MANAGING CALAMITY TO GET AHEAD
Lessons Learned From Hurricane Irene and Others Can Help You Prepare For Future Disasters and Come Out Ahead of Your Competition
NEW YORK, August 26th, 2011 — Hurricane Irene
LOUISIANA, September 1st, 2011 — Hurricane Lee
TEXAS, August 31st, 2011 — Forest Fires
What is worse is that the hurricane season does not even end till November 20th! Are you ready to take more hits? Read this article to find out how you can come out ahead when you encounter such tough times in the future.
This time the triple disasters have been so bad that many insurance companies have gone bankrupt. Many of them themselves have had to move locations and others have suffered losses that are going to kill their company. Interestingly the fact that is hurting them is NOT the claims payment itself. Most insurance companies have figured out reserves and reinsurance to protect against these types of losses but the real fact is that claims processing is killing them badly because they are not able to service their customer in their times of need as they are all heads down trying to process the claims requests made. Meaning, they are going to lose all these customers in the end!
“Those who take the time to prepare for a disaster are in the best position to survive a catastrophe and recover as quickly as possible.” Says Jeanne M. Salvatore, Senior Vice President and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I.
Great advice but what do we do to prepare? How do go about preparing! We have tried to help you think through that process from our experiences with other companies like yours in the industry. The playbook is simple but needs you to execute by taking some timely decisions now. If you have questions and concerns about what we have recommended feel free to get contact us. We will be glad to help in any way possible.
1. Know Your Risk of the calamities
Don’t underestimate the risk of natural calamities. Please visit the FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website www.FloodSmart.gov Video: Water Damage to get a better handle on how these relate to your customer base.
2. Provide timely reports of good risk mitigation to your customers
You will be amazed as to how little business knows about anything other than what they do. You know your business the best. Tell them how to cover themselves and prepare for calamities and their risks.
3. Maintain a customer risk profile
Maintain a customer risk profile and make sure that you can pull it up any time needed in an emergency. You can even take help from your insurance dashboard. Better still see if can have all their contacts on auto dialer and auto electronic emails for instant contact in case of an emergency.
4. Sign up with a partner to handle ‘First Claim’
You can’t be hiring, training and taking care of your risk when you are in the middle of a calamity. You must be on the field taking care of your customers. Many times your offices and employees might not even be functional during such a crisis. You need someone or some organization (Far enough not to be affected by the calamity) that is located remote enough to handle your crisis. Before you sign up with such a company do review the following:
5. Have an off-site backup center for claims management:
You need to have an off-site/ back office partner that can take the load of claims process and paper processing to your customer when they are in need. Make sure that you provide 24/7 support to your customers. This is critical for customer satisfaction.
It is critical that you make sure that you have your team in a safe place. Once that is secured make sure that you have all your documentation in an electronic form in a cloud that can be accessed from anywhere.
This is the time your trained partner will come in more than handy and will be the make or break for your life beyond the calamity.
The key thing is to be with your customers in their time of need. You can’t be doing this if you are not prepared and organized internally with your paperwork and SOPs. Always keep your dashboard updated and ready. You need to make sure that your electronic documentation is handled by experts and not student workers that can do just what enough to have something in a spreadsheet that you can never find in times of crisis.
Make sure that you can service your customer as quickly and as effectively as possible. This is what we are in the business for i.e., helping people in times of their need!!! But you will be saying “From my recent experience it is impossible to do since we don’t have as much staff and we can’t hire new staff and train them in this short a time”!!! This is something to be happy about because you are now ready to go beyond the normal and hire partners to help you in good times and bad. Hire a partner that is your insurance for your bad times and good. Resources Claims Partner, ‘First Claims Support organizations’.
This is the time to plan for the next storm and the next emergency. Invest in your next annual budget and work with a partner that can start working with from an off-site location on a regular basis. That way they are part of your team in good times and can learn your systems and SOPs. These people will be ideally underwriting support teams that can that are trained in CPCU, INS and other insurance common exams so that you don’t have to train them.
Better still; have them process your claims, rating, quoting and issuance including file setup. That way they can be your staff to help your staff become more efficient and help you in growing your business.
We have all seen this time and time again, when we stand by our customer in their time of need they will come back to us time and time again even when they are paying higher costs because they believe that you care for them and will take care of them in their times of need.
In order to take care of them you need to take care of yourself. Start taking care of your business today by planning for the next contingency. Making sure that you are planned, have the resources to serve you in your customer times of need can ensure that you use any calamity to launch your business into the next level!
If you like to learn about how to engage and work with certified, audited, off-site insurance support partners that can help you immediately have back-up plan to your office, act as a surplus staff when needed, provide you hiring and firing advantages without adding to your overhead, and enabling your team to grow as they can now focus on the value added activity and growing your sales then please feel free to contact us at + (1888) 246-7211 extension 4 or 6 or drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org
Other interesting facts about how the next crisis is just round the corner and how badly it can hit you:
THE TEN MOST COSTLY CATASTROPHES, UNITED STATES
Insured property losses
Dollars when occurred
In 2010 dollars (2)
Fire, Explosion: World Trade Center,
Northridge, CA earthquake
(1) Property coverage only. Does not include flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
INSURED LOSSES, U.S. CATASTROPHES, 2001-2010
Number of catastrophes
Number of claims
Dollars when occurred
In 2010 dollars
(1) Includes catastrophes causing insured losses to the industry of at least $25 million and affecting a significant number of policyholders and insurers. Does not include flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
CATASTROPHES BY QUARTER, 2010
Number of catastrophes
(1) Does not include flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
Note: Catastrophes are assigned serial numbers by ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit when the insured loss to the industry resulting from an occurrence reaches at least $25 million and affects a significant number of policyholders and insurers.
TOP 15 MOST COSTLY HURRICANES IN THE UNITED STATES
Estimated insured loss (1)
Aug. 25-30, 2005
AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN
Aug. 24-26, 1992
Sep. 12-14, 2008
AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX
Oct. 24, 2005
Aug. 13-14, 2004
FL, NC, SC
Sep. 15-21, 2004
AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NJ,
Sep. 17-22, 1989
GA, NC, PR, SC, VA, U.S. Virgin Islands
Sep. 20-26, 2005
AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX
Sep. 3-9, 2004
FL, GA, NC, NY, SC
Sep. 15-29, 2004
DE, FL, GA, MD, NJ, NY, NC, PA, PR, SC, VA
Sept. 21-28, 1998
AL, FL, LA, MS, PR, U.S. Virgin Islands
Oct. 4, 1995
FL, AL, GA, NC, SC, TN
Sep. 14-17, 1999
NC, NJ, VA, FL, SC, PA, 10 other states
Sep. 11, 1992
Kaui and Oahu, HI
Sep. 5, 1996
NC, SC, VA, MD, WV, PA, OH
(1) Property coverage only. Does not include flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program. As of September 2009.
View Archived Tables:
THE TEN MOST COSTLY WILDLAND FIRES IN THE UNITED STATES
Estimated insured loss
Oct. 20-21, 1991
Oakland Fire, CA
Oct. 21-24, 2007
Witch Fire, CA
Oct. 25-Nov. 4, 2003
Cedar Fire, CA
Oct. 25-Nov. 3, 2003
Old Fire, CA
Nov. 2-3, 1993
Los Angeles County Fire, CA
Oct. 27-28, 1993
Orange County Fire, CA
Jun. 27-Jul. 2, 1990
Santa Barbara Fire, CA
Sep. 6-Sep. 13, 2010
Fourmile Canyon Fire, CO
May 10-16, 2000
Cerro Grande Fire, NM
Jun. 23-28, 2002
Rodeo Chediski Complex Fire, AZ
(1) Property coverage only for catastrophic fires. Effective January 1, 1997, Property Claim Services (PCS) unit defines catastrophes as events that cause more than $25 million in insured property damage and that affect a significant number of insureds and insurers. From 1982 to 1996, PCS used a $5 million threshold in defining catastrophes.
View Archived Tables:
TOP TEN STATES FOR WILDFIRES RANKED BY NUMBER OF FIRES
(As of November 2010)
Number of fires
Number of acres burned
Source: National Interagency Coordination Center.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harsha Chaturvedi (COO and Founder, Vantage Agora)
As a founder of Vantage Agora, Harsha has been instrumental in the growth of the company since its inception.Harsha has over 20+ years of experience in consulting, running and helping companies and their supply chains worldwide. His work with many companies, has made him a "turnaround expert". Harsha has four worldwide patents in the area of supply chain management.
He holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University (SMD), Dallas, a masters in Computer Science from Louisiana State University (LSU) Baton Rogue, and a bachelors in Engineering from Bangalore University.