Experts in the insurance and claims space by nature are always prepared for the unexpected. Whether we’re contending with a season of extreme weather, sudden accidents, or a global pandemic, we know the importance of responding quickly to property claims in the field. Being prepared for the unexpected also means keeping an open mind when faced with change. And the COVID-19 pandemic certainly brought a lot of that. But we learned to make adjustments — from the way that we work to how we practice health and safety, both in public and in the field.
Last year, Sedgwick’s property group expanded its technology capabilities to enable a seamless virtual experience when in-person field work was not possible. While our loss adjusters have long used high-engagement field adjusting technology to inspect damages, the pandemic pushed this tool into the hands of consumers for the first time. Throughout the past year, when clients reported a property claim, an adjuster connected with the insured through a remote video inspection session via secure video conference. Through Sedgwick’s remote technology, adjusters were able to gather photographs and measurements of the damage without physically entering the field. All data, files and the video call itself were stored as part of the claim file to ensure an accurate estimate and report.
This somewhat forced and accelerated adoption of digital has clearly demonstrated benefits for customers, insurers and claims adjusters alike, while still giving customers the human factor related to an inspection or evaluating a loss. At the onset of pandemic lockdowns, our field loss adjusters were able to respond immediately to claim assignments thanks to this technology. By the same token, clients have become more open-minded to an adjuster inspecting their claim remotely because they continue to receive quick, personalized, help from the experts.
As always, the support of an experienced loss adjuster has been an integral part of Sedgwick’s process, even as appointments went virtual. By blending the immediacy of remote inspection and loss visits with the personal touch and thoroughness of experienced adjusters, clients continue to have their claims estimated quickly and accurately.
There is a promising future for remote field adjusting technology, even as in-person site visits ramp back up. We expect this technology will continue to support the field inspection and loss adjusting process in the near-term, where remote and self-service options for low severity claims will become even more popular in the months ahead. Remote visits have also helped to identify vulnerable customers who may require more assistance, such as the elderly or those with particularly complicated claims, so we can send in-person help to those customers with greater efficiency.
For many losses, a virtual-first approach is the most effective way to handle the claim. With our global intake system, we can use smarter triage to identify claims that would be great candidates for virtual adjusting. Then our dedicated desk unit of experienced, remote adjusters are powered by the best technology to quickly and accurately scope and appraise losses remotely. And our built in escalation points allow us to involve a Sedgwick field resource when the scope or complexity becomes too much to settle from the desk.
Now is the time to embrace the challenges and changes the past year has brought us. Our loss adjusters will continue to leverage technologies in their effort to serve our customers in the best possible way for every circumstance — providing rapid and accurate inspection and loss adjusting. We encourage our clients to learn more about our remote field adjusting technology and how our people first, technology-forward approach can result in better outcomes. As always, taking care of people is at the heart of everything we do, and we hope that technology will better enable key stakeholders now and in the future.