News from Aspen Claims

Tips for Assisting Your Customer with Damage Claims


January 23, 2019

Disasters can strike at any time. As an insurer, you are one of the lifelines to helping a person get back on their feet—no matter what the situation may be. When walking your customers through damage claims, a few little changes can go a long way. As you find new ways to help your customers, use some of these tips! From proactive assistance and common questions to have answers for, to assistance explaining the process, this guide will help you walk your customers through a stressful time. 

Proactive Measures


One of the best ways to gain the trust of your customers is to provide proactive help. When you establish yourself as a “content expert,” and provide valuable information ahead of an issue, they know they can count on you. A few examples of ways to help your customers include: 
  • Monthly or quarterly emails sharing what to do in the event of a fire, natural disaster, or other property damage situation. You do not want to over-communicate with customers to avoid them opting out of your messaging, bi-weekly to monthly is great for regular communications. 
  • Occasional calls to check in to say hi to your customers and ensure they still have adequate coverage. 
  • Send birthday cards with a friendly, informational message. 
  • Share information on how to avoid some common mistakes that lead to issues. 
  • Provide information on your website that is easy to find, providing all the information they need in the event of an emergency or to find basic information. 

Common Customer Questions


It is important to be prepared to answer any questions your customers have. Here is a list of frequently asked questions by customers. While many pertain to specific client questions, have information or programs accessible to be able to answer their questions. 
  • “What is the value of my property?” 
  • “What is my policy coverage?”
  • “If I rent out a space, or have guests, will their belongings be covered in the event of a fire or disaster?”
  • “Do I need to expand my coverage?”
  • “Am I legally required to have homeowner’s insurance?”
  • “What are the limits of my policy?”
  • “If someone is hurt on my property, does my policy cover them?”
  • “What is an insurance umbrella policy?”
  • “I am self-employed, does my insurance policy cover my businesses equipment and supplies?”

Working with Customers


When it comes to working with customers with property insurance on their large loss claim, patience is key. It will help you to be prepared to answer questions from your common requests list. You can also get inspiration and tips by reading these 10 customer experience tips for insurance in 2018. 

Another great resource to provide the best customer service possible to your customers is Aspen Claims Service. We offer a network of insurance adjusters 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere in the continental United States. Get assistance with daily and catastrophe claims, as well as underwriting, reinspection, and large losses. Need some help with overflow during a large event? We also provide on-site branch assistance. Call us today at 888-819-5904 to see how we can help. 
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Hurricane Michael Leads to Numerous Catastrophe Claims in Florida Panhandle


January 9, 2019

In the last couple of decades, the United States and neighboring countries in the Atlantic have experienced devastating hurricanes. Hurricane season kicks off at the beginning of June and runs all the way through November. It tends to peak in October. Just a month ago, the Carolinas were barreled with high winds and torrential flooding during Hurricane Florence. Then this October, the Florida panhandle was hit by its second strongest storm since 1992. Just a few miles-per-hour shy from being a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest type of hurricane, Hurricane Michael battered several coastal cities, leaving many homeowners with absolutely nothing. The area will have one of the largest number of catastrophe claims its seen in decades.  

Storm Stats


Hurricane Michael was a Category 4 storm with winds as high as 155 miles per hour. If you’re wondering what do hurricane categories actually mean, a Category 5 hurricane is the highest on the scale. In these instances, Category 5 hurricanes nearly destroy everything in their path. Sadly, that’s what Hurricane Michael did once it made landfall on Wednesday, October 10. The storm stayed strong, only dropping down to a Category 3 hurricane when it reached Georgia and Alabama—making it Georgia’s first Category 3 in 120 years. With this storm came devastating winds and torrential rain. Approximately two million citizens lost power due to the storm. The reason this storm was so destructive was due to warm water temperatures in the Gulf, as warmer waters can intensify the severity of a storm.  

Devastation 


Those who live in and around the path of Hurricane Michael experienced total destruction. Mexico Beach took the hardest hit, with Panama City Beach and other nearby areas at a close second. When you look at photos of before and after Hurricane Michael, you can truly see and understand how catastrophic this hurricane was. While final numbers are still coming in, the storm has taken almost 20 lives, possibly more. Homes and businesses were destroyed leaving nothing but their foundation. Trees snapped and lay over pummeled debris. Roads have been crumbled, not even drivable by car and boats were capsized. In some of the areas that were on the front lines of the storm making landfall, nothing at all stands. Just remnants of once were. It is hard to say how long it will take to rebuild, but customers are already putting in their catastrophe claims

Assistance with Claim Management


When storms as severe as Hurricane Michael hit, insurance companies need to be prepared for the influx of calls. Families are devastated and having their insurance company available to take their call at any hour, it helps provide some sense of comfort. For insurance companies unable to keep up with the demand, this is when a claims service is ideal. Claims services allow companies to work with outside claims adjusters to assess damage and help fill in gaps when needed. It is truly a team effort to keep a workplace afloat during crisis situations as bad as Hurricane Michael. 

Is your insurance company trying to keep up with demand? Aspen Claims has agents available 24/7 to help you and your customers. See how we can help by calling us at 888-819-5904. 
 
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Using Claims Adjusters for Commercial Large Loss Claims


December 26, 2018

With nearly half of businesses filing large loss claims each year for their businesses, it is crucial for insurance companies to be ready and able to assist when needed. Millions can be on the line, making it important for local businesses and insurance companies to be prepared. From understanding large loss claims and common types, to managing a company during a crisis and the use of claims adjusters, this guide will help your insurance company be more prepared for your customers. 

Understanding Large Loss Claims


For those new to the insurance business, you may be wondering “what separates large loss claims from others?” While commercial claims may be hundreds to thousands of dollars, large loss claims exceed that. When amounts are around $50,000 or more, they elevate to “large loss” status. For some, amounts can hit six digits to even millions. Due to the extent of the damage, the claims become more complex than routine ones. More will need to be investigated and reviewed for an accurate and fair outcome. Also, because of the amount of money at stake, attorneys may be involved. As an insurance company, your team will go through procedures to hit important milestones on a claim. This may also include any requirements for customers as they rebuild and move forward. 

Types of Commercial Large Loss Claims


Large loss claims can occur for a variety of reasons. In recent news, several businesses in the Carolinas have been negatively impacted by a hurricane. While damage is still be assessed, risk tracker RMS predicts up to $5 billion in insured losses from Hurricane Florence. Other types of common losses in addition to hurricanes include: 
  • Accidents damaging equipment
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Floods
  • Hail
  • IT issues and loss of data
  • Mold
  • Storms
  • Theft
  • Tornadoes
  • Vandalism

Managing a Company During Crisis


As an insurance adjuster, helping your clients in their time of need is helpful. While navigating a temporary new normal, you can give them some tips to keep them afloat. By sending them emails or other helpful information, they may appreciate the help during a stressful situation. To start, business owners need to be patient and follow their emergency plans. It can be easy to rush to conclusions so staying focused is key. Next, managers should connect with their employees to establish how things will move forward. Patience and flexibility are the keys for employees as well. An important way to do this is through transparency. Allowing employees to understand the process and next steps will help ease any nerves about job security. 

Does your insurance company need assistance managing large loss claims? Aspen Claims Service specializes in large loss claims, allowing you to have added help and/or expertise. Not only will we help you navigate through the complexities of these claims but will help you provide excellent customer service. We step in when your customers are in crisis to help you every step of the way. Providing customers in the continental United States, you can rely on us. Call our team today at 888-819-5904 to see how we can help. 
 
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Ensure Incoming Property Claims Handled During the Holidays


December 12, 2018

As fall sets in, that means one thing is right around the corner: the holidays. From cooking to gatherings, insurers see a spike in claims during the holidays. Instead of struggling and finding it to be a challenging time for you and your staff, get a step ahead and plan. With extra time and forward-thinking, make the holidays seamless. From common claims to increases in property claims, use this guide to manage your company. When you and your staff prepare, the holidays are stress free for all.

Common Claims During the Holidays


New to insurance or exploring ideas for efficiency? It is crucial to know what your company may be up against this holiday season. During the holidays, some of the most popular claims submitted include: 

Fires: House and apartment fires rant near the top of the list of holiday disasters. From overcooking the turkey to accidental flame interactions, fires start in an instant. 
Burglaries: Holiday shopping and new gifts can be a magnet for thieves. From packages on porches to new items, homeowners that are not cautious (or sometimes cautious) unfortunately fall victim to this crime. 
Slips, trips, and falls: From cooking in the kitchen to slippery sidewalks, indoor and outdoor conditions, on top of multiple guests, can lead to an increase in accidents. 
Busted pipes: While not holiday related, states that experience cold temperatures are more susceptible for pipes freezing. This can occur when pipes are below the freezing point of 32 degrees. Ice forms in the pipes, and due to a backup in pressure, the pipes can burst—making for a costly fix for homeowners. 

Tips for Customers


One of the ways you can help your customers during the holidays is to send email communications helping them avoid costly claims. A few topics you can include are: 
  • Tips for proper fire suppression: Given that fires are one of the most common types of claims, provide them with the resources and knowledge on how to put out a fire. It is common for homeowners to worsen a situation by improperly putting out the fire, so sharing tips can be lifesaving. 
  • Avoid freezing pipes: Sending your customers an email helping them avoid freezing pipes will be much appreciated. In addition to properly insulating pipes, homeowners should keep faucets on a very slight drip, which will keep water going and avoids freezing. Keep cabinet doors open for better airflow. 

Handling an Increase in Claims


Is your insurance company prepared to handle an increase in claims this holiday season? Having a plan to handle an influx is critical to your success and ease on your customers. Make sure your insurance company is aware of the top types of winter claims insurance adjusters work with most often. 

To help you keep you with demand, Aspen Claims Service can help. When you begin to feel overwhelmed or claims are slipping through the cracks, contact our agents. Our staff has claims adjusters available 24/7 to assist. Get started and call us at 888-819-5904 today. 
 
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Guide for Expanding Your Agency and Team of Insurance Adjusters


November 28, 2018

The goal of any successful business is to provide excellent customer service and grow. When there is growth at a company, it provides excellent benefits and morale for its workers. If your insurance agency is ready to take the next step, there are a few ways you can plan for growth. From increasing staff and creating an efficient work environment, to utilizing outside insurance adjusters, use these tips as you make your plans to expand your company. 

When to Consider Increasing Staff


As an employer, business owner or manager, it is important to know the signs of growth. Growth is great for a company, but in some cases, employers burden employees with larger workloads when the company does not adjust. This reduces employee morale as high workloads can lead to long hours and create a hectic environment. These are the times that employees begin to job search, which can increase your turnover rate. As these issues happen, it also can lead to bad customer service. When employees are overworked and rushing, they may rush through client needs just to get through the load. Avoid all of these problematic situations by working extra staff into your budget. You want to identify this as soon as possible before problems occur. 

Tips for Efficient Work Environments


In addition to expanding your business, finding more efficient ways to get the work done is key. This will help your team spend more time working with client needs and less on the mundane, routine work. A great way to start is by identifying optimal work styles. Do you know how each person on your team likes to work? Identify these and create an environment open to workstyles to enhance productivity. Next, find software or procedures that can be automated. Last, make sure your business has an efficient organizational structure. Important files or documents need to be easy to find and safely stored. 

Utilizing Outside Insurance Adjusters for Help


Insurance companies are there to support those in their time of need. When something goes wrong, your team is there. In some cases, there may be disasters or catastrophes that increase calls. In this case, your company may not need to hire permanent adjusters, but additional help is needed. In this case, or when workloads are high, consider using a claims service. Their team of adjusters can come in to help with added workflow for as long as you need. A claims service has expertise in rural and urban environments, in a variety of situations, allowing them to jump right in to help when needed. This help keeps a steady, but not overwhelming workflow for existing staff and great experiences for customers. 

For a great team that can help you expand your business, contact Aspen Claims Service. We offer a variety of aid, from daily and catastrophe claims assistance, to help with underwriting, reinspection, large loss, and on-site branch assistance. This is especially beneficial for insurance companies handling an influx of calls due to a large emergency. Contact us today at 888-819-5904 to see how we can help your business grow. 
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