Digital ramp-up to keep all insurance claims moving during COVID-19: Bushfire recovery remains priority
Suncorp Group has fast-tracked several digital solutions to ensure insurance claims continue to be resolved quickly despite COVID-19 restrictions.
From increasing WebChat capabilities, extending online claims functionality, using drones to complete roof inspections, to now offering virtual claims assessments for commercial and consumer property customers.
Suncorp’s Head of Claims Michael Miller said this virtual way of working is the new normal and provides an added measure to keep our customers and teams safe.
“The ongoing pandemic means many of our customers are self-isolating or are in quarantine, limiting their capacity to have even essential workers attend their homes to complete repairs,” Mr Miller said.
“When a customer comes to us with an insurance claim, it’s usually after a significant event in their life and often it can be quite stressful, and coronavirus is making it even harder.
“We are focused on finding flexible ways to support our customers through this process – helping them get on with their lives as quickly as possible.”
We want our bushfire-affected customers to know that we are here to support them and haven’t lost focus on our role – to help them get back on their feet, as quickly as possible.Michael Miller, Suncorp Head of Claims
One example is the virtual assessment tool, that enables assessors to connect with customers via their smart phone and assess the damage associated with their insurance claim. It incorporates thorough risk assessments to ensure the customer’s safety prior to use and allows for multiple parties to participate in the assessment, whether it be a builder, engineer or other specialist.
Mr Miller said despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the insurer had not lost sight of the priority to help customers impacted by the summer’s devastating bushfires.
“We want our bushfire-affected customers to know that we are here to support them and haven’t lost focus on our role - to help them get back on their feet, as quickly as possible,” he said.
Suncorp Group, including brands AAMI, GIO, Apia and Shannons, has completed 70 per cent of home and 80 per cent of car bushfire insurance claims, and paid $160 million to customers who were impacted across the country.
“We understand this is a difficult and stressful time for many people, particularly those who have lost their family home or had their properties damaged or destroyed,” Mr Miller said.
“The past couple of months have also been a challenging time for our builders and trades as they navigate new ways of working.
“We still have a strong contingent of tradespeople on the ground working in impacted communities. We are practicing contactless claim repairs and are very sympathetic to the personal circumstances of our customers.
“Right now, we need to be safe, but not lose momentum. We know the faster we can inject funds into the local communities the stronger the recovery will be from the fires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Quickly paying claims, engaging local builders, using local trades and suppliers not only rebuilds people’s homes and businesses faster, but injects crucial economic vitality into damaged communities,” Mr Miller said.
“We know that the road to recovery after major natural disasters is long, but we will be with customers every step of the way and will not leave until our job is done.”