Top Four Tips To Meet the Summer Claims Surge

Minimizing the challenges of higher claims and reduced staffing

July 13, 2023 Photo

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

In addition, insurance carrier employees naturally enjoy taking vacations during the summer. The reality of employees going wheels-up combined with the increase in claims leads to carriers being short-staffed just when claims professionals are needed most. The good news is there is still time for organizations to prepare, even as summer is already in full swing. Below are some tips to help ensure that carriers can provide necessary services as claims increase and employees enjoy some deserved time off.

Strengthen resourcing. Appropriate resourcing is the secret to high-quality claims management, no matter the season. Whether you are looking for a few helping hands for the summer months or a long-term solution to handle increases in claims over time, partnering with a third-party administrator (TPA) can be the support your team needs to continue to deliver high-end claims management and utilize talent where you need it most.

Partnering with the right TPA not only strengthens your resourcing during surge seasons, it also allows your business to develop a clear plan for long-term retention of existing employees, burn-out minimization, and enhanced internal operations. These are all keys to surviving surge seasons now and into the future.

Know your travelers. 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, potentially keeping a customer for life.

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 claims and risk management partner 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. It can also help reduce operating costs and slowed claims life cycles for carriers.

Conduct 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 claims professionals across many levels.

Augmenting your existing staffing resources will help to alleviate staffing stress and anxiety around maintaining a work-life balance, creating the freedom to actually enjoy vacation time and not be overwhelmed by keeping up with increased volumes. Resources and expertise from a trusted partner also enable carriers to leverage a variable expense model as opposed to a fixed one, providing flexibility and fluidity.

Claims surges 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 removes the unknowns by providing a tailor-made solution to the challenges of surge seasons and staffing gaps.

About The Authors
Dawn Griffin

Dawn Griffin is a senior vice president—carrier practice at Gallagher Bassett.

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