From hailstorms to floods and earthquakes, the impending change of season will have wide-ranging impacts on insurers in the coming months.

As we head into a new season, property insurers must ready themselves for a spike in complex claims that require highly skilled and experienced loss adjusters and claims managers to manage the volatility of claim surges.

We know from decades of experience managing these surge events that this spike will likely see a similar rise in operating costs for insurer. This year, we expect to see an increase in remediation supply issues and increasing repair costs, with the addition of a war for talent which compound these challenges with insurers struggling to recruit the right people.

Like many in our industry, your organisation is possibly already grappling with increased claims cost arising from the storms and flooding events already seen across the country throughout the year. As we head into summer, this demand is only going to increase with weather events and flooding impacting all types of property insurance. These claim types often require far more expertise per claim than routine theft or vandalism claims, so it is essential insurers are able to recruit especially skilled, loss adjusters and claims talent to manage this influx. When the right people aren’t recruited, it can see the lifecycle of a complex claim extend and cost per claim rise as a result.

So, how do you ensure your organisation minimises the effects of surge season?

1. Recruit truly qualified claims professionals

The number one key element to consider is the ratio of truly qualified people to standard claims professionals in your team. You need enough experienced people for the more complex exposures such EQC claims and catastrophe losses – but not every claims manager can handle these well. Building your team with staff that have the experience and expertise to handle complex claims might seem obvious, but it truly does have the biggest impact on your bottom line surviving surge season.

2. Maintain close contact with your customers

You must be committed to transparent, ongoing contact with the customer. Keeping the customers claims experience front of mind is the key to delivering on the claims promise insurers make to their policy holders. Updating the customer regularly and transparently is essential if insurers want to maintain customer loyalty, reduce the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction or cost blowouts. An

experienced loss adjuster or claims manager will guide the customer through this entire process and potentially keep a customer for life.

3. Scale and flex your CAT plan

At Gallagher Bassett, we have learnt through years of experience that a tried and tested CAT plan and list of vetted experts and vendors is essential. Our internal approach to CAT events has been refined and constantly adjusted to meet new demands and claimant expectations. The CAT plan however is only as effective as the predictive data analytics needed to feed its evaluation. We regularly adjust our CAT plan to ensure we’re continuing to meet and exceed expectations as demand changes.

4. Be ready to address all trends

We are already starting to see the typical trends play out, with an increase in storm and flood events, with the corresponding damage already starting to ramp up. In the UK for instance, we have already started to experience a concentration of values due to vertical housing structures or higher density housing. The increased density many claimants are living in is adding to the impact a surge event has when compared to a rural, single dwelling. An emerging trend overseas will eventually make it to New Zealand. Finally, it’s clear the impacts of our changing climate are shaping coastal exposures in more ways than one, and making inland areas the new loss frontier.

To find out how Gallagher Bassett can guide your company through and beyond surge season, connect with our experts today.

Blog Author

John White

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