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Minimizing The Compounding Challenges Of Decreased Staffing During The Summer Surge Season

It is no secret that the summer months bring a surge in claims. From motor vehicle claims while road-tripping to avoidable injuries from those “you only live once” moments, claimants naturally increase their own risks.

But insureds aren’t the only ones going wheels-up you will need to prepare for this summer. Employee vacations coupled with a natural increase in claims are set to leave carriers with the short end of the stick.

Dawn Griffin, SVP, Carrier Practice at Gallagher Bassett (GB) shares her top staff augmentation tips to minimizing the compounding challenges of decreased staffing during summer surge season:

1. Strengthen resourcing

Appropriate resourcing is the secret to high-quality claims management, especially during surge seasons. Whether you are looking for a few helping hands for the summer months or a long-term solution to handle increases in claims, partnering with a third-party administrator (TPA) is the support your team needs to continue to deliver high-quality claims management and utilize talent where you need it most.

Partnering with the right TPA doesn’t just strengthen your resourcing during surge seasons, it allows your business to develop a clear plan for long-term retention of existing employees, avoid “burn out” and enhance internal operations, which is key to surviving surge seasons now and into the future.

2. Skill up

In an ideal world, each of your team members would have the skills needed to pivot if required. There will always be a new skill to learn, but not always the time to learn it. For carriers, engaging a TPA helps solve for the training time pain point and delivers desired skills without the time and effort needed to learn them.

Leveraging a partner who can be trained in your systems, processes, values, and tone of voice will create a seamless customer experience that relieves in-house pressures.

Partnering with GB’s team of industry experts opens the door to decades of industry know-how and experience. Our team has navigated uncharted waters so your team doesn’t have to. We know that managing surge seasons will likely see a correlating rise in operating costs and slowed claims life cycles for carriers.

3. Routine safety checks

Changes to roles and responsibilities as staff set off on vacation can cause confusion and things often slip through the cracks, especially when the unprecedented occurs.

From clear reporting lines while staff are away to outlined systems and procedures, conducting routine safety checks and staying organized will minimize confusion and mistakes when claims volume outpaces the workload capacity of claim professionals across many levels.

GB can serve as a relief value to augment your existing staffing resources. We’ve worked with carriers to alleviate staffing stress and anxiety around maintaining a work life balance, the ability to actually enjoy vacation time, and not be overwhelmed by keeping up with increased volumes. Our resources and expertise also enable carriers to leverage a variable expense model as opposed to a fixed one, providing flexibility and fluidity.  

4. Know your travellers

Surge seasons often see longer-than-usual claims processing periods, especially when carriers are armed with fewer claims managers.  Being able to anticipate policyholders’ needs and keeping open channels of communication on wait times and other policy queries will help reduce the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction or cost blowouts.

GB’s team of expert claims and resolution managers can support your team in guiding policyholders through this entire process, potentially keeping a customer for life.

At GB, we know from decades of experience managing surge seasons that these claims often require far more expertise and are almost always coupled with increased operating costs. Minimized staff over the summer months can only exacerbate these challenges.

Partnering with a TPA like GB removes the unknowns by providing a tailor-made solution to the challenges of surge seasons and staffing gaps. To find out how GB can strengthen your resourcing and guide your team through surge season, connect with us today.

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