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Surging Summer Claims: How to Plan for a Surge in Claims While Employees are on Leave

After two years of lockdowns, the sun is shining bright on the summer of 2022 as travellers return to the sky, rails, and roads in search of new adventures and some long-awaited R&R.

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 risks.

Insureds aren’t the only ones going wheels-up that you will need to prepare for this summer. Employee leave, coupled with a natural increase in claims, is set to leave insurers with the short end of the stick.

Gordon Vater, Director of Loss Adjusting & Claims Consultancy at Gallagher Bassett (GB) shares his top staff-augmentation-tips to minimise compounding resource challenges during the summer surge season:

1. Strengthen resourcing

Appropriate resourcing is the secret to superior 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 delivering high-quality claims management and utilise talent where you need it most.

Partnering with the right TPA strengthens your resourcing during surge seasons and allows your business to develop a clear plan for the long-term retention of existing employees, avoid “burnout” and enhance internal operations – all of which are 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 when and where needed. There will always be a new skill to learn, but not always the time to learn it. For insurers, engaging a TPA helps solve the pain point around training time and delivers desired skills without the internal 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 insurers.

3. Routine safety checks

Changes to roles and responsibilities as staff set off on holiday can cause confusion as 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 organised will minimise confusion and mistakes when claims volumes outpace the workload capacity of your claims professionals.

GB can serve as a relief valve to augment your existing staffing resources. We’ve worked with insurers to alleviate staffing stress and anxiety around maintaining a work-life balance, the ability to enjoy holiday time, and not be overwhelmed by keeping up with increased volumes. Our resources and expertise also enable insurers 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 insurers 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. Minimised 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.

Gordon Vater

Managing Director – GB Technical

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