New Technologies: Proactive Weather Claims Handling
By Kyle Beatty, Managing Director of Business Solutions, AER
It’s 10:00 p.m. When you turn on the evening news, the newscaster reports on significant damage from a hailstorm that just hit two states where you write business.
You wish a weather-hazard analysis service existed to let your claims department know which policyholders most likely suffered a hail loss to their home or car. Even better, you wish you could receive the information before your customers start calling tomorrow morning, allowing you the time to alert your staff and allocate resources.
That wish isn’t just a claims manager’s dream. It’s a reality that carriers are beginning to adopt as a best practice.
For property writers, about 40 percent of homeowners claims losses are related to weather. The loss dollars are significant.
It’s important for carriers to handle those claims quickly and accurately to ensure excellent service and encourage customer retention. So while catastrophes like hurricanes may garner the news headlines, it’s the routine and much more frequent weather claims, such as hail, that provide an opportunity for carriers to improve customer satisfaction while reducing loss adjustment expense.
The morning after a storm can be a crazy time for a claims department. Responding to a flood of calls, catastrophe teams are trying to determine where and how to allocate resources. But new weather claims analytics designed for carriers allows claims managers to begin each day with information about the location and number of claims that likely occurred — matched to the exact policyholder record.
Detailed, sophisticated weather analysis makes all this possible with near-real-time delivery capabilities. What’s exciting is that peril analysis and mapping have advanced to the point where the resulting data can integrate with a claims department’s workflows.
It’s a new way to manage weather claims proactively. Similar technologies also provide new data and tools to support traditional claims adjusting. If a claims adjuster can verify from a claims report that hail occurred, he or she can speed up the process for the majority of legitimate claims. At the same time, when the data and evidence do not support the weather claim, a more thorough investigation can begin.
Can we control the weather? Of course not. But new data sources, weather analytics, and delivery options can support improved claims-handling practices for both auto and property writers. And that’s good news for claims departments.
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