If you’ve kept up with our blog over the last few months, you already know that working with a quality transcription provider is essential to the overall claims process. But why do insurance carriers need to work with a transcription company in the first place, and what do they do with the text files once they’ve received them back?
Here are four ways insurers can utilize transcription and translation services.
#1: As Part of Claims Files Destined for Arbitration and Subrogation
One way that many property and casualty companies utilize transcription and translation services is for files that are in recovery.
The arbitration and subrogation portions of the claims process are essential. This is the time in which insurance companies are able to reclaim outstanding funds that have already been paid out and make a positive impact on the insurer’s bottom line.
In situations that involve sending a basic subrogation file to an adverse carrier that has accepted some degree of liability, including a transcribed statement is more of a courtesy to help them complete their file. It depends on each individual carriers’ practices, but overall it’s a common practice throughout the industry.
But when it comes to an arbitration claim, the need for a textual transcript is even greater. In order to make each case as complete as possible, Arbitration Forums specifically recommends having a verbatim transcription done on each recorded audio statement. The reason for this is that arbitrators who review cases do not have the ability to listen to audio files and could be missing out on key data by not having the information included.
Consider this example as a prime reason why a transcript is important for arbitration. Imagine a situation where an insured’s statement greatly affects the outcome of a case. The only two options you have as an adjuster is to send in the file with your notes on what happened during the call or send a verbatim transcription over as part of your findings. In this situation, your notes are generally considered secondhand information and won’t be weighted as heavily as a direct transcript. Thus, there’s a big chance that the liability outcome could be very different simply because a transcript was or was not wasn’t included in your submission.
#2: To Translate Spanish Audio to English
For some insurance companies, it isn’t always possible to keep a staff member who speaks Spanish on the claims team. This is where many firms opt to use an outside transcription and translation company.
The process works whether your audio file includes a discussion with an insured, a claimant, a witness, or virtually anyone else. Once the audio is submitted, it is translated into English text so that the adjuster can clarify what the other party said during the recorded statement. In situations where a friend or family member might be translating on the phone for the person you are interviewing, this transcript can be key, as it allows you to compare what the person actually said in their native language with what the third-party described during the call. Allegis even gives you the option of including the original Spanish is textual form, including along with the English translation to provide, making the transcript as comprehensive as possible.
This service is also important if you regularly send files to arbitration or your company’s special investigation unit. Many arbiters and investigators do not speak Spanish, but appreciate having a text transcript that has been translated for their review.
#3: To Help Detect Fraud
Another way insurers can utilize transcription and translation services is to help detect fraud.
As much as it is great to think that everyone who files an auto or home claim is telling the truth, it just isn’t how things pan out in reality. According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately $32 million is paid out on fraudulent property casualty claims each year, or right around ten percent of all paid losses.
Where the audio files and subsequent transcription documents play a role is that they provide documentation coming directly from insureds and claimants. These statements can often be compared to one another to help find discrepancies or even outright lies, as analyzing written language is far easier for an adjuster than having to sift through audio files. In addition, verbatim insurance transcription files generally include pauses, mix-ups in language, and other cues that can indicate the occurrence of fraudulent activity.
The other reason why having a transcript is important when it comes to fighting claims fraud is that it allows investigators evidence when they are trying to prosecute a third party for insurance fraud. In court cases, these transcripts are often used as a way to prove guilt. If the file ever goes to litigation, that transcript can make a difference because it specifically captures every on the audio recording.
#4: To Make File Notes Easier to Read Among Claims Staff
A fourth way that insurers can use transcription and translation documents is to simply keep their workflow moving smoothly.
When you convert audio to text, you end up with a file that can be read over quite easily and quickly. Should the file change hands in your department at any time, the new person on the claim can be brought up to speed without too much effort. For example, if an adjuster is out sick, a coworker can easily pick up the claim and continue working on it by reading the recorded statement transcription. Not only does this make the whole process easier overall, it saves the second adjuster a great deal of time, as reading the file takes far less effort than listening to a recording in real time. And, as anyone who has worked in the industry will tell you, time is a critical component to effectively managing claims!
Furthermore, this ability is also important for companies that regularly send claims through an escalation system. The previous adjuster does not have to provide as many direct notes in the file, as the new adjuster will be able to look information up using the exact words from the recorded statement transcription.
As you can tell from these four reasons, transcription and translation files are crucial to the way claims adjusters conduct business. While these are prime examples of why insurers need this type of service, they aren’t the only reasons. The ability for supervisors to review adjuster work for positive attributes, claims departments to look for examples on how to handle customer service, and several other important facets to the overall claims process all involve audio transcription files.