What makes this resource so effective and why have carriers relied on RTF Consulting for over 20 years to reduce settlement expense? Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Who is RTF and what is your role?
RTF is a property loss consulting firm that coordinates a national buying arrangement with professional-grade tool and equipment manufacturers on behalf of the insurance industry. Distributor-level pricing is obtained based upon the collective purchase volume of many carriers, which allows us to accurately determine replacement cost and, once approved, facilitate replacement.
How can insurance carriers get such a low price?
The insurance industry as a whole purchases many millions of dollars in tools each year to settle claims. Coordinating this volume allows carriers to obtain exclusive pricing, order placement and shipping arrangements, which allows carriers to promptly put policyholders back to whole, reduce settlement expense and provide a value-added service.
Is this resource different from a typical replacement service?
Yes. In addition to specialization, which provides significant depth and knowledge of tools, RTF is a paid consultant that is professionally and ethically bound to provide the most cost effective settlement solution and unbiased tool and equipment expertise, along with unparalleled service to policyholders.
Why should policyholders care? How do they benefit?
Operating cost-effectively is critical in every business. The ability to reduce settlement expense while providing policyholders with streamlined and prompt service allows carriers to better control premium rates. Policyholders want to be insured with a carrier that operates in this manner.
I'm not sure if the policyholder will agree to use this resource. Should I confirm before utilizing?
This resource simply helps to establish a carrier’s true replacement cost. It's always the policyholder’s choice where to purchase replacement tools, but if they choose to pay more on their own, the carrier is not responsible for additional expense. Consent is not required to obtain a replacement cost evaluation and you can be assured that replacement is never executed without the insured’s authorization.
What tool and equipment manufacturers are involved?
There are over 1,800 professional-grade brands in the automotive service/repair, construction, contractor, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other trade areas such as: Snap-on, Mac, Matco, Cornwell, Craftsman, Hunter Engineering, Rotary Lift, Fluke, Dewalt, Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, Honda Generators, Paslode, Hilti, Greenlee, Ridgid, Klein, and the list goes on.
What information do you need to begin the process?
The insured’s loss inventory, which would preferably include the brand, manufacturer's part and/or model number and age (if ACV is requested). This allows us to expedite documentation for settlement and guarantees accuracy at time of replacement. If this information is not provided, we are required to research items involved and/or in some cases need to request additional specifics from policyholder to ensure accuracy (all of which can delay the process).
What about warranty of items shipped?
A common misconception is that local dealers offer warranty when in fact it’s the manufacturer. All products replaced through the program are brand-new and come with a full manufacturer warranty.
What is the turnaround time to evaluate a claim?
On a typical claim with part numbers provided, evaluation report is completed within two business days. If additional information is needed and/or research, it may take longer. However, we will contact and keep claim representative informed of status. (Call ahead regarding special circumstances and/or "rush" situations.)
What is included in the evaluation report?
Evaluation provides verification of each part number, accurate replacement research for discontinued items, retail price and the carrier’s replacement cost. Carrier may use evaluation report as documentation to determine settlement and/or have RTF immediately contact the insured to facilitate replacement.
Are there fees involved to utilize this service?
Yes. A professional fee structure is paid by carrier and has been approved by the respective home office. For specifics, the claim representative should contact his / her supervisor or RTF. Although this may be a different concept than accustomed to, the return on investment is significant!
Why pay an evaluation fee when other vendors don't charge for their quotes?
RTF is not a vendor quoting a product and hoping for a sale. As a paid consultant, you receive professional, unbiased and thorough expertise, combined with substantial expense reduction.
What if the policyholder has ACV coverage? Can carriers still utilize the program?
Absolutely! Our evaluation will include ACV. Once the carrier responsibility is determined, RTF can promptly facilitate replacement up to an established amount and collect any additional funds directly from policyholder or the carrier may process a cash settlement if policyholder elects not to replace.
What about the policyholder's mobile tool distributor?
All tools ship factory direct to policyholder; they will not come through local dealer. If claim involves Snap-on, Mac or Matco, policyholder’s mobile distributor is compensated by their respective company for tools replaced which ensures nationwide warranty coverage and eliminates concern about local dealer being left out of the loop.
How long does it take for policyholders to receive new tools?
Once carrier verifies coverage, RTF has policyholder authorize and approve items for delivery. Upon receipt of this, orders are transmitted immediately. Manufacturers process orders on a priority basis and typically ship the same or next day. Most ship via UPS or FedEx and take approximately 1-4 business days for delivery depending on zone. *Overnight or 2nd Day Air delivery is available when carrier determines circumstances warrant expense.
Will there be surprise shipping and handling charges?
No. We have negotiated aggressive shipping terms with most manufacturers to include standard ground delivery. Exceptions to this are Craftsman tools and some heavy equipment or industrial items such as; vehicle hoists, lifts, aligners, racks, etc. When items on a claim fall into this category we inform claim rep at time of evaluation.
How will policyholders know the status of their replacement?
RTF dedicates an easy to reach service representative that communicates with policyholder on a regular basis, providing complete follow through on delivery and satisfaction from order placement through final delivery.
What is the policyholder's response to this settlement option once replacement is complete?
At the close of replacement RTF forwards a Policyholder Satisfaction Survey encouraging honest feedback regarding replacement process, our level of service and their overall claim experience. All surveys returned are sent to carrier Home Office to be shared with branch offices. We are pleased to report that over 97 percent of policyholders responding believe RTF’s involvement was a value-added service.
If you have other questions, we encourage you to contact us at 651-633-3611.