It will now be possible, under most circumstances, to have automobile accident claims processed in one business day.
Cayman First Insurance Company Limited unveiled the new service offering on 11 April during a breakfast for brokers and the media at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. The service launched the next day. Cayman First General Manager Michael Gayle spoke about the new service, called “First Response”.
“We would like to introduce a new value-added service, which we’re confident will revolutionise the motor claim settlement process in the Cayman Islands,” he said.
Mr. Gayle said the traditional insurance claim settle procedure involves as many as 10 different steps and takes two or three days – if a person is lucky – or a long as a week or more.
“Cayman First is pleased to introduce our First Response Accident Scene Assistance Programme,” he said, explaining that the service offers accident scene response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
After having an automobile accident, people insured with Cayman First only need to call to have a First Response team dispatched to the scene of the accident.
“The claim process will start right on site,” Mr. Gayle said.
At the scene, trained First Response personnel will inspect the vehicle, take photographs, measurements and statements and then prepare a repair estimate. This estimate will be accepted by five prearranged preferred repairers.
“It will no longer be necessary for our comprehensive policyholders to have to procure two estimates,” Mr. Gayle said. “They do not even have to procure one estimate. Estimates are prepared by us and accepted by our preferred repairers.”
If the accident occurs between 8.30am and 8pm, Mondays through Friday, the First Response team will arrive on the scene in a customised accident response vehicle.
“This is effectively a mobile office which enables the claim form to be completed right then and there,” Mr. Gayle said, adding that in most cases, it eliminates the need for the insured to visit the office of Cayman First or their broker.
“It cuts out a lot of the hassle associated with the claim process,” he said.
Between 8pm and 8.30am on weekdays and on weekends and public holidays, The Security Centre, who has partnered with Cayman First on the First Response initiative, will respond to the accident scene.
“In handling the after-hours calls, The Security Centre will offer a slightly scaled down version of our full services, but will provide us with a full report by 9am on the next working day immediately following the incident,” Mr. Gayle said.
In order for Cayman First to fully process the claim on the spot, the insured must provide documentation that proves ownership of the vehicle; produce a valid driver’s licence; and show proof of insurance with Cayman First. The Cayman First personnel will then be able to access the company’s database from the First Response van.
First Response personnel will also call police if required, arrange for towing of the vehicle if it can’t be driven, and assist the occupants of the vehicle in securing transportation from the accident scene.
First Cayman is guaranteeing, with some provisions, that the accident claim will be processed within one working day.
“For minor damage, processed is defined as having an offer of settlement,” Mr. Gayle said. “It is conceivable that Paul [Boxwell] and his [First Response] team could settle the claim on the spot.”
For significant damage, Mr. Gayle said processed is defined as the preparation of an estimate acceptable to the five preferred repairers, sufficient to facilitate commencement of repairs, subject to the availability of parts.
Those who use First Response to process their claim get an automatic $100 deduction from their deductible. If the claim is not processed within one working day, except for circumstances beyond First Cayman’s control, claimants will receive a further reduction of the their deductible up to $100, subject to the total reductions not exceeding 50 per cent of the total deductible.
“We are committing to an unparalleled level of service and we’re backing it by putting our money where our mouth is,” Mr. Gayle said.
The guarantee only applies to customers with comprehensive coverage, but Mr. Gayle said the customers with only third party insurance can have First Response personnel attend the scene, where they will take statements and photographs.