The summer of 2017 has been a brutal time for severe weather in the United States. The closing weeks of August through mid-September 2017 brought strong hurricanes, torrential rains and devastating wind damage. States along the Gulf of Mexico and the territory of Puerto Rico were especially impacted by Mother Nature’s wrath. While humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross and governmental agencies like FEMA are well-known for providing rescue and recovery efforts, the role insurers play before and after storms cannot be understated. In its most basic form, the promise of every insurance policy is to provide compensation for a specified loss.

After the hurricanes hit many insurance companies notified members that settling claims en masse was their top priority. However, a few insurance companies went above and beyond their fiduciary obligations to serve customers in their time of need. In reviewing the hurricane messaging and support efforts of over a dozen P&C insurance companies, we’ve identified the three following companies as stand-outs with strong brand personas and engaging customer outreach:

farmersFarmers

While Farmers Insurance stuck to mostly quick, informational social media posts, on the ground, the insurer took an experimental approach when it erected a pop-up tent community. This new, highly-mobile claims strategy gave 80 adjusters the ability to quickly reach isolated communities while freeing up local resources such as hotels for families flooded out of their homes. Complete with two “mayors”, a fuel station, hot meals and laundry services, Farmers designed the pop-up community to enable claims adjusters to work 12-hour days as comfortably as possible.

USAA

This military-focused insurer positioned itself as a steady leader with a hands-on digital approach. Along with posting pre- and post-storm videos from agents and claims teams, Wayne Peacock, the President of the Property and Casualty division, personally appeared in five social media videos. In his posts, Mr. Peacock spoke directly to USAA members reiterating the company’s commitment to hurricane victims, assuring 24/7 support, and to announce a $1.5M grant to recovery efforts.

allstateAllstate

Taking a supportive, educational tone, Allstate set its company apart by launching a “Good Hands for Hurricane Victims” consumer education program. As a part of the program, Allstate provided its proprietary “Good Hands Recovery Guide” and hosts information sessions to its members and the public alike. Along with guiding hurricane victims through the insurance claims process, Allstate provided information regarding government support programs. In a press release announcing the education program, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson stated that, “Extending the Good Hands to everybody shows we are a different type of company and, quite simply, it’s just the right thing to do.”

What we think

While the cornerstone of every insurance company is its ability to provide financial support when disaster strikes, its relationships with customers and the value it provides can go both deeper and broader. USAA, Farmers and Allstate each demonstrated a distinctive customer service approach while reinforcing their brands’ values. As insurance companies across the industry look to foster loyalty and increase member engagement, relevant, thoughtful and timely outreach should be at the forefront of their minds.

Caitlin Moling is the Director of Insights, Insurance for Mintel Comperemedia. She combines her deep knowledge of the complex insurance industry with consumer research, industry trends and competitive marketing intelligence to build timely and meaningful stories for Mintel’s insurance clients. As a part of her role as a thought leader for insurance, Caitlin travels throughout the US and Canada to present insurance marketing trends and insights to major industry stakeholders.

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