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Insurer Says Blue Cod Solution Stood Test of Super Storm Sandy

Narragansett Bay Insurance’s dynamic reaction plan and Blue Cod’s services enabled the carrier to handle more than double anticipated claims.

Blue Cod Technologies launched its Constant Coverage Solution yesterday at the IASA Educational Conference and Business Show, but the offering springs from capabilities that were tested and found effective during Super Storm Sandy, according to executives at Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (NBIC, Pawtucket, R.I.).

Mike Anselmo, Narragansett Bay Insurance
Mike Anselmo, Narragansett Bay Insurance

As a homeowners’ insurance carrier focused on a coastal geography, Narragansett Bay Insurance Company needs to be prepared for major storms during the Atlantic hurricane season. “We’re a relatively small organization with about 140,000 policies in force, and we focus on preparation for catastrophes to effectively service our policyholders,” comments Michael Anselmo, the carrier’s CIO. “The issue is that we have a small internal claims staff but have to be ready for the ‘big one.’”

NBIC has formally prescribed measures in place like any property insurer, but it has designed its CAT plan to be more dynamic, according to Brendan Voss, VP, claims, NBIC. “Our plan outlines major functions but allows us to expand them so that when the time comes, you’re not behind the eight ball,” Voss says. “That was something that worked very well with Blue Cod.”

NBIC had an existing relationship with Blue Cod to handle first notice of loss and customer service before Sandy struck, but the carrier expanded the relationship in flight, according to Anselmo. Heavy demand developed while the storm was bearing down on October 28, eventually reaching double what NBIC’s CAT plan anticipated. The flexibility of the carrier’s plan, coupled with its relationship with its provider facilitate a quick expansion of Blue Cod’s role include claims handling and a staffing of a hurricane priority hotline.

Anselmo stresses the role of NBIC’s built-in flexibility in its expansion of the Blue Cod relationship. “We can’t just expand like a balloon internally during CAT season,” he remarks. “Our partners are assimilated into our day-to-day processes, so that when the ‘big one’ happens, they can respond quickly to provide the resources we need.”

[Narragansett Bay Accelerates the Claims Pipeline]

Based on the 3,300 claims NBIC received during Hurricane Irene in 2011, the carrier dedicated resources to handle even larger numbers. “In anticipation of possible events, we prepared for the potential need to handle up to 10,000 claims,” says Voss. “In the event of Sandy, the number reached above 20,000.”

In the first two weeks after Sandy Struck, NBIC received 75% of its reported claims total. “Working closely with Blue Cod, NBIC was able to handle this volume, which was more than double our plan,” says Voss.

While NBIC was focused on expanding its customer service capabilities, Blue Cod was able to handle the additional claim servicing load, according to Anselmo. “Our business capability model recognizes that we couldn’t be successful without partners such as Blue Cod,” he says. “In the case of the extraordinary demands of Super Storm Sandy, Blue Cod really stepped up to the plate so that we can provide exceptional service to our customers.”

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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