Covéa Insurance maintains service levels despite 180% increase in claims caused by Storm Desmond

21st December 2015

Covéa Insurance has confirmed it has experienced a 180% increase in claims volumes to date as a result of Storm Desmond, but despite this huge influx in claims, throughout the busiest period, customer service levels have been maintained.

Early notification of a likely claims surge came from the company’s recently adopted claims modelling software Coventeo which, using the Storm Desmond weather pattern, predicted a 206% increase in claims volumes. This provided Covéa Insurance’s claims team clear, timely information about where and when resources needed to be deployed; as a result all the company’s trained claims handlers and cross-skilled staff, from multiple offices, were ready and able to respond to the predicted influx in customer calls.

Conventeo also allowed the company to identify and proactively offer assistance to vulnerable customers through loss adjusters making targeted visits to offer practical assistance.

The operation to restore properties and get families back into their homes in time for Christmas is now well underway. For severely affected homes, customers are being moved into suitable temporary accommodation, emergency interim payments are being made and festive hampers or vouchers are being given as a small gesture to recognise the difficult situation.

To ensure the quickest possible return to their homes, normal protocols have been sidestepped. Claims handlers are fully empowered to provide the best possible outcome for customers: approved contractors delegated authority levels have been raised: loss adjusters have been given authority to progress claims following a visit, without the need for referral.

Motor customers’ claims have been fast-tracked, with imaging technology being utilised to enable total loss valuations without the need for a physical inspection; resulting in significantly reduced settlement times, with the vast majority of these claims settled within 2-3 days.

Following the successful insourcing of Covéa Insurance’s home claims service in 2014, this is the first time that the team has had its surge response tested.

Speaking about the team’s response, Claims Director, Adrian Furness said:

“It’s at times like this that people really depend on us. We recognise the misery and suffering they experience which is why it’s so gratifying that our service has held out really well under significant pressure. Having the claims surge predictions was a massive help, allowing us to be a step ahead and have the right resources in place, so were ready to deal with the increased volume. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get customers back into their homes, and get businesses back up and running, but we’re confident that our ability to maintain high service standards has been ‘stress tested’ and found to be extremely robust..

As claims develop, we expect the final claims volume to be much closer to the predicted 206%. It’s too early to make any reliable estimate of cost, but our prudent reserving and strong underwriting approach mean we’re well prepared, so it won’t have an adverse effect on our overall financial position.”




About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance Plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France, generating over 16.6 billion Euros in premiums in 2020.   

Covéa Insurance looks after the insurance needs of over 2 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s ‘AA- stable’ rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, pet, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, through a range of distribution channels.

Employing over 1900 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos.  It holds ServiceMark accreditation with Distinction for its Personal Lines operation and its Commercial & HNW Claims teams, as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial business.  Covéa Insurance is signatory to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and the insurance Inclusivity Pledge and has been named one of the top 75 employers in West Yorkshire & the Humber.

Recently, Covéa Insurance won the General Insurer of the Year award at the British Insurance Awards 2021. It was named as the Best Place to Work in Digital (Large Organisations) at the Digital Technology Leaders Awards and as the Best Employer at the Yorkshire Financial Awards.  They were also recipients of the Best Insurer title at the British Claims Awards, High Net Worth Product of the Year Award at the Insurance Times Awards, the Staff Empowerment Award at the Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance Awards.

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