With carriers relying heavily on adjusters and agents in the field to show responsiveness and customer commitment, the need for cutting-edge mobile technology is increasing. For Indiana Farm Bureau's 160 multiline adjusters and 45 material damage appraisers, for example, technology doubles the amount of claims they can handle and keeps policyholders happy. "Having access to information as quickly as possible is a necessity to keep pace with the industry and get customers the service they deserve," explains Joe Marcum, director of field services for Indiana Farm Bureau (Indianapolis). The 2005 hurricane season brightened the spotlight on emerging technologies with which carriers arm their adjusters.
Ruggedized laptops with wireless capabilities or PC cards allow adjusters to go online and complete claims efficiently, even in severe weather conditions.
While on the road, answers to questions are only a touch-tone away with a mobile phone. And thanks to enhanced features such as built-in digital cameras and wireless Internet access, adjusters can get claims rolling from nearly anywhere.
Traveling through unknown territory in catastrophe-affected areas can be dangerous and time-consuming, but with a satellite-directed Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping out routes, adjusters can navigate around any situation.
Straight Line Laser
By measuring straight lines, this handy tool helps adjusters estimate the scope of repairs needed for a damaged area, such as a flooded home.
Scheduling and Estimating Software
Scheduling software creates a client/appointment roster to help adjusters manage their time effectively, and estimating software automatically finds the right price tag to place on property losses.
A picture is worth a thousand words - and dollars. A snapshot and interview stored in a shared database let customer service representatives see and hear testimony of damages, allowing claims to be processed faster.
A lightweight PC tablet lets an adjuster survey damages while taking notes for first notice of loss.