Technology Offers Agility on Wheels for Aiding Customers
by Maria Montenegro
Since its beginning in 1931, the Allstate Corporation has grown to become the largest publicly-held personal lines insurer in the United States. A national household name, its “good hands” are now synonymous with helping car and home owners repair and rebuild when disaster strikes.
As with many industries, advances in technology have allowed Allstate to become more agile and efficient in how it serves customers when insurance services are needed most. And nowhere is this more evident than with Allstate’s Mobile Claims Centers and Catastrophe Response Vehicles that deploy to hard hit areas and can become operational at the flip of a switch.
It was ferocious and devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that was the catalyst for Allstate to begin a relationship with Verizon for a solution that could allow its National Catastrophe “Cat” Team members to quickly reach thousands of customers across the Gulf Coast affected by the Category 3 hurricane.
Leveraging its expertise in satellite technology and experience mobilizing communications vehicles for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Verizon developed a satellite solution for Allstate that allowed its deployed Mobile Claims Centers to offer services such as claim filing and check disbursement -- on the spot. Affixed to the roof of the units, the satellite uplinks can come online within minutes, providing connectivity for trained catastrophe personnel to serve customers, and download claims when their local infrastructure services have been interrupted.
Allstate’s fleet of mobile claims centers and catastrophe response vehicles are equipped with workspaces, satellite phones, computer jacks, data lines and diesel generators.
Another catastrophe still fresh in the minds of many is Sandy which devastated parts of the Northeastern United States last year. Prior to Sandy making landfall, Allstate’s National Catastrophe Team staged in various locations up and down the East Coast and Mid Atlantic Region, including Raleigh, North Carolina, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. During the height of their response, Allstate’s CAT Team dedicated more than 4,000 claim personnel and two dozen mobile claim vehicles to assist customers with claim needs.
“Our mobile claims centers and catastrophe response vehicles have been invaluable for serving our customers when their need is greatest,” said Jim Edens, Senior Claim Field Director for Allstate’s National Catastrophe Team. “In the aftermath of a catastrophic event, the ability to seamlessly connect to Allstate’s network and communicate when other communications channels are down is critical to servicing customers when they need us most. Verizon makes that possible and our relationship with Verizon is a trusted one we rely on year-around.”
In recognition of National Preparedness Month, Verizon Enterprise Solutions has outlined business continuity tips for companies and government agencies.