Why the CEO of Travelers Canada thinks internal claims handling increases client confidence

Travelers’ CEO and president, Heather Masterson, has stated that handling claims internally has contributed to an increase in customer trust.

Speaking at an event for insurance brokers, Masterson said that a carrier’s best practices and discipline should include taking ownership of the entire claims process.

Her main point was the importance of consistently high-quality training for all of her claims experts.

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane Sandy forced the Travelers team to reevaluate their claims-adjusting methodology following a loss due to the devastation it caused in those countries.

Masterson stated, “We were very much a part of that system,” referring to the widespread practice of using independent adjusters as a means to prolong claims at work during that time.

We were unable to meet the claimants’ requests in a timely manner while still providing them with the fairness and service they deserved. Consequently, we handled everything in-house.

In Masterson’s view, a carrier can exert complete control over the claims process by assuming full responsibility for the education, style, approach, and experience issues.

Ultimately, the CEO stated, “We haven’t seen a dip” after reviewing customer survey satisfaction rates.

A good example of how a strong strategy to handle climate catastrophes and changing weather may lead to increased consumer trust is Travelers, which had a ten-point spike in their customer approval ratings following Hurricane Sandy.

Masterson discussed the ways in which technology may improve the claims process and the reasons why the Canadian market continues to face certain issues during his CEO lecture at the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario Convention in Toronto this year.

Using technology to comprehend and manage claims
Maximizing the use of technology to provide consumers with more accurate and favorable outcomes is a crucial component of Masterson’s idea of upholding best practices and standards throughout the claims process.

In order to receive specific and useful information regarding the origin and effect of a loss on an insured, Travelers uses aerial imaging technology, which the CEO highlighted.

“Our system keeps tabs on weather patterns and events all over North America at all times, day and night,” she boasted.

“In order to understand the location of our insureds, we conduct flyovers and acquire geospatial imagery of properties before the weather pattern happens. After the weather pattern passes, we will do another flyover to determine the extent of the damage.

If the location is inaccessible to people because of the devastation, this will help insurers assess the storm’s effects without physically being there.

“Additionally, we use that data and knowledge to contact our brokers, who will then inform their clients and assist them with the claims process,” Masterson explained.

“When people’s livelihoods or homes are severely impacted, it truly does make a material difference.”

New and improved methods of connecting carriers, brokers, and consumers can be achieved through investments in claims technology and other advancements.

When a corporation invests in its brokers’ infrastructure, “the worker and customer experience tends to get better and better,” Masterson said.

“When our relationships are strong and reciprocated, our interactions and engagements are designed to foster mutual growth.”

“The difficulties will continue.”
Also discussed during the CEO panel was the state of the economy, particularly in relation to a comparable presentation from the 2022 conference.

Continuing from last year, “We’re not through with the challenges that we were facing,” Masterson stated.

“We’re currently encountering numerous challenges, and there may be even more on the horizon.”

The cost of living, products, and services continues to impact many Canadians as the country’s inflation rate has increased above expectations.

“Inflation causes uncertainty,” Masterson stated.

We are highly dependent on the economy, so that’s something we’ll need to keep an eye on. We can clearly observe the effect of increasing inflation on our loss costs.

Insurance products and carriers are scrambling to keep up with the alarming 30% increase in loss costs compared to four years ago, according to Masterson.

Brokers are the first line of defense when it comes to informing clients about the signs of increasing rates and the importance of insurance to society; therefore, it’s crucial that they have access to insights like these.

“I believe we do an excellent job communicating our narrative within the industry,” Masterson remarked.

However, I’m not sure we do a great job of conveying that tale to the outside world. Additionally, I believe it is critical that we unite to emphasize the significance of insurance by being resilient and strategic in our messaging.