We had a conversation the other day that made us think about the ways in which companies — even or maybe especially companies that use TPAs — go about reporting the incidents that spawn claims. We were talking with a prospect, and the conversation went something like this:

Us: What does your reporting process look like?

Them: Everything goes directly to our TPA.

Us: Every incident, every claim, or both?

Them: What’s the difference?

Us: Well, if one accident spawns a physical injury claim and a property damage claim, how do you report them?

Them: We’d report the accident.

Us: How?

Them: We could use a form or a phone number.

Us: Do the forms ever get lost?

Them: Sometimes.

Us: If you use the phone number, do you document the accident?

Them: I guess we’re not sure.

Us: Would the TPA receive or track every claim stemming from that accident?

Them: I guess we’re not sure.

Us: Are there any incidents or accidents that don’t go to the TPA?

Them: I guess we’re not sure.

Us: Since you’re not sure about what gets reported to the TPA and how it gets reported, how do you manage your reporting to ensure the right people know about accidents, to maintain control of your data, to manage your costs, and things like that?

Them: We were afraid you were going to ask us that.

They’re Not Alone

You might be surprised to know the number of companies that take it on faith that everything goes directly to their TPAs. We used to be surprised. But we’re not anymore. But it’s not a difficult problem to fix. And believe it or not, the remedy starts with the definitions of everything and directly:

Everything goes to a TPA only if you systematize the tracking of every incident, systematize the tracking of every claim to every incident, and verify every incident is going to the TPA. Everything goes directly to the TPA only if you submit everything completely and electronically. Paper forms have a way of getting lost. Phone calls have a way of getting forgotten. And here’s the bonus: Everything you track and submit directly to the TPA can be reported quickly and efficiently.

We grant you we’re biased. But tracking and reporting your claims — and managing everything in one system — feels like sound business practice to us.

Can we help you track and report your claims?

We don’t envy municipal risk managers. Having to contend with claims for property damage, workers compensation, and other liabilities; accidents on school yards and sports fields; resident complaints; and more other things than most of us can imagine must leave most risk managers wishing they were jugglers … or octopuses (octopi, if you prefer the Latin derivative).

But while we don’t envy them, we definitely support them.

Don’t Agonize — Organize

When you’re being bombarded with claims, public safety issues, and the other aspects of managing risk, the last thing you can afford is disorganization. That’s why Cloud Claims is incident-based, tracking each claim related to each specific incident. Consider this, however far-fetched it might be: A Department of Public works employee is out plowing snow one night. He has the driver’s side window of his truck rolled down. A neighborhood kid throws a snowball that hits the employee in the head, causes a laceration, and knocks the employee unconscious. Out cold, the employee, with his foot still on the accelerator of his truck, crosses a yard and crashes into a house.

The employee’s medical claim, his workers comp claim, and the resident’s property-damage claim would track to the same incident, including every attendant document, image, or any other related file. In addition, Cloud Claims allows you to track lost time — and to visualize risk trends, incidents vs. claims, and your areas of greatest exposure to liability.

Don’t Complicate — Automate

Even a small town can generate hundreds, if not thousands, of claims in a year. You don’t want to contend with this equation:

[the number of claims, x the documents and files associated with each claims x the time required to manage each one = weeks or months of work]

In contrast, Cloud Claims lets you contend with this equation:

[the number of claims x entry of details x electronic upload x automated workflow = weeks or months of work saved]

Add dashboards that enable you to get the reports needed, when they’re needed, and municipal risk managers reduce their own risk — of stress, of burnout, of overwork, of overtime, and of sweating the small stuff (but their juggling skills might suffer as a result of all that organization and efficiency).

As an added benefit, happier municipal risk managers may very likely result in better service and happier municipalities.

As Robin Williams would have said, “What a concept.”