the past year. Wide-spread use of UBI will
continue to assist insurers in gathering and
verifying information with studies predicting its continued growth.
Changing how insurers respond
When a disaster strikes, insurers must react
quickly to answer questions, address victims’ concerns and help initiate the claims
assessment process. Sometimes connecting
with consumers can be a challenge. However, social media and new mobile applications are changing the way insurance companies respond.
Social media has become a key communication platform since individuals facing a
disastrous situation frequently turn to social media to share their stories and gather
information. According to Twitter, more
than 20 million event-related tweets were
published in the wake of Hurricane Sandy
in 2012. This total exceeds the 13. 7 million
tweets published during the Super Bowl.
Recognizing the potential audience and
influence of social media, insurers are using
the platform as an information dissemina-
tion resource. Organizations are sharing
their contact information, directions on
where to find claims reporting information,
the location of available assistance, policy
coverage information, storm updates and
even links to local, state and national re-
sources to help with disaster cleanup.
In addition, some insurers are monitoring social media to gather vital information
to assist in the claims adjusting process. Organizations are using posts to track roads
that are closed, view live images and videos,
and get close-up information. Extracting
this information from social media outlets
allows them to develop a fuller picture of
the situation and determine their response
Beyond social media, new mobile ap-
plications for claims enable policyholders
to jump start and streamline the claims
process. Through these apps, insureds are
able to photograph damage with their cell-
phones and submit it to their insurance
carriers. This provides claims adjusters
with a better idea of the scope of damage
and allows them to start the process be-
fore even arriving on the scene. In today’s
market, where the customer experience is
paramount, the ability to shorten the claims
timeline is a vital part of remaining com-
Technology is changing the way the
world does business. Within the insurance
industry, disrupters are impacting the preparation for, assessment of and response to
disaster scenarios. As technology continues
to change at a break-neck pace, insurance
organizations must adapt and evolve in order to best address their customers’ needs.
Only those that embrace this innovation
will find future success.
Dave Coons (dcoons@jacobsononline.
com) is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a global provider of talent
to the insurance industry.
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