National Underwriter - Most insurance companies spend quite a bit of money on attracting a customer, yet when the truth be told, few do much to hold onto that customer. Although this is true for agents, underwriting, customer service and claims across the board, Id like to address just claims for now. Twenty-five percent of the people who leave an insurance company after a claim leave because of some disagreement on the amount paid, or a concern of a rate increase. Seventy-five percent will leave because of the way they were treated in the claims process. As we travel the country doing our "Awesome Claims Customer Service" class for various insurers (there is a separate class for agents, and yet another for underwriters), we have an opportunity to do a great deal of research as well. It is clear that many claims people do not make the connection between providing great customer service and making their jobs easier.
Wednesday, December 26, 2001
Insurance Journal - Insurance losses from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the largest loss in insurance history, will have little impact on the cost of auto and homeowners insurance next year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I). But the costs of property and liability insurance for commercial businesses are expected to increase, in some cases significantly, due to multiple factors, from rising costs to a broader demand for insurance protection. Insurers are expected to pay at least $40 billion in claims from the terrorist attacks, most of that to commercial businesses. Insurance premiums nationally for private homes and automobiles will rise about six percent in 2002, the same as 2001. Premiums for commercial businesses, after decreasing over the past few years, will increase by about 30 percent on average in 2002, reflecting market forces that existed both prior to and after Sept. 11.
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
National Underwriter - An estimated $30 billion-plus loss from terrorist attacks will give the p-c insurance industry "a record-poor" year-end combined ratio of 119.9, according to the Insurance Services Office Inc. The Jersey City-based ISO said that the projected 2001 combined ratio--the percentage of each premium dollar spent on claims and expenses--will be nearly 10 points worse than last years 110.1 figure. The losses from Sept. 11 alone have deteriorated the combined ratio by 6.3 points for the calendar year, according to an ISO representative, Christopher Guidette. Commercial lines writers, according to ISO extrapolations, could see a combined ratio exceeding 130 for the year. ISO noted that even before Sept. 11, the p-c industry's total first-half 2001 combined ratio was 111.2.
Monday, December 17, 2001
Tillinghast - Going forward, primary insurers may face greatly reduced reinsurance capacity. After a mega-catastrophe, primary insurers reevaluate their reinsurance needs and often seek greater protection. Ironically, at the same time, reinsurers implement tighter risk controls, which tend to reduce the capacity they are willing to offer. We are already seeing the signs of a looming reinsurance capacity shortage.
Sunday, December 16, 2001
Insurance Journal - The insurance industry has entered a period of sustained consolidation, both domestically and internationally, as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a year-end forecast by the Transaction Services group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bill Chrnelich, a Transaction Services partner, commented, "The industry will emerge stronger from this stressful period, but with fewer companies. The September 11th terrorist attacks are clearly accelerating the ongoing consolidation and globalization of the insurance industry." Chrnelich pointed to the following factors: The weak will not survive. With industry estimates upwards of $50 billion to $70 billion in losses from attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, weaker players - and those with a disproportionate share of the claims - may become targets for takeovers, workouts or bankruptcies over the next six to twelve months.
Thursday, November 29, 2001
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies - Some managers claim the best way to motivate staff is through the wallet: increase pay, raise allowances and give more cash incentives. But while money is useful, it is not the only key to motivation. Sincere recognition can mean a lot more to your staff than just another dollar. A genuine pat on the back, given at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons, and in front of the right people can boost staff morale and commitment in ways that money never will. What can you do to build a community of recognition, encouragement and support?
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
National Underwriter - The head of a global insurance group declared today that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were, from one standpoint, a plus for the insurance business. The attacks were one of those events that from time to time occur and create "shakeouts, which the industry kind of needs to make it efficient," declared Rolf Huppi, chairman and chief executive officer of Zurich Financial Services Group. "I believe the industry will be resilient," Mr. Huppi said. "It will adapt and adapt quite well." The boss of the Swiss insurance operation made his comments today at the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Conference in New York on managing change and competing amidst global consolidation. He noted that every 10 years the industry is faced with an event that creates a major loss.
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Insurance Journal - Lloyds Chairman Sax Riley told delegates at the Association of Risk Managers and Insurance Managers of Australasia conference in Canberra that the Sept. 11 attacks mean a return to "insurance basics," starting with a thorough examination of their clients corporate balance sheets. "The impact of September 11 means its back to the balance sheet for buyers of insurance," Riley indicated. "While the increase in the price of insurance is widely recognised, whats not so well understood is that less insurance may well be available. Businesses need to conduct a full analysis of risks that could have a material impact on their balance sheets and obtain cover for those first. Then any additional cover can be purchased later if capacity permits and if prices make it economic." Riley listed some of Lloyds conclusions about the 2002 insurance market triggered by the attacks.
Monday, November 26, 2001
National Underwriter - Across the river, just miles away, the colossus still smolders, an ever-thinning column of smoke rising from the ruins into a bright, clear September sky weeks after the unspeakable happened. This side of the Hudson, I sit in GAB Robins' suburban headquarters with the loss adjustment company's president and chief executive officer, Joseph M. Zubretsky, a man whose business life, like so many others', is suddenly and utterly riveted on the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. I ask if this even remotely compares with anything else in his long professional experience. "This one stands far apart," he answers, somberly, noting that no other catastrophe has involved injury and loss of life on this scale. Then, too, "it's deliberate and heinous in nature," he says. "It's beyond wind-blown roofs and dented cars. It's personal. It's visceral. That's what makes this different."
Monday, November 19, 2001
Technology Decisions - You can't call it a changing of the guard -- yet. Plenty of well-established industry names produce tried-and-true claims management and administration tools. But companies fresh on the scene are redefining the way claims solutions are conceived and finally implemented by end users. What's the secret to their successes? Collaborative development methods involving customers-carriers-as well as exploring niches such as process automation and automobile lines, and creating products flexible enough to allow IT departments to decide their fates. Even though you won't see 30-second commercials for these companies during the World Series, their products are taking claims solutions in a new direction. Here's a look at the fresh faces and product premieres.
Sunday, November 18, 2001