Do Your Claims Letters Contain the Appropriate Tone?

By Gary Blake | April 20, 2018

There’s no good reason to make an enemy of the claimant or, if in litigation, the opposing attorney. We reveal ourselves in our claims letters and their tone. Is the tone nasty? Negative? Arrogant? Your job is to make your point without, in any way, belittling your reader.

To demonstrate the ways in which negativity harms your writing, I’m providing a short exercise. Each sentence is derived from real examples of letters written and sent. A few extra moments spent cooling down could save your company thousands of dollars in arguing a claim.

Tone Exercise: Claims Letters

Rewrite the following sentences to make them more conversational and more positive. Limit each to a single sentence with no semicolons and a period at the end.

  1. You keep on insisting that the liability is clear for this loss, but it is not clear and you will see this on the police report that puts all three parties somewhat at fault for this loss.
  2. Keeping in mind that our insured made a dent the size of a small grapefruit in your client’s bumper, I must ask you, what could possibly have been your client’s injuries?
  3. Given the substantial income your client produced subsequent to the accident, we believe your allegations of future lost wages are nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
  4. Let me remind you it is your job to provide us with evidence of damages to warrant any more payments.
  5. Do you think a jury will find it odd that there were no indications of facial injuries immediately after the accident, yet she now contends she has problems with her teeth and ringing in the ears?
  6. As you well know, it is impossible to determine appropriate and necessary medical expenses if you persist in delaying telling us which services Dr. Oman rendered.
  7. Reality has finally set in, and your client, his family, and even you now realize the theories of liability that you have relied upon in the past are not applicable to this claim.
  8. We have very differing opinions about who has been dragging their feet on this claim in terms of bringing it to a conclusion.
  9. I’m sure you can understand why we are perplexed as to why Ms. Green would need a rental wheelchair.
  10. Should you desire any further information, please feel free to contact the undersigned.

If you’d like my comments on your answers to this exercise, please send them to me at

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About Gary Blake

Gary Blake is director of The Communication Workshop, offering claims writing webinars and seminars to claims professionals throughout the US, Bermuda, Canada, and the UK. Blake is the author of The Elements of Business Writing (Pearson Education), used at more than 100 insurance companies. He has written about claims writing for a number of industry publications. His e-mail is More from Gary Blake

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