While our Risk Control department focuses on preparing for the unexpected, our Claim Catastrophe Response team takes the lead on customer interactions should a disaster or extreme weather event occur. Our Claim Catastrophe Response team coordinates closely with multiple business units and functions across the organization, including Underwriting, Legal and Communications, to respond to our customers' needs in a quick, efficient and compassionate manner. That’s part of the Travelers Promise to take care of the people we serve.
Our promise to protect customers from disasters begins well before a catastrophe hits. We partner with our customers and communities to ensure they are as prepared as possible for disaster, and we employ leading-edge data and analytics capabilities to help predict extreme events. In the event of a large catastrophe, we leverage the power of our data and analytics, as well as our 30,000 dedicated, in-house employees, to provide the best possible outcomes for our affected customers.
Travelers offers a range of resources that help our customers and the public prepare for disasters:
- Our network of 600+ Risk Control consultants and our self-service portal for Business Insurance customers provide a comprehensive framework and numerous planning resources, including individualized planning, to help businesses of all types plan for natural disasters, with a focus on safety and preserving business operations;
- Through the Prepare & Prevent page of our corporate website, we provide customers, agents and brokers and the general public with extensive educational resources to help them plan for, stay safe during and recover from natural disasters of all types;
- The Travelers Institute®, our public policy division, helps further educate the public and advocate with policymakers on the benefits of disaster preparedness and resilient communities; and
- Through charitable partnerships, Travelers and the Travelers Foundation support building strong communities, including through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity®.
In addition to catastrophe (CAT) modeling, our geospatial capability integrates event overlays that aggregate millions of data points from weather services, our weather models and ultra-high resolution aerial imagery on policy and claim locations to inform our response strategies.
Data visualization and geospatial capabilities facilitate decision-making and operational agility, and existing and post-catastrophe, low-altitude aerial photography helps us quickly assess the extent of damage and deploy appropriate resources. We have built a proprietary approach to assembling data that lets us assess severe storms, such as the precise size of hail forming in a storm cell, to understand the footprint of an event, how many customers will be affected and the probable severity of the losses. Our sophisticated Workforce Management platform leverages those geospatial insights to inform workforce deployment and Claim response decisions before, during and after a catastrophe event in order to engage the right catastrophe resources and technical expertise and begin deployment efforts before claims are even reported. All of that helps us to get the right people to the right place faster than ever before.
Every disaster is tragic. However, it gives us the chance to test new strategies in real-world conditions so we can take even better care of our customers when they need us most. For example, in 2018, Travelers combined high-resolution aerial photography with geospatial mapping technology to create virtual estimates of building damages following wildfires in Northern California, long before our staff could safely access the area. We also deployed new technology developed for the telecommunications industry to identify additional contact numbers within a household to proactively contact customers affected by the wildfires whom we had not yet heard from. The experiences and data gathered from each event helps us better prepare and serve our customers in the future.
Our sustained investment in innovative catastrophe response strategies sets Travelers apart from our peers. We handle customer claims, including all CAT claims, with specially trained Travelers employees. Generally, we do not contract CAT claims to third-party adjusters. We employ more than 300 dedicated catastrophe response specialists located across North America, prepared to deploy on 24 hours’ notice. This CAT Team is supported by operational and logistical support specialists at the National Catastrophe Center and partners closely with our 1,500+ property Claim professionals to respond to losses promptly, efficiently and compassionately. In 2018, we were able to adjust virtually 100% of our claims with our own employees. Our in-house claim capability allows us to process claims more quickly and accurately and enables a consistently high standard of customer service; it is a competitive advantage that results in a better outcome for our customers and a more efficient outcome for us.
Our sophisticated workforce management programs help us quickly organize, triage and deploy Claim professionals with the right expertise to the affected area. We leverage the power of 30,000 employees to support our response efforts in the event of a large catastrophe. We make considerable investments in training our Claim staff and cross-train thousands of employees to handle lower-severity catastrophe claims. This allows our catastrophe and claims experts to focus on high-severity claims without sacrificing quality. Our Claim department regularly conducts “tabletop” exercises to test our readiness to respond to different disaster scenarios, including storms, wildfires, earthquakes, cyber attacks and man-made events.
Our fleet of fully functioning, self-contained Mobile Claim Offices brings immediate claim service to our customers, who can stay connected using our satellite technology and power their smart devices at our generator-driven charging stations.
Our National Catastrophe Center, staffed by full-time catastrophe management professionals, allows us to plan and coordinate response activities in a secure environment away from the disaster area. This “command center,” which is equipped with state-of-the-art tools to actively monitor weather and claim trends, enables us to quickly transform information into action. For more information, see our video about Travelers Emergency Response.
Overall, our CAT response approach enables Travelers to respond quickly, effectively and compassionately — and, of course, with integrity — to our customers when they need us most. Despite the added logistical difficulties inherent in CAT response, our CAT Claim performance consistently meets or exceeds our internal benchmarks for claim handling. In 2018, approximately:
- 95% of claims arising out of the largest CAT events, and 94% of claims arising out of all CAT events, were resolved within 30 days;
- 84% of CAT claims were paid within a week of inspection; and
- 60% of CAT claims were paid the same day as inspected.1
In addition to being good for our customers, our ability to quickly adjust claims can have significant impacts in helping our communities recover. This short documentary demonstrates the impact our CAT response can have on customers, agents and brokers and communities.
We also have numerous case studies of businesses that have successfully partnered with Travelers to develop and implement effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Effective preparations help our customers protect their employees and manage their operations through natural disasters so they can continue to serve their customers and communities in the aftermath. This short video features one customer’s experience.