How Public Adjusters are Adjusting to COVID-19 Issues for Homeowners
Adjusters are dealing with the impact of COVID-19 just like everyone else around the world. Home damage and other insurance issues are no exception. Not only has the virus made it difficult to deal with these issues in general, it has all but shut down the daily business of adjusting claims. The good news is the workload is also lighter, so claims managers have an opportunity to deal with the ever-changing government regulations and guidelines..
Some adjusters have added steps to the vetting process. In new cases, claims are reviewed by a triage specialist and then assigned to the appropriate team. If an onsite visit is required, the adjuster contacts the homeowners with a phone call and/or email and uses that opportunity to review a range of questions. This allows them to evaluate the risk associated with an in-person adjustment. The primary goal of this call is to determine if a client is high-risk, so questions about travel and illness symptoms are part of the evaluation. In situations in which clients are determined to be high-risk, clients might be encouraged to use a self-service app to avoid the risk of a face-to-face meeting.
What adjusters have reported in response to COVID-19 in the public adjusters’ field is that tools that have long been available but were underutilized are not being employed. Companies that adopted these tools early on after they were introduced to the market have found the transition to be smoother, but all in all, most companies have been able to manage. Some have offered training or instructional guidance regarding how to use the self-service tools to both clients and adjusters.
For situations in which an in-person home visit is possible, adjusters follow specific guidelines to keep everyone safe. For example:
- Hand sanitizer is used when handwashing is not an option.
- Social distancing measures are employed.
- In some cases, masks and gloves are used, but guidelines regarding PPE safety measures vary from location to location.
- Adjusters are following local guidelines to the best of their ability and are also doing their best to honor the wishes of homeowners whenever possible.
- Their goal is to be as safe as possible and make everyone feel as secure as they can while still completing their work.
There is no denying the COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on all areas of life and this includes evaluating damages to a person’s home. The good news is adjusters can keep up with the ever-evolving developments with the virus and can still provide the service and guidance needed to homeowners during this time.