Prudential “Texts?” And How Do The Texts Get Into The Record?

One of my clients recently received a “text message” from a claims handler at Prudential. I have to ask myself how would “text messages” get into the Administrative Record (file) unless the claims handler took an added step of electronically putting it there. There is always a danger that the official record would be grossly incomplete if text messages were not added to the file.

New technology isn’t always a good thing. Prudential’s diary system is very close to SOAP note format but if “texts” to claimants are allowed how do they get into the record? And, following Unum’s trend of using web portals against insureds, will texting also be used to discredit claims? Are the texts stored on the Cloud? Who has access to them? Are they ever deleted? This can get really scary.

Insureds and claimants SHOULD NOT be using email, text messages, or visiting insurance website portals at all to communicate important information to insurers. You should insist on letters in the mail and written verified receipt of information faxed or sent. Why do you think insurers are asking for email addresses and cell phone numbers?

If your insurer sends you an email or text message it should be informed that you prefer not to communicate in that way, and that you prefer letters in the mail.

It is never a good idea to put insurance text messages on the web. Text messages, in my opinion. are the beginning of an incomplete record.