Umbrella approach to ease flood pain
December 1st 2007
Homeserve's Andy Watts says a collaborative approach between insurance companies, restorations specialists and policy holders will speed disaster recovery
Following the serious flooding across parts of the UK in 2007 questions were raised over the responsibility of providing an efficient restoration service to home and business owners and tenants affected by the floods.
At times it seemed that every organisation was being blamed for everything from inadequate drainage and flood defences through to poor response and action from insurance companies and their supply chain. Criticism was quickly handed out to government departments and agencies, local authorities and insurers over response times in handling the after effect of the floods. But many problems were due to a lack of collaboration rather than individual error.With the next disaster surely only a matter of time, the industry must reconsider the way we operate together and adapt to better meet the challenges that lie ahead.
When a surge hits, a significant proportion of the industry tends to default to cash settlement which acts as a "quick fix", and in the short term satisfies the policyholder because their need for action and response has been met. But in the long term, it causes problems: Demand for services booms in a surge, pushing up prices as a result, so the cash may not longer cover the repair. When the industry is under pressure, checks and counter checking processes can be less stringent, increasing the likelihood of fraud.
Homeserve believes the solution to the problem already exists,but simply requires better management of all involved parties.The company is currently in the process of moving all trades to a common operating platform with a claims management system operating above to drive insurer specific requirements. The system is designed to integrate with external suppliers which will allow a truly managed cross-commodity solution, removing inefficiencies and delivering visibility of claims progress, control and ultimately enhanced customer service.