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Winter Related Claims and Profitability

Pacific-Crest-Independent-Insurance-Alliance-winter-related-claims

 

Winter and its weather mean a lot of things to a lot of people. As an independent insurance agent, what does it mean to you and your business?

 

It should mean your phones are lighting up and you’re adding to your long list of things to-do, thanks to an increase in the number of auto and home claims. It has definitely been the case, here, in Idaho. Cars have been piling up on the side of the road faster than tow trucks can dig them out and auto body shops can barely keep up.

 

If you’re an agent that has been around for a few years, be aware that this time of the year can affect your overall numbers, significantly. Agents should account for this throughout the rest of the year (here are some of the costliest winters of all time) as they track their financials.

 

Nationwide reported a loss of approximately $2.3 Billion in 2014 Q1 due to increase number of claims. This is considered lower than the industry average in relation to insurance companies of their size.

 

More claims are filed by almost ten-fold in the winter months, according to the Insurance Journal. With the high increase, comes higher variable costs that an agent has to account for:

 

  • More staff to handle increase in phone calls = increased over-head costs in salary
  • Higher claims filed = higher loss ratio

 

While this may be the down-side to this time of year, there’s a way to capitalize on it.

 

Try reaching out to clients to make sure they have the right coverages on both their home and auto policies. One of the most beneficial coverages (for both parties) to bring up, would be roadside assistance.

 

Roadside assistance will ease the pain for you and the customer. Having a lower amount of claims that involve tow trucks and auto-shops, means lower premium increases and loss ratio.

 

While we spend so much time worried about auto claims, don’t forget about home owners’ issues too…

 

A lot can go wrong around the home during the this time of year. Some of the common home claims in the winter:

 

  • Pipe bursts – the costliest of all winter issues
  • House fires from candles and Christmas lights
  • Ice dams and snow weight on roofs
  • Hail damage

 

In case of an emergency, it’s always good to have the claims numbers handy. See below for some of the most common carriers’ direct lines to report a claim:

 

Progressive………………………………………………….1-800-274-4499

Safeco………………………………………………………….1-800-332-3226

MetLife………………………………………………………..1-800-854-6011

Travelers……………………………………………………..1-800-252-4633

Allied…………………………………………………………..1-800-282-1446

The Hartford………………………………………………..1-800-243-5860

Kemper(Unitrin) …………………………………………1-888-252-2799

Mercury………………………………………………………1-800-503-3724

Dairyland/Viking…………………………………………1-800-334-0090

 

 

 

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