Hurricane Matthew: 3 best practices your claims team can use this weekend

by Heather Munro on October 7, 2016


Photo credit: Mark Wilson via Getty Images.

Now that Hurricane Matthew is hovering about 35 miles off Florida’s east coast, it’s time for your claims team to begin estimating potential exposure and jump into action. The category 3 hurricane is expected to pack a punch this weekend with a powerful combination of storm surge flooding, rainfall flooding, and destructive winds impacting areas from northeast Florida to the southern part of North Carolina. Jacksonville, Savannah, and Charleston are expected to be hard hit. While it’s too early to say what will happen, the level of risk is clearly elevated and insurers are on high alert.

At the same time, tropical storm Nicole picked up speed near Bermuda yesterday afternoon, setting a new record. This is the latest time of year that two storms in the North Atlantic Ocean have had winds over 105 mph simultaneously, according to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

As Hurricane Matthew evolves, you can access the current storm path in SpatialKey and adjust your response strategy as needed. Now’s the time to begin gearing up for the surge in claims, informing senior management, stakeholders, and investors about the possible financial impact, and most importantly, staying in touch with and providing relief to your customers.

While you are mobilizing your claims team to handle the region’s most powerful storm in nearly ten years, we’ve put together three best practices to help you proactively prepare for the incoming claims from Hurricane Matthew.

1. Understand your exposure and estimate potential claims costs. Now that it’s clear Matthew will cause flooding and wind damage in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, it’s critical to get a sense of the storm’s magnitude and its potential impact to your portfolio. As the storm unfolds, be sure to monitor, analyze, and re-analyze the changing impact—SpatialKey makes it easy to understand portfolio impact throughout the storm. Being able to filter by construction type, location, or line of business with a tool like SpatialKey can also help you understand the drivers of loss and how they contribute to storm-related claims in the aggregate.

Screen_Shot_2016-10-07_at_3.27.13_PM-1.pngQuickly determine your exposure and estimate potential claims costs from Hurricane Matthew within SpatialKey.

2. Communicate the potential financial impact to senior management, stakeholders, and investors.
If your book of business is heavily concentrated in Jacksonville, for example, an area that hasn’t been under a hurricane warning for 17 years, your chief underwriting officer will most likely want to see a summary of the impact. With a click of a button, quickly run reports to visualize the Total Insured Value or Exposed Limits in the affected area and share them with your team using the SpatialKey Hurricane Forecasts event response app.

3. Quickly get in touch with affected customers. While many of your customers may have already evacuated, you can still contact those further inland with tips for preparing their properties to weather the storm. By understanding the path and potential impact of the storm, you can proactively reach out to your customers to demonstrate that you're invested in their well-being, making them more likely to renew when the time comes.

While Matthew is your main concern this weekend, there are nearly two months left in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. SpatialKey Hurricane Forecasts can help you manage your response for Matthew, Nicole, and any other hurricanes on the horizon. To find out more about how SpatialKey can help, contact us today.

Topics: Hurricane

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