E&O TIP #2

A caller should be advised in a voice-mail or answering machine message that merely indicating a need for coverage will not put coverage in effect. In order to place coverage, the client must speak to a real person.

Suggested language for individual voice-mail messages:

“This is John Smith. I'm on the phone or away from my desk right now. If you are calling to make a policy change or to request coverage, you need to speak to me or another agency representative, as we are unable to put coverage into effect based on a voice-mail request. Please leave a message and I'll call you right back, or press 0 if you would like to speak to someone else. Thank you.”

Suggested language for a night attendant:

“Thank you for calling XYZ Agency. Our office is currently closed. If you are calling to report a claim and this is an emergency, please call 888-555-1212. If you are calling to make a policy change or to request coverage, you need to speak to an agency representative, as we are unable to put coverage into effect based on a voice-mail request. Please leave your name and number and we will be happy to return your call during business hours.”