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COVID-19 outbreak: Remote technologies ensure “business as usual” for claims adjusters

By Chris Kent  |  March 30, 2020

While the world faces significant logistical challenges emanating from the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), insurance claims will continue to occur, and significant weather-related catastrophes will not abate due to the spread of the disease.

To ensure business continuity in these extraordinary times, the Lloyd’s insurance market and their appointed claims adjusters should be exploring ways they can assess damage remotely, taking advantage of technologies such as aerial imagery and remote sensing.

Governmental and medical advice in response to COVID-19 has been to stay at home, and travel restrictions can make certain jobs a lot more difficult.

Claims adjusters still need to assess damaged properties following a catastrophic weather event, whether they can physically access the impacted region and whether there are any potential consequences in doing so.

Both Texas1 and Tennessee2 have been affected by recent storms and tornadoes, causing widespread damage to homes and other property3. Various cancellations and restrictions4 have been enforced in both states in response to COVID-19.

Verisk continues to work with the insurance industry to look at ways in which it can support its customers to help them continue to provide the level of service expected by policyholders. It offers a combination of services that create an efficient and effective post-catastrophe event triage process applied remotely, which negates the need for adjusters to visit damaged properties.

Strategic partnerships with Vexcel Imaging and the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC) allow Verisk to utilise a significant library of high-quality aerial imagery to respond to catastrophic weather events4. Often within 24 hours of an event occurring, planes will be deployed to capture highly granular post-event aerial and oblique imagery.

In addition to aerial imagery, Verisk allows policyholders to provide their own video imagery via our claims-handling tool, ClaimXperience®. This collaboration between policyholder and carrier adds another layer to the claim adjustment process that can help expedite the settlement of a claim and get the policyholder back up and running as quickly as possible.

Tennessee tornadoes

Between 2­–3 March, a series of tornadoes swept through west and middle Tennessee, with one causing significant damage to downtown Nashville.

Vexcel captured images of the path of the tornado, along with the high-resolution before-and-after photos of the damage it caused.

The below image shows the trajectory of the tornado, highlighting areas that were significantly damaged as a result.

 

John C. Tune Airport, the smaller of Nashville’s two airports, sustained significant damage as a result of the severe weather. The before-and-after aerial images below capture the extent of the damage.

How can the London market carry on as usual?

It’s in the insurance market’s and customers’ best interest to ensure claims get paid and that both life and businesses carry on as normal despite the challenges we face from recent events.

Advances in technology allow Lloyd’s syndicates and their appointed claims adjusters to carry out physical inspections entirely remotely using remote sensing and artificial intelligence.

Verisk’s weather service Respond® can help syndicates correlate each storm’s severity and anticipate its effects more accurately, mitigating risk and optimising response resources5. It helps carriers and their representatives focus on the most impacted regions and deploy the appropriate adjuster skills for properties within, outside of, and bordering the storm area.

These processes can be complemented further with an accurate assessment of the actual damage parameters and replacement costs from Verisk’s Xactware business. Lloyd’s syndicates and their adjusters now have access to the complete tool set for adjusting and settling claims without ever having to visit the actual loss.

To find out more about Verisk’s post-event claims triage process, please contact Chris Kent.


Sources

  1. Melissa Alonso and Eric Levenson, "Severe storms and tornadoes in Texas damage homes and property", CNN, March 19, 2020, <https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/19/us/texas-tornado-storms/index.html>, accessed on March 30, 2020
  2. Brinley Hineman, "2 weeks after deadly Tennessee tornadoes: Most power restored, a lot of rebuilding remains", Tennessean, March 18, 2020, <https://eu.tennessean.com/story/news/2020/03/17/tornado-aftermath-two-weeks-later-middle-tennessee-rebuilds-almost-all-power-restored/5061693002/>, accessed on March 30, 2020
  3. "Gov. Lee enacts executive order for statewide closures due to COVID-19", Fox 13 Memphis, March 22, 2020, <https://www.fox13memphis.com/news/local/gov-lee-enacts-executive-order-statewide-closures-due-covid-19/ULUA7RYLMBFYHO63YTE7J22LTE/>, accessed on March 30, 2020
  4. Patrick Svitek, "Texas expands travel restrictions, launches pop-up hospital as coronavirus spreads", The Texas Tribune, March 29, 2020, <https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/29/texas-expands-travel-restrictions-coronavirus-spreads/>, accessed on March 30, 2020

Chris Kent is Director, Business Development, at Verisk. He can be contacted at Chris.Kent@verisk.com.