You’ve all heard me say it over and over again- documentation, documentation, and documentation! But what exactly do I mean and why is this so important?
E&O claims or potential claims can often come down to “he said, she said” scenarios involving a lack of coverage or insufficient limits. As an agent, it’s about what you can prove that happened that could mean the difference between the claim being dismissed or moving forward.
Remember the 5 W’s and 1 H:
When you are documenting remember you want to capture the who, what, when, why, and how of the situation.
Who – With whom did you have the interaction?
What – What details were were discussed?
When – If necessary be sure to put the date and time on your documentation. If you have date/time stamp because it’s electronic communication, then you’re set. If it’s handwritten be sure to capture this information.
Why – Document the purpose of the interaction. Change to the policy, coverage question-why are they asking the question? Are they considering making a change in the future due to an upcoming life event, etc. Do you need to follow up?
How – if this was a phone call or in-person meeting? How this interaction took place is important as well.
You may be thinking: “Judy, you’re crazy! This is too much to capture, why are you telling us this?”
Because it’s not just the quantity of the documentation that is important, but also its quality. Documentation of transactions and interactions with customers is the most important factor in defense so you want to be as detailed as possible. Remember, it can be the deciding factor between a need to settle the claim or not.