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Recoveries, Low hanging fruit – Money back to your top line

Recoveries, the Bermuda triangle of the claims process where all too often we see recoverable monies slip through the cracks, forgotten about or not given the priority they deserve.


To avoid the Bermuda triangle, it is critical to gather all relevant information at the onset of a claim. These will include quotes/invoices, Third Party details, insurance details, witnesses contact details, obtain statements and apply for police reports etc.  The recovery process is then set and, with a tight diary system your client’s money should come rolling in in no time.


Now, the sheer thought of a high value recovery sets the adrenaline off and the thought of recovering $50k, $80k or $150k and presenting this to a client brings on a drive and determination that a true “recoveries expert” can relate to. It sets the mind on fire as you take on a “hunter” mentality. These high value recoveries require being armed with as much information one can unearth and an unwavering strategy.


The higher the quantum the greater the push back from the opposition.  You may see nonsensical liability denials offering speculation as a defence and/or a smoke screen of deflection thrown your way knowing all the while they will be coughing up the cash at some stage.  Each party has a strategy and it’s up to you to be firm and on the forefront of your pursuit with sharp and concise communication outlining why the other party is unequivocally negligent. Take the “I’m not going to entertain your nonsensical argument” approach.


Beware of the pitfalls of getting caught up in the process and not reviewing your quantum regularly.  Ask yourself, how far do you drive a recovery and at what point do you determine it is no longer cost effective to pursue.  All too often we see much emotion invested in low value claims where it becomes more about the principle.  When you look back at the time you have devoted to a low value recovery, the numbers at times just don’t stack up and, you will find your efforts and resources have outweighed the quantum sought.


Be mindful too not to cross the line when frustrated with a debtor who is either argumentative or abusive.  Stay calm. It’s not personal however much it seems it is to them. We are seeing more and more uninsured third parties who owe large sums and as a consequence, their livelihood will be affected for years to come. One needs to be mindful to stay even-tempered throughout communications with debtors and not breach the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Debt Collection Guidelines otherwise, you could find yourself in hot water and in a role reversal paying compensation to a debtor for unconscionable behaviour on your part.


Always remember who you are representing and never bring your brand, or your client’s brand into a negative light. If you are interested in how you can improve your own recoveries process, Proclaim will be running a discussion group on recoveries on 27th April 2017 at our Sydney office – for more details contact us at Proclaim.

Written by Kathy Bellios 


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