CAT season is here, and this year is off to a devastating start. For much of August, our screens were filled with images and news from Maui, as wind-driven wildfires ravaged the island. As the fires burned, I was with our CLM community in Baltimore for Claims College, and even among insurance professionals who deal with losses and catastrophes every day, there was shock and disbelief at the damage and rising death toll—and overwhelming empathy for this amazing island’s residents.
Meanwhile, as I write this column, Florida is recovering from the impact of Hurricane Idalia. This storm comes at a time when we’re potentially starting to see some stabilization of Florida’s insurance marketplace: Four carriers have applied to take over around 350,000 of Citizens’ policies, about 27% of the state’s insurer of last resort’s book.
As our new reality of more frequent and severe natural disasters challenges the insurance industry, the one constant is the role of the claims professional. No matter how many disasters occur, and no matter how severe they are, our industry is there to help those impacted by these events recover from their loss.
However, while the role is the same, how it is performed is changing as fast as the world around us. Technology advancements are providing essential tools to help us evaluate damage faster and more accurately, and also help us predict and prevent losses from occurring in the first place. Increasing demand for work/life balance and the rise of remote work are transforming our traditional views of the workplace. At the same time, the tried-and-true skills of the claims professional—compassion, a curious mind, good judgment, and the ability to communicate effectively—are just as important as ever.
In this issue, Shawn Crawley, of Sompo International, examines these issues and explores what makes the ideal claims professional in today’s world. Accompanying his feature, you, our community, sounded off on what you believe a successful claims professional should be. It was interesting to see how closely your views tracked with the points outlined in Crawley’s feature. With all of us seeing the same trends and pulling on the same rope, I am confident that claims professionals will meet the increasing challenges of today and tomorrow with the same professionalism, compassion, and effectiveness that has carried our industry this far.
All the best –