A storm surge can be one of the most damaging weather events that can take place, which can occur as a result of low and high pressure, leading to heavy rain, snow, flooding and even lightning. When a surge takes place, the damage management industry sees a sudden increase in the amount of weather related claims. Although a surge event may not be one of your greatest concern right now, it is worth considering that a surge event can transpire at any time.
When dealing with a major flood event, it doesn’t just take skilled expertise from technicians attending policyholders’ properties; there is also a whole team delivering back office support, which can often make or break a situation. In today’s world, customers expect the highest level of customer service. At Polygon, we have developed a ‘Claims Handling Philosophy’ aimed at delivering excellent service on every claim, this is further adapted for our dedicated surge team to deliver exceptional service during a major flood. Their role is to be the guiding voice at the end of the phone during these devastating weather events.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Polygon will be highlighting members of the dedicated surge team, so you can get to know the people that are working hard for you behind the scenes, to help support policyholders after a major weather event. For our next chapter in the surge Q&A series, meet Dispatch Manager, Peter Rollason, who joined Polygon in 2010…
My role is to guide the team that book in appointments for our technicians. We are responsible for allocating the resource for each claim, ensuring that each one is dealt with efficiently, and meets the SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with our clients, whilst also managing the expectations of the policyholder.
When we start to see that a surge is developing from the information we gather from our range of different sources, the environment can be quite pressurised. As we know it’s coming, but we can’t tell how big the surge will be. I feel that this pressure can actually bring out the best in people and allows us to work even more closely than normal as a team. My role is very rewarding, as you are helping people who are in distress.
The process for surge begins with the dispatch team contacting all the policyholders, as the information starts to arrive from their insurance providers. The dispatch team calculates if they have enough resource allocated to each area, advising on the relocation of technicians from other areas of the country allowing us to stay on top of the claims volumes arriving with us. Another part of my role is to coordinate the technicians’ overnight accommodation, so they are able to carry out the work.
During surge, the primary objective of the dispatch team and I, is to manage our resource to get the right number of technicians in the right places. When dispatching, we make sure to work efficiently and cost effectively, by observing all job postcodes and allotting work in relation to this. Whilst juggling these different elements, I’m also ensuring that we hit our SLAs and meeting the needs of the policyholders.
I think it is often underestimated how many people in the process we need to keep happy. We are consistently trying to juggle the needs of the loss adjuster, the technician and the policyholder, whilst focusing on SLAs and providing excellent customer service. It can be hard to balance all those things! An example of this balancing act is when a policyholder has chosen an ideal time slot and this does not necessarily match up with the ideal time for the technician.
I would probably say that people are not aware that a surge continues for many weeks and even months after the headlines have moved on. As the amount of new claims decrease towards the end of the event, the team work out on the road with technicians; this is just another example of how we are all prepared to work together to achieve our common goal.
I’d re-iterate that when a surge event happens, you do get support from everyone and we all work really well together. I’ve been at Polygon for 10 years and the process has changed quite a lot. We learn and improve our service as a result of every surge event and will continue to adapt our processes moving forward.
We hope Peter’s Q&A has given you some real insight into the surge process. Tune in soon to meet the next Polygon surge team member…
Peter Rollason - Dispatch Manager
Direct Reaction Team
We are ready to respond on short notice to ensure that real estate and other property restored to its origins in the fastest possible way. We do a quick assessment of the damage to be able to take the right actions.
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