Prompted by one of the blog comments I received this week, I thought I’d take a moment to explain what the overall objectives of DCS, Inc. are and why I post the types of articles and subjects I do.
First, let me say that I am aware that we are now living in a culture where a lot of people are offended by everything. While I don’t purposefully try to offend people, I do intend to be a source of knowledge and information that instructs insureds what the claims process is all about and how they need to work through it. And yes, some people are offended by that, but in the long run, it is far better TO KNOW about the claims process than not know.
Lindanee’s Blog began sometime in 2001 as a column called “Inside UnumProvident” and was published in Jim Mooney’s newsletter just after the Unum “60 Minutes” exposé. I started the column because as a “Unum insider” I found way too much false and inaccurate information on the Internet and felt that insureds and claimants needed a better source of knowledge than the “old wives tales” from the Net.
When I began DCS, Inc. one of the objectives I established was, “to provide knowledge about the claims process equal to that of the insurance companies making liability decisions for claims.” At the time I felt, and still do, that far too many insureds are taken advantage of simply because they are not knowledgeable about the claims process, and as a result hand over their claims without really knowing what they did created risk, not security.
Therefore, while it is important for a Consultant to provide “encouragement”, there must be a balance of providing contractual knowledge, strategy, and process that represents the more realistic side of managing disability claims. My heart really goes out to insureds who trust the system to provide benefits to age 65 only to find their claims denied at 50 and not really know or understand why. I’ve also been contacted by far too many people living out of their cars because of denied disability claims.
Most of my clients are aware that I do not “walk softly” or “on eggshells” when communicating what needs to be done to successfully manage claims. Why? Because there is far too much money and family financial security at stake, for me to soften the message about what needs to be done in order to pacify those who are “offended by everything.” Most insureds may not even realize that the financial reserve value of their claims often exceeds one million dollars, or what they would be giving up with just one little mistake.
DCS, Inc. uses the SMART based objective determination system to provide assistance with disability claims. When I am approached by a potential new client I first identify SPECIFIC issues and red flags that need to be resolved. The issues involved with disability claims should always be MEASURABLE, meaning they have a Plan or policy contractual origin that can be defended. Next, objectives are prioritized as ACHIEVABLE and strategies are put in place to position claims in the best interests of insureds and claimants to achieve success with continued benefits.
DCS, Inc.’s goals and resolvable issues are REALISTIC. For example, one claim will not resolve twenty years of Unum’s bad faith history. Having REALISTIC objectives recognizes that not all aspects of the claims process are under our control, but that working within the given process can ACHIEVE all of the expectations of a disability contract.
Finally, DCS, Inc. works within a TIMELY frame subject to the unique circumstances of each claim. TIMELY does not always mean sending in forms on time, but can also be part of a strategy to provide information at the best possible time, under the best type of circumstances, in the best possible way.
It is possible that DCS Clients reading this blog may not have realized that there is a “procedural plan” that I use to identify problem areas with claims and attempt to resolve them. Therefore, my 98% success rate has more to do with implementing a SMART objective strategy than trying to “soften” the message to keep everyone “encouraged”, but still have claims at risk.
Again, this post was prompted by a comment I recently received. There is a definite method to my organization and management of claims that I believe contributes positive encouragement by helping insureds continue to receive much needed benefits they are entitled to under the terms of their Plans and policies.