Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida’s gulf coast and Georgetown, South Carolina, on September 28, leaving countless businesses and homes — if not wholly destroyed — drowned with flood water and without power. The Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded research group, estimates that Ian has caused at least $30 billion in damage.
Now that the storm has passed, residents are scrambling to assess damages to their homes and businesses and, if insured, begin the claims processes with their insurers. Here are some ways insurance companies can step up for everyone in their communities (those they serve and the uninsured) in the wake of natural disasters.
1. Community outreach.
2. Set up customer care sites.
Carriers can set up tables at local businesses so that representatives can be more accessible to customers who may have questions or need in-person assistance with their claims processes.
3. Allow multiple channels for submitting claims
Due to power outages, many may not have as many means of communication as they would in standard times. Insurance companies should make it as easy as possible for customers to submit claims through text messages, phone calls, emails, websites, and mobile apps. Live customer service representatives should be easy to reach through each channel, should customers have any questions during the process.
4. Practice financial flexibility.
Offer extensions on payments and expedited disbursements to policyholders. Customers will remember these gestures, and an empathetic approach, or lack thereof, can make or break a customer’s experience.