Why does my agent keep asking me to set up an online portal with my insurance carrier?
“I like paper copies of my policies.”
“I don’t like to pay bills online. I prefer checks.”
“Talking to my local agent is how I want to do business.”
Anders, Ireland & Marshall wants to do business with you –the way you prefer! So why does your agent keep asking to set up a customer profile with my insurance company? The company does not require it, so why would we need to set up a client profile?
Because we listened to other customers and agents who suffered catastrophic losses. Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy provided lessons that we want to pass on to our clients here in North Carolina. In a catastrophe, many people may be temporarily displaced from their home or business. Phone service or internet service may not be available in some areas.
One of the most important lessons learned was that current contact information was a determining factor in the speed of claims service. If your insurance company only has your mailing address and your mailbox (or your post office!) has been destroyed, a mailed letter will be the slowest method of contact. During Katrina, whole areas were not accessible for mail delivery for lengthy periods.
Many clients change cell phone numbers or have disconnected home phones. If a claims adjuster can reach you by cell phone, the adjusters and claims representatives can reach you even if you have been temporarily displaced out of state.
Emails! Have you changed from that old Hotmail or Yahoo email? Forgot to change to your Gmail address? Or did you set things up using a work email address – then change jobs? Emails were a frequently used resource during Sandy where phone service was spotty or undependable. Those who had phone service sometimes were unable to recharge immediately making emails the best source of contact.
Claims reporting made quicker! After a life threatening event, finding your policy number or a company phone number is one extra step. Insureds who had already set up online profiles or who had installed/used company phone apps were able to access policy information and report claims quickly without waiting for power restoration. This allowed insureds to get a claim number and adjuster assigned in real-time without delay. Quicker reporting means quicker claims payments – and that is what every insured needs during a catastrophic event.
Want to sign up for online service? Below are links to five of our carriers who offer online account management – Click on the logo to set up your profile today!