Mark Rusch | 05.15.19

Events previously labeled as “one hundred-year storms,” such as a bombogenesis—as well as frequent high-load conditions—have now become the norm rather than the exception across the globe.  To effectively address the additional emergency workflows required by these storms and meet the demands of customers and regulators, insurance companies need flexible systems and processes—including a cloud-based field service management (FSM) solution to adjust claims in the most efficient and timely manner possible.

Virtually all severe weather and oversize outage conditions are going to cause property damage. In addition to all the emergency break-fix work to be done by utilities, there will be plenty of people filing claims on their damaged homes and cars. Insurance organizations surely have their hands full during these catastrophes.

Due to the urgency of the situation, storm restoration will also require coordination of multiple resources, in a short amount of time. Claims representatives, such as adjustors, inspectors, and appraisers, may need to be relocated from other parts of the country. Existing work will likely need to be rescheduled and completed prior to returning to normal conditions. Not to mention, insurance companies must coordinate their efforts with customers, independent adjusters (IAs), and mutual aid responders.

While storms like this are generally unpredictable, it is possible to prepare your workforce weeks or months in advance. With better capacity planning, you can ensure your insurance company has the right amount of resources to handle all the additional claims generated by the catastrophe.

How Capacity Planning Can Help Insurance Companies Prepare for Natural Disasters - Blog Image.jpg

Source: The Weather Channel

What is Capacity Planning?

Whether you measure capacity in points, quota, hours, or number of jobs, it’s important to know whether or not you have the bandwidth for the planned, forecasted, and unexpected work in the upcoming weeks.

Capacity planning is the process of determining the amount of field resources, time, and skills required to meet projected demand. A planner starts by assessing all available resources against the expected work, identifies any gaps, and makes decisions on how to best meet any anticipated or “unplanned” work.

Capacity Planning for Insurance Companies

A severe storm will test any organization’s response capabilities, but it’s easier when a service organization uses a single field service management (FSM) platform that includes a view into scheduling, forecasting, planning and third party resources such as IA’s all in one solution.

When a severe storm is forecast, a planner can load the expected increase in demand into the capacity planning solution. This is immediately reflected in the planning tool, as well as real-time changes in the existing schedule, location of resources, and adjuster skills. With total visibility, organizations can see gaps in capacity coverage (even before the storm hits), make more informed decisions, and take corrective action. This includes:

  • Temporarily relocating field resources
  • Allowing for additional overtime
  • Relaxing travel rules
  • Training employees
  • Hiring independent adjusters from multiple sources

Better capacity planning arms your organization with the visibility, control, and agility you need to handle catastrophic situations. It ensures you have the right resources in place to handle the influx in claims and inspections in a time-effective manner. Most importantly, this allows you to provide better customer service, even in the most trying conditions.

The Need for a Holistic FSM Solution

A cloud-based field service management solution provides the speed, agility and ease of use that transforms insurance services from reactive to predictive, enabling a smarter claims response during storms and disasters. Insurance companies can leverage data with artificial intelligence to automate manual tasks and optimize many aspects of claims filing and inspections.

The right FSM solution automates functions across the entire service chain, from capacity planning before a storm arrives, to optimized scheduling, third-party adjuster management, real-time dispatch and execution, and reporting and analytics after service restoration to develop best practices.

The true value of a FSM solution for the claims and adjusting process during storms is realized when customer satisfaction is consistently maintained at high levels, while also optimizing resources and investments with advanced technologies. The solution must support integrated processes and complete situational intelligence to achieve strategic and tactical storm preparedness, reducing the claims response time from days to hours.

Given the costs associated with a natural disaster, it is imperative that insurance companies have the technology in place to speed claims and inspections and minimize the financial impact to the organization. A field service management solution that’s integrated into your existing claims management system with advanced capacity planning, enables insurance companies to exceed the customer expectations as they face inevitable (and more frequently occurring) natural disasters.