A natural disaster is a terrible thing to endure. The loss of life and property can be devastating. If you’re an insurance agency, a natural disaster like a hurricane can lead to your office getting overwhelmed with claim requests, which doesn’t help anyone, including the customer! In fact, it’s recommended that people who are victims of natural disasters call their insurance provider as soon as possible. With these simple steps, you can ensure that your clients get their claims filed and your employees don’t get swamped.
- Reach Out Before the Natural Disaster Occurs
Weather forecasts are extremely accurate these days and can predict when and where a hurricane is most likely to make landfall. As an insurance provider, you can and should reach out to your clients 48 hours beforehand via text and email. This lets them know that you’re there for them our office includes a link that lets them begin the claim process with our agency.
- Process the Form that Your Client Filled Out
The upside to your client filling out this form ahead of time is that you can categorize it specifically as a “catastrophe claim.” Using your company’s customer relationship management software, you can then initiate a tailored set of automated and manual responses.
- Respond to Your Client’s Form
Your client should receive a set of personalized automated messages that help them with everything from damage control pointers to how to reduce further damage. This should prevent your phone lines from being flooded with calls.
- Use Your Remote Team
Now is the time to utilize your remote workers who don’t live in the disaster-affected area. They should have electricity and full internet access, so you should route all your calls to them. Our office outsources part of our service to virtual assistants in the Philippines. This is their time to shine. We create a duplicate version of the form above for our remote team, except this form has scrips built in that tells them exactly what to say. When hurricane sally hit our area in 2020 my office was filing claims and answering phone calls immediately as if it was a normal day. Our competition didn’t get power or phone lines back until a full 6 days later.
- Bring Your Local Team In
At this point, 9 out of 10 claims should already be in your queue and ready to file. Now you can have your local team call each individual client to speak with them one on one. You can offer help and advice during this step.
- Begin Tracking Your Claims
Use your customer relationship management software to track each claim along the way from inception to payment. You should communicate with your clients both manually and automatically throughout this process. Let your clients know that you’re available for any questions that they may have and be sure to clearly define your role as a retail agent and not a carrier.
- Track and Map Your Claims
Using Google maps, you can create a color-coded mapping system that shows where your claims are coming from and which carriers are filing them. This is a good visual tool that allows carriers to see how they’re doing in relation to their competition.