Responding to Severe Weather

Gavin Mascarenhas—Vice President, Claim, Travelers Canada

Severe weather events are a time of worry and stress for those who live and work in the path of these storms. It’s important for our industry to be proactive and ready to serve customers for the planned and unplanned storms ahead. 

Significant Weather Events in 2023

The Travelers Claim team responded to several significant weather events this year, including in Kelowna and Halifax. In each instance, we were on the ground and face-to-face with our customers in evacuation centres. Using advanced analytics, we were able to provide our customers with payments upfront to help them deal with their misplacement in mass evacuations. When these events occur, people and businesses in affected areas have a lot to sort through, so it’s important to understand the impact responsiveness and proactivity can have during these times. We settled most property claims within 30 days of both storms, so those affected were able to focus on other things that matter most, such as safety and rebuilding. 

Travelers’ Customer Experience Philosophy 

We feel it’s our duty to be there when and where our customers need us most. Our customer service philosophy is Secure, Respected and Cared For. Our Claim team strives to meet these core values with every claim we receive. We demonstrate our commitment to our customers by doing simple things consistently, such as making timely and meaningful contact on a newly reported claim and returning calls within a reasonable amount of time. This level of consistency did not waver throughout the weather events this year – wildfires, hailstorms, floods, hurricanes, torrential rain and wind.

The Role of Technology in Claim

Technology allows us to keep tabs on weather predictions and patterns, providing a glimpse at what might be in store for the season so we can plan and be ready to serve customers when the time comes. We use geo-spatial technology to identify areas that may be hit with severe events based on their pre- or post-event terrain. The ability to scope potential damages in our highest-concentrated policy areas and determine any unreported losses allows us to be proactive in how we support those affected. We capture available imagery of the landscape post-event and leverage our digital tools to get an estimate of our exposure in the aftermath. 

Our artificial intelligence informs us on the severity of the event in each location. The benefits of these technologies are tremendous. Following the wildfires in B.C., Travelers was meeting with customers and brokers, informing them of the impact prior to evacuation orders being lifted. Our fleet of drones was also used in B.C. to estimate damages. Technology gives us an advantage in preparedness and execution when it comes to weather events. 

Thanks to the variety of tools available, we can be ready to react and be there for customers when the time comes. 

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