Claims Writing Coach

Claims Writing Coach: Avoiding Clichés

Clichés are trite written or verbal expressions that are used over and over, eventually wearing themselves out and communicating very little. At first, a phrase is coined and gains popularity (e.g., “Enclosed please find,” “do not hesitate to call,” “point …

Using Microsoft Word’s Comment Feature to Point Out Issues in Letters

Microsoft Word allows you to comment on another person’s document. I find it helpful to point out mistakes or comment on the structure and phraseology of some of the claims letters I am shown during a webinar or seminar. The …

Some Troublesome Words, Part 1

What’s the difference between “insure” and ensure”? And can you differentiate among “to,” “two,” and “too”? One claims adjuster told me this insure/ensure mix-up was one of his major pet peeves: “Ensure! Please don’t tell me you can ‘insure a …

Ridding Your Writing of Redundancy

Redundancy is a type of wordy phrase in which, usually, one word is giving the message and the other word is, in a different way, repeating the message. In the phrase “VIN Number,” the term “VIN” already means Vehicle Identification …

Linking Your Thoughts With a Semicolon

People are always confusing the semicolon with the colon, but they are quite different. All of the comma rules, in one way or other, are separating a dependent clause from the rest of the sentence (e.g., The manager, who led …

How to Improve the Format of Policy Language in Denial Letters

One of the most cumbersome aspects of a denial letter is the often-abrupt transition from letter to legalistic policy language to establish what the policy says regarding a particular type of incident. Claims people refer claimants to the policy in …

Word Choice in Claims Letters, Part 2

Here are a few additional word choice issues I see as I give my webinars and seminars on claims writing across the U.S. Watch for these as you phrase your letters: “Our offer is firm and non-negotiable.” Isn’t this redundant? …

Word Choice in Claims Letters, Part 1

The following bullets point out random errors in word choice. You may not lose a client because you make a poor word choice, but you’re not helping the relationship along either. Here are several word choice issues to watch for …

What is Your Company’s Worst Claims Writing Problem?

Today, the Claims Writing Coach is taking a brief reader survey to found out the most embarrassing or costly writing errors you see throughout your department or company. Once I have your answers, I can then focus my column more …

Are Your Letters Filled With Old-Fashioned Phrases?

Old-fashioned words and phrases clutter up claims letters, detract from a professional image and do not belong in your templates or free-form missives. I’ll list a few of these phrases and comment on each. You’re invited to disagree and to …

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