Nobody likes to wait. It can be a frustrating experience, whether it’s standing in an endless line at the supermarket checkout—where somehow, the line you’ve picked always turns out to be the slowest-moving one—or being on hold with a customer service centre. In my experience, this frustration usually stems from one specific problem: feeling like you’re not in control. 

As a claims manager, part of my role at Allianz Trade in France is giving our customers back that control and keeping them from spending valuable time chasing and waiting for information and payments. I do this by helping them prepare for the unexpected, and by ensuring that the process runs smoothly when a trade credit insurance claim has to be filed. 

I have seen countless times how indemnification processes can be held up when steps have been missed or documents are incomplete. By keeping a close eye on the most commonly recurring issues, I’ve identified a few of the main sources of frustration, and how to avoid them. These are the key steps businesses should consider in order to make the claims process work better for them. 
Make sure you have a good organisational system in place. In the event that you need to make a claim, you’ll save yourself a lot of the stress of trying to find documents for your insurer. Consider using an Excel spreadsheet that you can easily share with your credit insurer if needed. This will also help your insurer identify and review transactions much more quickly.
When you’re filling out your claim documentation, check and double check that you have included every piece of relevant information. If you need to send multiple invoices and statements of account, make sure that these are all together, so whoever is handling your claim will easily understand it. Forgetting to send something or omitting an important invoice can create otherwise avoidable delays.
When it comes to making a claim, make sure that you have precisely followed any contractual delays of your policy before contacting your insurer. These delays will vary from contract to contract and country to country, and according to the legal situation of your debtor (for example, depending on whether it’s an insolvency case or a simple failure to pay on time). Always make sure that you wait until the contractual deadline has passed before filing a claim. 
Breaks in communication are one of the main reasons I see for delays in processing claims. If you have sent off your documentation and are awaiting the results of a claim, make sure to respond promptly to any requests from your insurer’s assessment team. They will contact you with any issues that they have found, for example uncertainty about a debtor’s address, or needing further documents (such as purchase orders or proofs of delivery). It is also important to inform your insurer of any payments received during the waiting period, so that they can correctly calculate the indemnification amount.
Make sure that you are familiar with the terms of your policy, and keep a copy of it to refer to. This will inform you of any terms and conditions or relevant waiting periods, and save you time contacting your insurer for basic information.  Knowing your contractual delays and respecting them will help you benefit from your indemnification rights. For example, your policy could entitle you to a contribution to collection fees of up to 90%!
It’s relatively easy to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for an indemnification situation. But a knowledgeable trade credit insurer can help make the process even smoother. By combining knowledge with personalised advice, our claims assessors help clients take control, save time and protect their cash flow

Gabriela Quinza

Claims Manager,
Allianz Trade in France