Subrogation reimbursement is a common business goal, but while carriers often strive to achieve the highest recovery possible as quickly as possible, subrogation is often deprioritized by claims adjusters. Several carriers, risk management insureds, and self-insureds have retained GB’s Centralized Subrogation Team to pursue these opportunities.
Caryn Siebert, VP for Carrier Practice, spoke with Ralph Touch, SVP for Claims Operations, at Gallagher Bassett about how his team is helping carriers pursue subrogation and maximize the recovery of money that would otherwise be left on the table.
Caryn: What prompted GB to set up a Centralized Subrogation Team?
Ralph: The idea began with the concept that a centralized team with a focus on one portion of the file would ensure that subrogation effort is the prime effort of the team. The GB Central Subrogation Team is comprised of experts who specialize in pursuing recovery opportunities, so claim adjusters can focus on their core efforts. Also, the work of subrogation is affirmative; pursuit of subrogation requires affirmative, unwavering effort. The work of claim adjusting is defensive – responding to requests from the claimants. Prior to joining GB, I worked on the carrier side for 26 years. The pursuit of subrogation is often a challenge because it requires different expertise, effort, and timeline. Claim adjusters at carriers are judged by their time cycle, payment, and expense. That is a different drive than subrogation. Subrogation is a pursuit and is focused on cost-efficient reimbursement. The two efforts follow different timelines and have different goals. This is why several GB carrier partners have retained our Centralized Subrogation Team. We focus on successfully managing subrogation opportunities. Building a dedicated team with subrogation-specific experience provides efficiency (positively impacting speed of recovery) and effectiveness (positively impacting recovery amounts).
Caryn: Like you, many members of GB Carrier Practice have previous carrier work experience wherein we had our own in-house subrogation team. What would motivate a carrier to outsource their subrogation to GB?
Ralph: We have found several major advantages to having the GB Central Subrogation Team pursue recovery for our carrier clients. First, the right cost: instead of carriers having the fixed cost of staff handling recoveries, GB offers a tailored variable model that handles the subrogation process on a “percentage of net funds collected” basis. We conduct a comprehensive triage process that combines a blend of both a manual review by our subrogation team as well as predictive modeling tools that help us uncover opportunities to pursue recovery. Second, the right people: our ability to maintain a staff with line-of-business-specific expertise at multiple skill levels lets us match the right person to the right file at the right cost. Third, the right tools: utilizing GB’s custom subrogation system capabilities allows for the monitoring and tracking of subrogation-specific progress throughout the life of the subrogation file in parallel with the claims resolution process instead of after the fact. Fourth, the right discipline: the Central Subrogation Team has a single aim – recovering subrogation funds. That single focus provides a clear line of sight to a singular goal.
Caryn: Well, those are four great reasons for carriers to partner with us regarding subrogation. How do you ensure we achieve superior outcomes and keep the carrier updated?
Ralph: Just like our resolution of general liability, automobile, workers’ compensation, and other core claims, we have clearly defined best practices in our Central Subrogation Team. Those practices have evolved over our 60 years in business, helping us focus on the elements that are critical to optimizing recovery rates and cycle time. We also deliver thorough documentation throughout the life of the file and provide consistent subrogation supervisor involvement at key times throughout the file. Our team also generates subrogation-specific reports whenever a file exceeds $100,000 incurred, regardless of the value of the subrogation claim, at least every 90 days to keep the carrier informed.
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Caryn Siebert, Gallagher Bassett US Vice President for Carrier Practice, is an expert in claims, legal and risk management strategic advice. Connect with Caryn on LinkedIn or the Central Subrogation Team via email for a strategic evaluation of GB’s subrogation capabilities, a review of your data and subrogation process, or a discussion on how best to unlock loss recovery opportunities in your organization.
Ralph Touch, Gallagher Bassett US SVP for Claims Operations, specializes in helping businesses achieve high-impact results to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and drive shareholder value. Connect with Ralph on LinkedIn.