The Calm Before: What Property Insurers Must Do Now to Prepare for Surge Events & Storm Insurance Claims
Insurance can be a force for good in people’s lives. Property insurance, in particular, is essential to providing protection during surge events: extreme weather conditions that can ruin homes or risk putting small companies out of business.
Surge events are becoming a lot more common in the UK, particularly in relation to heavy rainfall and flooding. The Met Office reported on one study that suggested that extended periods of extreme winter weather were now seven times more likely due to climate change.
For insurers, surge events represent an even greater challenge. Sudden spikes in demand for claims services makes it difficult to ensure adequate numbers of staff are on hand to help when disaster strikes. Hiring more staff also represents a greater financial risk because increased headcounts push up business costs.
However, laying the groundwork early is essential for property insurers. The better prepared the business, the more likely customers will renew their policies once the crisis is over. Furthermore, new technology can offer a dynamic solution to insurers looking to improve their storm insurance claims procedures and react more quickly to surge events.
This article will explore how insurers can prepare for surge events now, using new technology to make services better for everyone.
The increasing frequency of storm insurance claims
One of the grim realities of climate change is that the number of storms and their severity will only increase. For property insurers, storm insurance claims will rise with them. What makes surge events so difficult a risk to assess is that they’re often unpredictable.
Insurers can use regular updates from the Met Office to predict regions that are likely to experience damage when storms occur. But insurers also need to be careful of spreading panic or raising the alarm in error.
Flooding is especially challenging to model, which means that the best defensive strategy is general preparedness. Ensuring that your insurance company has the maximum amount of disaster readiness is crucial to effectively tackling surge events.
One of the most critical components of a successful surge event strategy is communication.
Customer communication during surge events
Property insurers are one of the first people to hear from their customers about surge events if the insurer didn’t see them coming. During such a stressful time, there’s a duty of care that customers expect given the level of damages that can occur.
Property insurers that prioritise slick and efficient communication systems have the edge over their competition when it comes to post-disaster customer care. Thanks to new technology, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with end users, so customers’ expectations increase too.
So long as customers have a smartphone, customers can be contacted via innovative assistance web apps like Fixzy Assist. Remote assistance web apps differ from traditional smartphone messaging apps because they can collect essential visual data for loss adjusters. With multiple sources of rich data collection, loss adjusters can help get legitimate claims moving and make it harder for bad actors to submit fraudulent claims.
Internal communication after surge events
Detailed recordings can be used to provide training opportunities for claims handling staff in future. Media libraries, hosted on the cloud, offer a great way to actively review exactly how previous claims were handled.
Insurers can also free up internal telephone lines during surge events. Other businesses, such as repair personnel, can get shared access to folders where details of the claimant’s damages are stored, reducing the amount of time internal staff need to spend on the phone.
Provide suppliers with qualitative data for surge events
Rich media also enables suppliers to rapidly understand what their exact requirements are ahead of works being carried out. The result for customers is that first-time fix rates go up, improving customer satisfaction at a critical time.
Briefing suppliers and repair personnel remotely also reduces the need for vehicle dispatches. Onboarding your suppliers with remote platforms can save them money on petrol and reduce excess hours their staff would otherwise spend on the road.
Dynamically managing staff levels during surge events
Insurers should proactively make sure they have plenty of staff on hand to deal with surge events and increasing storm insurance claims over the winter season. However, a greater number of staff does represent a greater cost for insurers. It’s important to ensure staff resources are being used as efficiently as possible to minimise wasted resources.
Technology can help process more claimants with less resources. Insurers that use the right combination of tech solutions can respond much more effectively to crises than their competitors whilst reducing costs at a critical time.
Right place, right time: Keeping loss adjusters safe after surge events
Operating remotely via web apps means that in most cases, loss adjusters don’t need to go onsite to locations that have been damaged by surge events. Remote technologies keep staff safer, making it easier to arrange loss adjusting at scale. Full audits can be carried out using computer vision recognition software.
To access the full benefits of remote assistance solutions, it’s critical insurers act now. Onboarding staff can take a few weeks, and you want to ensure you have all your resources ready to go before surge events take place.
Preparing ahead of surge events
Property insurers can be invaluable to distressed customers in a time of crisis. But preparation is the difference between a customer’s renewal and the loss of their business forever. Surge events aren’t easy to predict. Unfortunately, their increasing frequency has to be taken into account as weather patterns become more extreme.
New tools allow property insurers to be more agile when delivering crucial support to policyholders during a storm insurance claim. If insurers can empower their customers by supplying them with the right digital tools, they can make processes more efficient, fight fraud and get help to those that need it urgently.
Accelerate your response to surge events with Fixzy Assist
Fixzy Assist is a remote video guidance solution powered by computer vision AI, AR and deep learning. We provide the insurance industry with the powerful tools they need to support customers dealing with surge events.
Fixzy’s easy-to-use, web-based app helps your insurance company proactively assess damages and home repairs. Keep your customers calm and capture essential data with just a couple of clicks.
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