A claims management company is a professional service offering advocacy, advice, and consultations for individuals and groups looking to settle insurance claims. The types of claims handled by claims management services can come from a variety of insured parties, including homeowners, business owners, injured persons, hospitals, and real estate investors; a claims management company typically specializes in one or two areas of legal expertise. In addition to practical legal advice, the company might also provide thorough investigations of filed claims, input on settlement negotiation, and, if necessary, they may also enter in a cooperative relationship with outside counsel during any litigation.
The history of claims management is a somewhat turbulent one. In the 1990s, claims management companies in the United Kingdom saw a massive rise in claims and experienced huge profits. This led to questionable sales tactics, embellished claims, and astronomical commissions. Eventually, government officials in British administrative law intervened, and all British claims management companies subsequently became highly regulated. The track record of claims management in other countries around the world has been, on the whole, significantly more reputable.
If a claims management company is hired by an individual or a business, the company provides legal aid in support of the claimant's filing. Professionals working in claims management have extensive knowledge of both the legal system and the insurance industry. With this unique skill set, they set out to maximize recoveries on behalf of the claimant.
Claims management companies do not just represent claimants, however. They may also be hired by a hospital or business that is being targeted by a claim. In these cases, claims professionals go to work investigating the claim, almost becoming detectives working on behalf of the business. They might interview all parties involved in a claim, any witnesses to the incident, and any professionals who can provide input into the nature of the claim. If litigation is required, the claims management professional will typically advise and work closely with the business or hospital's legal representatives.
In real estate cases, a claims management company will commonly come on board to provide legal services after a property has experienced some sort of major damage. They may represent the homeowner, a landlord, or an investor in the property. The claims management experts identify property losses and work to accelerate the claims process since, in many instances, a claimant may be unable to live in his or her own home.