Severe weather events frequently see Crawford® called upon to deploy its resources across huge geographical ranges.
Few countries offer more striking examples of this than Canada and Australia, where events of recent years have seen wildfires, cyclones, floods and droughts cause significant insured losses, at times exacerbated by dangerous conditions and huge distances.
Crawford has developed a number of strategies to support its customers, ensuring uninterrupted service, and frequently deploying loss adjusters from overseas to complement existing teams. At present, we have a team of adjusters who continue to be on standby to assist with losses as a result of Cyclone Debbie which landed on March 27 in Queensland.
Another example saw Canadian teams recently working alongside their Australian colleagues after storm activity in Southern Australia resulted in a significant spike in claims volume during early 2017.
Hundreds of thousands of homes were left without power as storms swept the region, causing an estimated AUS$272m in losses, on top of an already challenging year in which weather events had been well above the norm.
A team of five was dispatched from Canada to assist, as Robyn Stewart, Claims Adjuster, at Crawford Canada explains: “Three of us were posted in Melbourne, one in Adelaide and I was sent to a sub-office in Moonta Bay, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Australia. During 30 days I clocked up almost 3500km on the road.”
“Water (or lack thereof) is a valuable resource,” adds Robyn. “The infrastructure to carry rainwater away in the areas I was working is almost non-existent. As a result, heavy rainfall overwhelmed some storm water systems and claims, while broadly similar in nature, were notified in high volumes.”
Pat Van Bakel, President of Crawford Canada jointly authorised the deployment and has been pleased with the results delivered by Robyn and other colleagues.
“It goes without saying that sending teams across the world is a significant undertaking and we emphasise that this cost is never passed on to our customers. The intention is only to ensure that insurers and their insureds receive the right level of service.
“For Crawford, we see a huge range of ancillary benefits, particularly in relation to personal and professional development. Robyn can take this experience and remind everyone that opportunities to grow within Crawford are a priority.”
“The welcome I received from our colleagues in Southern Australia was fantastic,” adds Robyn.
“Of course, because you are sent to handle claims in a catastrophe situation, the workload can be very high, but the support provided by Crawford is excellent. We are also seeing the benefits of new technology coming to the fore, so that even when large physical distances have to be covered, the transmission of documents, reports and communication to our clients is very efficient.”