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Don’t wait for the next surge event – take the time to prepare now

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

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We’re not sure where and we’re not sure when but we don’t need to be a fortune teller to know that we will soon experience another surge event. Whether that’s a flood, a heatwave, or another storm we know that due to the impacts of climate change these once infrequent events are now becoming more regular and it’s important for an insurer to be prepared.

Given surge events were often planned for as a ‘one in ten years’ event, insurers would often do a review after one event then put it away in a dusty cupboard never to be seen again, let alone brought out a decade later. The dynamic has moved on – surge reviews should not simply be completed after the event, they need to be regularly reviewed and updated in line with any new processes or developments in your business, any new planned scenarios and importantly shared with your people and suppliers.

It isn’t as difficult as it seems. Insurers have a huge amount of their own data available to analyse and experts such as the team at Procurato can provide you with much more so you can benchmark your current capability against that of your peers.

Here are our five top tips to preparing for the next surge event.

1. Review your historic data and current portfolio

Do you understand what and where your surge risks are? Are they still in alignment with your risk appetite and if so, do you need to review your pricing and supplier strategies?

2. Re-evaluate how well you handled your last surge event.

What lessons did you learn? Dust off the review (if you did one) and make sure nothing needs updating? Are there new team members who need to be aware of this? Make sure your teams are aware of the process if an unexpected event happens again. If you didn’t do a review, why not ask the questions now?

Did you communicate well with your teams and suppliers? Was the right leadership team in place? Were you able to provide real-time updates to customers? Did you have the resource (people and phone lines) to manage the increased claims? Was your technology fit for purpose? This includes both the website for customers and your own internal systems. Could you have responded sooner? Did your suppliers react in the way you needed them to?

3. Create an internal surge team

Consider creating a specific surge teams who operate as a crisis management team. Ensure everyone knows their roles in the process and run test simulation events to ensure the process works. Identify any gaps and ensure they are filled as much as possible in preparation.

4. Review your supplier contracts

It’s vital that you understand the capability of your supply chain. When was the last time you reviewed your suppliers’ performance? How are you evaluating that you are getting what you are paying for? Do you understand the resilience of your suppliers so if there is a surge you know they can handle it? Is it time for the contract to be updated?

5. Operational Resilience

Can you financially weather the storm? FCA guidance came into effect on 31 March 2022 which means certain insurers must have identified their important business services, identified any vulnerabilities in their operational resilience and set impact tolerances for the maximum tolerable disruption. With any gaps needing to be filled within the next three years are you ready for these regulatory changes?

The Procurato Way

Our experts at Procurato have years of experience in the insurance industry and work with several of the UK’s leading insurance groups. We will work with you and your teams to review your existing processes and systems to identify any gaps and importantly any opportunities.

We will review your supplier performance and identify where any contracts can be strengthened to the benefit of both parties and your customers. And of course, we’ll assess their operational capability so you know they will be there when you need them the most.

For more information, please contact us.

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