The National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) has established a new NSSTA "Industry Growth Initiative," "designed to identify opportunities to expand the use of structured settlements and bring those opportunities to the structured settlement industry marketplace."
A recent three-part survey commissioned by NSSTA, and conducted by CLM Advisors, of NSSTA members' traditional sales targets (senior claims executives; claims professionals; plaintiff attorneys) offers valuable insights for NSSTA's Growth Initiative and therefore is the subject of an S2KM blog series. S2KM summarized NSSTA's survey of senior claims executives in this prior blog post.
When interpreting some of the key findings from NSSTA's survey of senior claims executives, it is useful to compare the findings from a separate 2011 study (titled: "National Litigation Management Study") commissioned by the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance (formerly "the Council on Litigation Management"). CLM Alliance is the parent company of CLM Advisors, the company that conducted the three-part survey project for NSSTA.
Two findings from the 2011 CLM Alliance study are significant for structured settlements and for interpreting key findings from NSSTA's 2014 survey of senior claims executives.
Based upon interviews with leading litigation management executives, the 2011 CLM Alliance study identified structured settlement as the "most penetrated external initiative" among 30 litigation-related service areas analyzed.
- Another "key finding" that emerged from the answers to the more than 160 questions covered in that 2011 CLM Alliance study: "litigation executives are not happy with the metrics and analytics available to them." Note: this finding was not limited to structured settlements.
An article in the Fall 2011 issue of CLM's "Litigation Management Magazine", discussing the 2011 CLM Alliance study, further describes a "shift in thinking" among litigation executives about metrics and analytics applicable to national service provider programs such as structured settlements:
"These programs are about much more than cost savings, although the savings can be substantial and can be in and of themselves a primary motivation to create these programs. To be truly successful, national service programs must be able to deliver the very metrics and analytics that participants said they are seeking: quality, performance, satisfaction levels. These are the metrics that a national service provider must be able to give to its clients in today's environment."
NSSTA's 2014 survey of senior claims executives confirmed continuing support among survey participants for structured settlements as well as their perception that structured settlement consultants add value to the liability insurance claims process. 100 per cent of the senior claims executives who participated in the survey, however, said their companies could do more to proactively use structured settlements:
Relative to metrics and analytics, NSSTA's survey found:
- Only 20 percent of the participants reported having any set of objectives around the use of structured settlements.
- A majority of the participants did not measure referral volume and only half measure the volume of successfully written structures.
Collaborating with individual property and casualty insurance companies (or associations such as the CLM Alliance) to identify, develop, improve, implement and measure structured settlement metrics and analytics, therefore, should represent one important marketing priority and program foundation for improving structured settlement sales.
Neither the CLM Alliance 2011 study nor NSSTA's 2014 survey recommend specific metrics or analytics to determine the effectiveness of, or to define "success" for, structured settlement programs.
Using the NSSTA 2014 survey and the CLM 2011 study as points of reference, here are some questions structured settlement brokers might discuss with senior claims executives to develop such metrics and analytics:
- How do you define whether your structured settlement program is successful?
- What performance metrics help you evaluate the effectiveness of your structured settlement program?
- How effective are your metrics and analytics in measuring success?
- Which metric is most important?
- Which metric is most difficult to obtain or confirm?
- Do structured settlements increase or decrease your claims costs?
- How do you measure the impact of structured structured settlements on your claims costs?
- What is your structured settlement success ratio?
- What changes in your program would improve your structured settlement performance?
To transform these suggested introductory questions into a successful marketing and sales strategy, structured settlement brokers must be capable of effectively discussing structured settlement metrics and analytics. NSSTA could assist its members in doing so by offering educational programs designed to improve its members' abilities to identify, develop, implement and measure structured settlement metrics and analytics.
In a final blog post analyzing NSSTA's survey of senior claims executives, S2KM will consider the significance of additional survey findings on future defense-driven structured settlement market growth.