We took some time to catch up with Sean, an auto claims expert at Sonnet by day and an automotive enthusiast by night, to get his take on dealing with auto claims.
Sean, why do you love working in auto claims?
While insurance is rarely thought of as anyone’s dream job, I love what I do. I find dealing with auto claims especially rewarding as they have an immediate and positive impact on our customers. At the end of the day, I love working with people and know that there’s a direct correlation between how much I’m able to help and customer satisfaction.
If you’ve filed a claim in the past, did you learn anything from a customer standpoint?
I enjoy recreational drives on the weekend and commute quite a bit during the week. Unfortunately, I’ve had two incidents where I had to file a claim. The experiences were a good reminder about the importance of gathering all the right information for the police and your insurance company. While being in an accident sucked, going through the claims process allowed me to move on from the incident, which is a personal reason why I think filing a claim is important. Now I can enjoy my new weekend toy without worrying!
Getting back into your role, what do you think are the most common misconceptions people have about filing an auto claim?
Many people think filing an auto claim is a difficult process and that its adversarial in nature, meaning that its “us” (insurance companies) versus them. Really, we negotiate in good faith and try to give the best offer possible for every claim because at the end of the day, we work for our clients. Our philosophy is simple: we’re on your side and we try to do the best we can for you. Sometimes, people can forget that a contract exists between them and their insurer, so they should brush up on their coverage regularly.
As an expert in this field, could you share with us some “insider tips”?
Yeah definitely! As hard as it may be, try to stay calm after an accident so you can remember to exchange information at the scene and take detailed pictures. Getting rear-ended in my sports car was difficult emotionally but I remembered to snap a few shots of the accident and licence plates of the involved vehicles which helped my claims team a lot.
My second piece of advice is to use your insurance company’s preferred vendor for repairs. These shops, which may be third parties or even your dealership, are vetted to always do the best job and make the process a whole lot easier. Most insurers will guarantee preferred vendor work. If you’re with Sonnet, the repairs will be guaranteed for life.
Lastly, just make sure you have the right coverage and most up-to-date information on your policy. Your insurance company is always there to give you advice on what the best coverage is.
Thanks for sharing! Are there any other ways the claims process can be sped up?
The best way to speed up the process is to make sure you have a single record of all important information. Having simple things such as licence plates, insurance information and even photos in a centralized place will make it easier down the road. I’m big on having everything electronic, so I’d recommend keeping all this info in spreadsheets, folders and PDFs on your computer.