business writing skills News

Answers to 5 Common Questions About Writing

Are there any questions I can ask myself before starting to write that will help me focus my message? Your effectiveness as a writer depends on how well you identify the reader and respond to his or her needs. Before …

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 …

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 …

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 …

10 Tips on Responding to Claimant Complaints

Although insurance carriers care deeply about the approval ratings from their policyholders, claims responses to claimant complaints are often stodgy, mistake-ridden and vague. The following 10 brief tips will help you catch and correct problems before sending out these important …

The Trouble With ‘Which’ and ‘That’

In my book, The Elements of Business Writing (Pearson Education), I have a section on “Misused and Troublesome Words.” Among the most troublesome pairs of words in English are which and that. Most people use them interchangeably, but each has …

Insurers Shouldn’t Neglect Good Business Writing Skills

Insurers focused on improving customer service through new technology shouldn’t forget that good writing skills can also impact a company’s bottom line. Offering business writing education to new hires and continuing education to current employees are just two ways that …