Weeks after Queensland was hit with its second ‘once in one-hundred-year’ flood within the decade, La Nina continues to create chaos across Australia as the east coast prepares for above-average rainfall this winter.  

As we continue to face the wrath of natural disasters and catastrophic events, insurers must prepare themselves for the impending surge in claims which are often complex, volatile and can take months to resolve.  

Off the back of Queensland’s recent floods, insurers have already seen a surge in business interruption claims with many businesses forced to close their doors for months and others left without the right coverage. As La Nina show no signs of slowing, there is mounting concern in the business community about this weather event will bring.  

Already challenged by supply and labour shortages, the impending impacts of La Nina won’t be easy on claimants or insurers. Here are measures you can put in place to manage a surge in claims.  

1. Strengthen your resourcing  
The secret to smooth claims management – surge season or not – is appropriate resourcing. Talent sourcing is a challenge being felt industry-wide, so to avoid employee burnout, it is important to explore how leveraging partnerships or technology could strengthen your team. 
Outsourcing your claims management to a third-party administrator may be the relief your team is after. Outsourcing streamlines operations and frees up manpower while improving claims responsiveness and quality.

As surge seasons approaches, insurers who are not prepared with a competitive resourcing strategy will face longer claim times and claimant attrition. 

Partnering with the right TPA doesn’t just strengthen your resourcing during surge seasons but allows your business to develop a clear plan for long-term retention and internal operations.  

As an extension of your team, partnering with a TPA like Gallagher Bassett will support you in delivering custom claims solutions and utilise talent where you need it most. 

2. Centralise your operations network 
Panic arises when the unexpected occurs. The key to managing a surge in claims during unprecedented times is having your house in order when it comes to the basics.  

From clear reporting lines to outlined systems and procedures, centralising your operations network will minimise confusion and burnout when claims begin to surge.  

Some of the ways Gallagher Bassett can support your team to centralise your operations network include: 

      • Auditing your catastrophe plan  
      • Implementing systems for emerging risks 
      • Clearing the backlog from past events
      • Identifying gaps in your systems and processes

3. Communicate with policy holders  
A customer’s claim experience should always be front of mind – with the highest priority being the execution of claims management.  

The aftershock of a natural disaster or wild weather event is often an emotional or lonely experience for claimants, with far too many left to their own cleanup due to inadequate coverage.  

Maintaining frequent and transparent communication with policy holders on their coverage inclusions is essential to keeping a claimant satisfied and feeling heard. Fast assignment of a claims manager to guide claimants through the claims management process can be the deciding factor in satisfaction. 

Find out more 

Ensure you are ready to manage a surge in claims this winter. Contact our team to see how our diverse range of expertise can help strengthen your team.  

Blog Author

John White

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