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Is 12 to 18 minutes per claim file adequate?


A broker I spoke with last week told me he did the math on the average amount of time work comp claims adjusters spend with each indemnity claim file.

Keep in mind the broker I spoke with is in California, where smart risk managers regularly pay their third party administrators or insurers additional fees to have more adjusters reviewing claims than the number of adjusters they contract for in other states.

They like keeping the number of claims per adjuster lower for California than for other states because of California's legal and comp system administrative complexities.

James Bacon, a managing principal for Integro Insurance Brokers in San Francisco said the average adjuster in California typically has 150 indemnity claims on their desk.

If an adjuster with that many files can produce at maximum productivity level for 6 hours per day over 5 days per week, 50 weeks of each year, then each file probably isn't getting enough attention.

But then subtract additional time an adjuster is required to spend on duties other than managing those 150 claims, such as time spent on new, active claims landing on their desks.

Mr. Bacon said he figures California adjusters are spending about 12 to 18 minutes per case file per month.

That model may work in some states where administrative mandates are less burdensome, but it doesn't work well in California, Mr. Bacon said.

I wonder if it even works well in states with less complex work comp administrative rules. Please send me your thoughts, I would appreciate the education on how much time should be devoted per file in order for adjusters to do a really great job..

I interviewed Mr. Bacon for a story running in Business Insurance this week. The story addresses a California Supreme Court ruling on whether insurance companies are required to pay their adjusters overtime pay.

That story is available here, and it has implications on how much time adjusters spend on claims.

And apart from workers comp, I hope the best this new year for everyone.