We recently launched our Rapid Police Reports service to make the process of ordering reports and other documents from the police much easier. In conversations with our clients we noticed that ordering police reports for road traffic accidents was something that seemed to be causing all of their claims handlers undue stress, but why?
Ascertaining which police force is dealing with an incident
Most of the headaches claims handlers have can be highlighted but just looking at how sometimes it can be difficult to find out which police force is dealing with an incident – the very first step in the process. Okay, straight forward if the incident took place in central Manchester – you can be confident Greater Manchester Police are dealing, but when the incident happens in the middle of the countryside or close to force borderlines it can get difficult.
Contacting the police about police reports
What makes this worse is that it isn’t easy to resolve, handlers try to pick up the phone and speak to a force only to be greeted with a recorded message that’s impossible to bypass. This can often leave the only option being to write to the force to ascertain if they were involved.
Time delays in getting reports from the police
Unfortunately, many forces are suffering with a huge backlog and have limited resources to respond to written correspondence – this means it can often take weeks and sometimes months to get a response. So, a claims handler could be 5 or 6 weeks down the line before they have even found out which force is dealing with an incident.
Different processes for ordering police reports
On top of the core issues with ordering police reports there are several that are administrative in nature and are just as problematic.
Once a handler has identified which force is dealing with an issue, they need to order the report, with the problem being that all forces have a different process as to how a report should be ordered. This includes everything from the reports having different names, to different information being required or pre-requisite reference numbers having to be requested. On top of this very few forces operate the same pricing model for police reports – and the processes and fees can also change.
Challenges bought on by the pandemic
There are also some further challenges bought on by the pandemic and due to the many claims handlers currently working from home. These relate to quite basic functions, from printing of forms having to be done on home printers that not everyone has, but that quite often a cheque needs to be sent – which would typically be printed and sent by the finance team. With all these functions operating in silos remote of each other the process is stretched out and made harder.
Not all the issues relating to ordering police reports are on the police side, insurers sometimes struggle to. Payments can take time to be made causing delays, but further to this finance teams will often pay a force in bulk for several reports that have been ordered. However, the police often struggle to allocate these to specific reports orders, they are eventually returned, and the report needs to be requested again. Finally, with no easy automated way to keep track of each claims handlers orders audit can be difficult – and due to the length of time the process can often take to receive reports they can get forgotten.
How can NetWatch make ordering Police reports easier?
Thankfully the Rapid Police Reports system from NetWatch resolves many if not all of these issues, and makes ordering reports a breeze. To find out how the system resolves these issues read our article Take The Pain Out of Ordering Police Reports