In a study of more than 1,400 data professionals, conducted by information services company Experian, 84% of US respondents say Big Data is essential to successfully executing their business strategies.

But while they recognize the power of data, they lack confidence in their own information; the study noted that businesses believe 27% of their data is inaccurate.

To be reliable and valid, data input must be complete and linked across all input sources, as well as accurate, consistent, and timely.

Unfortunately, many businesses are hampered by legacy data collection methods or siloed corporate structures that undermine the confidence in the quality of the data they collect.

Obviously, conclusions based on faulty data are useless or even misleading, so strategists are reluctant to base new initiatives, fiscal decisions, or significant operating changes solely on their own data.

However, even with data of proven quality, many still rely on educated guesses or gut feelings when making critical decisions or planning future strategies.

The result: The GIGO syndrome is slowing or eliminating many business growth opportunities, and with that, success.

Desperately Seeking Leaders … for Today and Tomorrow
Young People Leaders

Real leadership requires two things: a vision of what’s possible, and a talent for motivating others to make that vision a reality.

But how do we recognize leadership when we see it? And more important, how can we build those all-important leaders of tomorrow, today?

In a recent Entrepreneur article, writer Nicolas Cole describes leadership as a set of steady-state personality traits: “It’s not something you choose to be one minute and then choose not to be the next.”

Cole believes leaders know what they don’t know, which inspires them to be good listeners, smart thinkers, and conscientious seekers of information. As he tells us, a leader doesn’t want to be the smartest person in the room; leaders prefer to surround themselves with those who are experts in their fields.

Cole identifies nine behaviors of real leaders, ranging from never acting on the spur of the moment to always doing what needs to be done to making criticism constructive rather than negative.

Of course, some of these behaviors are innate. But business leaders hope they are teachable, too. In an article for People Matters titled “Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders,” author Guillaume Gevrey describes the latest approach to building tomorrow’s leaders: “(Companies) are now looking at creating leadership incubators to impart the required leadership and management skills… . Leadership incubators, also popularly known as greenhouse (programs), are based on action learning.”

Convinced that action learning is the essential ingredient required for creating tomorrow’s leaders, Gevrey adds: “For participants, it is a more engaging way to develop critical skills that they will need as they grow in the organization but also a sign that their leadership trusts them to solve mission-critical problems.”

Positively visionary!

Is Your Business Prepared for a Disaster?
You may have the best plans in place for marketing, customer service, and growth, but if your business isn’t prepared for a disaster, it could all be for nothing.

When disaster strikes, businesses that aren’t prepared often don’t survive. Whether it’s natural or man-made, a major catastrophic event could close your doors forever if you’re not ready for it. It’s essential to get up and running again quickly. And this is possible only if you plan ahead.

Help prepare your business for disaster (and prevent minor events from becoming disasters) with these suggestions:

Evaluate and rate your risks

Start by evaluating your business. What disasters are you most likely to encounter? Rate them in terms of probability and severity – would your business be more affected by a hail storm or by a data breach? Once you’ve determined where your biggest risks lie, you can focus your efforts on protecting your business.

Back up data safely

It doesn’t matter the type of business; in today’s marketplace, every company relies on the electronic files that are critical to its operations. Have you backed up this information somewhere safe? Cloud storage now makes this process fairly simple for small businesses. Make sure all your critical data is backed up daily, and ensure you and your employees know how to access backups in case of emergency. You should also verify regularly that your backup systems are functional and reliable.

Communications plan

Do you have an emergency communications plan? If your business flow is interrupted by disaster, you need to be able to communicate both internally and externally, even when regular means of communication are down. Establish backup communication channels now so they’re ready when you need them.

Employee involvement

You may need to protect some aspects of your disaster preparedness measures, but do share as much of your disaster preparedness plan as possible with employees, so they know what their roles are in an emergency. Conduct drills, and develop an emergency preparedness manual to discuss in employee meetings. Answer any questions your employees might have.

Available resources

You don’t have to make these preparations alone. In fact, you shouldn’t; you have important internal resources available. Enlist the help of key employees. Assign them roles to fill if your company is faced with a disaster.

As well as internal resources, you also have a number of external resources available to you. The Small Business Administration, for example, offers emergency preparedness resources, including a strong focus on disaster recovery options. The link is

Your insurance provider is also a resource. Discuss with your agent whether you have sufficient insurance coverage in the event of a disaster.

In considering your company’s degree of disaster readiness, have you now identified areas where you may not be prepared? Don’t wait; deal with these gaps now. Disasters are rarely expected. You may not know when they are coming, but you can take the right steps to ensure your business is prepared – and can fully recover – when one hits.