Gary Blake News

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 …

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 …

How Weasel Words Weaken Your Writing

While it is proper to admit not being sure of a fact, some claims people get carried away with the use of “weasel words,” sprinkling them liberally throughout letters to claimants, attorneys, physicians and commissioners. As I review writing samples …

Conquering the Apostrophe

After the comma, the second most difficult punctuation mark to master is the apostrophe. Apostrophes are troublesome because there is no universal agreement about the rule that states that single nouns, including those ending in “s”, add ” ‘s.” There …

How to Format a Claims Letter

How do you format a claims letter? Insurance companies seem to be in search of a reliable, reasonable format that will help their letters achieve a consistent, easy-to-read “look.” The following are some tips on gaining consistency in a business …

What Spell Checks Don’t Check

The first spell-check system was developed by a group of six linguists from Georgetown University in the late 1970s for the mainframe computers produced by IBM corporation. If, however, you think that Microsoft Word’s Spell Check will alert you to …

Breaking the Rules of Writing

In almost every writing skills seminar, there comes a moment in which a participant finds that one of the notions about writing that he or she has held since elementary school is either no longer valid or is dead wrong. …

The 8 Deadliest Words and Phrases in Claims

As someone who teaches on-site seminars in “Effective Claims Writing,” I read hundreds of letters, memos, safety evaluation and site inspection reports, workers compensation evaluations, e-mail to brokers and loss control recommendations. Rarely do I see a document that completely …