News from Aspen Claims

Top Winter Insurance Claims in The United States


March 20, 2019

With winter in full swing, many states across America are enduring cold temperatures, several inches of snow and dangerous ice. For other states not used to this type of weather, even just a small amount of snow and ice can be detrimental. This can cause an influx in insurance claims to an agency as homeowners reach out for help resolving situations. Insurance companies should be ready for some of these top winter claims that may come in over the next few months. 

Frozen Pipes


Many homeowners face frozen pipes when temperatures dip below freezing. It’s not just the temperature that causes this to happen. In houses that are not as well insulated, typically older homes, it can cause the water inside them to expand. Pressure is then added within the pipe, and when that pressure becomes too high, the pipe will burst. Each home and situation are different, so there is not an exact number of homeowners should pay attention to before taking precautions. Share with your customers these six great tips to keep pipes from freezing to help them be more aware this winter. 

Snow and Ice


Large amounts of snow and ice can wreak havoc on a roof. Ice dams form as water from melting snow and ice collect around the ends of the roof, as well as the gutters. This tends to happen because heat from inside the home radiates through the roof, causing the snow to melt. The weight of the ice becomes detrimental, often causing the gutters to fall. In addition, if there are any holes in the roof, water can leak inside. Also, as some homeowners try to use a shovel or other heavy item to remove snow and ice from the roof, it may damage the shingles; potentially leading to internal leaks. For others, especially in areas that see substantial snow falls, the weight of snow and ice on a roof can be dangerous. While every situation is different, the average home can sustain holding 20 pounds of snow or a couple of inches of ice. 

Wind

During winter storms, wind can be a considerable threat to homeowners. There are even some days that happen to be particularly windy without any snow, sleet or ice at all. Wind tends to cause issues to homes when gusts or sustained winds are 50 mph or higher. But even winds more than 25 can be dangerous. Roofs can be removed from rooftops or raise roofing, causing water and ice to get under the shingles. Debris may also hit the sides of the homes, damaging the siding, windows, and more. Homeowners in areas filled with trees may also experience damage due to falling branches or trees onto the house, power lines, vehicles, and other areas. Homeowners should use extreme caution and if they notice a tree has contacted a power line, to stay away from it and call their local power company immediately.  

As your insurance company helps customers this winter, know that Aspen Claims Service is here to help. We can help your insurance company handle daily, or catastrophe claims if additional assistance is needed. Contact Aspen Claims Service today to see how we can help your insurance company this winter. 
 
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Explaining the Importance of Property Insurance with Your Customers


March 6, 2019

Often, homeowners do not understand the importance of property insurance. Or in other cases they have coverage, but it is not enough. Under coverage or no coverage can put property owners in a bind, making them scramble to find living arrangements or make ends meet. As you work with your clients, make sure they know how important it is to insure their properties to avoid devastating situations. 

Reasons Homeowners Need Property Insurance


While a large percentage of homeowners have insurance, not all do. Or others choose the minimum amount needed. Those with a mortgage, especially first-time home buyers, are required to have property insurance as a stipulation of their mortgage. They will inform the person the amount needed in the event of an accident or total loss. This insurance will not only replace items that have been destroyed but provide funds for those who have been displaced. In addition, it can help homeowners with basic living expenses for clothing, hygiene essentials, and more. 

Common Events


There are a variety of scenarios that lead to homeowners needing to use their insurance. Some of the most common ones across the United States include: 
  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Hail
  • Hurricanes
  • Landslides
  • Theft
  • Tornadoes
  • Wind

It is important to point out to customers that property insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. As you discuss with them their options, be sure to ask them if they would like to purchase additional coverage for what is not covered in the standard policy. For instance, many insurance plans do not cover flooding or earthquakes. Even for homeowners that are not in flood zones, it is essential to explain the risks to help customers make informed decisions with their dollars. 

Tips for Marketing to Customers


As you speak with your customers on their property insurance, there are a few approaches you can take. For starters, provide information on their current coverage or set up a time to talk with them about coverage on a new home. A great way to start this conversation is through email campaigns and calls. To search for additional business, digital advertising on Google or Facebook are great ways to capture new customers. For existing customers, prior to sending updated information and pricing on coverage, create an easy-to-understand guide that maps out existing benefits and additional opportunities for coverage. This includes explaining risks in their area. A great way to earn business is to make yourself a subject matter expert to customers. When they know they can rely on your business to give honest and helpful advice regarding the importance of property insurance, they will be more open to purchasing additional coverage in the future.

Give your customers excellent customer service in the event of a damage claim by using Aspen Claims Service. We are a claims adjusting firm that specializes in residential and commercial property loss all across America. Adjusters are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the continental United States. See how we can help your insurance company and contact Aspen Claims Service today. 
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Projected Weather and Catastrophe Claims in the United States for 2019


February 20, 2019

 A new year brings new projected weather patterns to impact the United States. In 2018, the country battled 15 hurricanes, which was seven higher than anticipated. Of those 15 hurricanes, two were record-breaking regarding devastation (Hurricanes Florence and Michael). In addition, California wildfires demolished nearly 2 million acres, the worst in the country. On the east coast, they experienced record winter storms from January into March. For insurance adjusters, looking ahead is productive when planning coverage and claim intake. Review some projections for catastrophe claims in 2019. 

Northeast


States in the northeast are projected to experience a normal-to-mild winter. They are also expected to have average to below average precipitation after May. Until then, the first few months may have higher than average precipitation for rain and snow. Meteorologists suggest El Nino will lead to the increased rainfall in the early months, leading to heavy snowstorms. 

Northwest


For those in the northwest, residents can expect a mild start to the year. A large portion of precipitation will be in the early months then transition to warmer temperatures and rain after March. Also from El Nino, a mix of this and rising temperatures has led to an increased rate of glaciers melting. While this may be beneficial to higher elevations, this added moisture does not make it to lower areas that could benefit from the precipitation. It is possible the region will face more forest fires due to drought.  

Midwest


The Midwest may be delighted to hear temperatures are projected to be mild during the typical cold months. Known for its severe storms, the Midwest is seeing a change in tornadic activity. What is known today as “Tornado Alley,” which spans in Kansas, Oklahoma and surrounding states, states further east, such as Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky are seeing an increase in tornadoes. 

Southeast 


In the Southeast, residents may experience a milder winter and average to below average precipitation. In fact, late in 2019, it is predicted there to be below average totals of rain. When it comes to hurricanes, El Nino could help reduce the number of hurricanes the area experiences. In some models though, the region will also experience severe weather. 

Southwest


Drought may come for those living in the southwest in 2019. In addition, temperatures are predicted to be higher. June through August will see high temperatures and rainfall will increase later on in the year. Parts of this region could see an increase in wildfires due to low amounts of rain. 

No matter how weather patterns change in 2019, Aspen Claims Service is here to help your insurance agency with any of your needs. When you take advantage of the Aspen Difference, you can rely on us to help you provide excellent, expedited service by filling in gaps. We offer a wide variety of adjusters around the clock, seven days per week across the continental United States. From daily to catastrophe claims, our team has the knowledge and expertise to help you tackle any disaster for your customers. To learn what we can do for you, call us today at 888-819-5904. 
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Working with Landlords on Property Insurance Claims


February 6, 2019

Did you know there are more than 45 million rentals all across the United States? With a majority of those rentals having tenants currently living in them? With more than a million residential fires each year, along with storms, natural disasters, and other types of damaging events, there is a great need for insurance companies to be experienced with property owners. Take advantage of these tips when working with landlords on property insurance claims. 

Types of Insurance for Landlords


Those investing in a property must have insurance for it—and it is not the time to cut corners on savings. To start, fire insurance will help protect in the event of a destructive event. In addition, homes or rentals in flood zones should include flood insurance. However, just because an area isn’t in a designated flood zone does not mean it is not susceptible to flood damage. An addition to standard property insurance, loss of income insurance is ideal for landlords faced with disastrous situations. It helps to pick up a lapse in income due to an event that destroys a property. As an insurance company, it is important your clients understand all of the types of insurance for landlords and property investors

Common Claims for Rentals


Each area of the country is susceptible to various types of storms and natural disasters. Factor in accidents, such as fires, and there are many potential problems that can happen to your investment. Common types of claims landlords and investors have for their properties include: 
  • Fire
  • Flooding
  • Hail
  • Heavy snow and ice on a roof 
  • Hurricanes
  • Theft
  • Thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes
  • Wind

Because of the plethora of issues that may arise, it is crucial that you work with your landlords and property investors to ensure they have the right coverage for their properties. If not, walk them through the appropriate steps needed to get their policies up to par. By handling upfront early, it will help your property investors avoid potential issues that could devastate their budget and savings. 

Using Adjusters for Claims


Insurance companies should always be available and reliable for the customers they serve. When an issue happens, it is important to be readily available to help them during a stressful time. When large natural disasters happen, an influx in calls and other points of contact can be overwhelming to a staff. This is where outside insurance adjusters will help. Through working with a local, reliable claims service, you can trust in having quality help with demand. A team of adjusters can quickly go to a site to review damage to quickly put together a report and next steps. 


When disasters strike, you can rely on Aspen Claims Service to help with demand. Our team of professional claims adjusters can step in for daily and catastrophe claims, underwriting, large losses, and more. We will step in and help as needed to keep your team afloat and customers happy. Let the Aspen Difference help make a difference with your customers. Call us today at 888-819-5904 to see how we can help. 
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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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