29 November 2021
We sat down with commercial property claims team member, Caroline Martin, to discover what a typical day in the life of a claim’s handler is like. We also spoke about what makes the perfect claim and her biggest challenge this year.
What is your role at RSA?
I am a commercial property claims handler for RSA, based in Manchester. I am part of a team of 20 people and we handle around 25 SME property claims a day.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There isn’t one! One thing I enjoy about my job is that every day you get to deal with a different incident, or a different person. It keeps it interesting, and there is a lot to learn all the time.
But this past year hasn’t been very typical! Working from home was a significant change for us because we are the front line and people still needed us to help them. When we first went into lockdown last year, phones were switched off for only a very short time while we all set ourselves up at home. From that point on, it’s been business as usual, and we are all here as much as we can be for our customers.
What makes the 'perfect' claim?
Getting the right information first time and getting as much information as possible. When we speak to customers, we have to extract as much as we can to help them get the right support and resolution. It makes life easier if we have as much of a complete picture at first notification, so we can make decisions quickly and get the right people on the job.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
I would say its setting expectations with our customers. Insurance can be confusing for some policyholders, and we make sure we help our customers to understand what is covered and how we need to progress a claim.
We need to know the policies inside and out, and if something isn’t going to be covered, we have to be honest with the customer as early on as possible and make sure we are very clear as to why. That means people can sometimes be disappointed or upset, but we make sure we give them advice, support and help them wherever we can.
If there is any element of doubt about a claim, we have lots of technical experts we can call on to help us make an informed decision.
"Insurance can be confusing for some policyholders, and we make sure we help our customers to understand what is covered and how we need to progress a claim."
Apart from the pandemic, what is the biggest challenge you've faced this year?
For property, the weather this year has been a big issue – and not just in the winter, when we are sort of prepared for it!
At the start of the summer, we were really busy with the unexpected floods in two areas of London, and that surge in claims has a knock-on effect for the team. It was a month of rain in a few hours and caused a lot of flood and damage claims. What was really testing, was that it not only happened once, but again only a few weeks later nearby.
When we have events like that, it’s all hands-on deck, and everyone works together to make sure we are managing calls quickly, sending adjusters where they are needed rapidly, and getting as much information from the customer as we possibly can to make the process as quick and efficient as possible.
How is performance measured in your team?
We have KPIs just like the rest of the business, and we are measured against things like time to settle, costs and issue resolution. Our files are audited, and we have to make sure we adhere to processes and rules in every decision we make. As a team, we chat regularly about the claims we are working on and help each other out. Our management team is also really supportive in helping us to make the best decisions for our customers.
Why do you think claims is an essential part of the business?
There are two things really. One is that we are the front line, and it may be the only time a customer ever directly deals with us as a business, so we have to set the standard and handle their claims the best we can.
We also get to help the wider business with our work, especially when there are events like the summer floods. We let them know what we are seeing and hearing to keep adapting our policies and communications to help our customers understand their cover and what to do when they need to claim.
What do you like most about working for RSA?
I have been in claims for over a decade. I have only been at RSA for two years and I like it here a lot. The people are great and there is so much support.
Even while we have all been working remotely, we have managed to stay together as a team. I was still relatively new when we went into lockdown, and it was a bit nerve-wracking, especially with two children at home too! But there were lots of people around to help me and everyone was approachable and understanding.
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