16 Jun 2021

Customers continue seeking greater out of hours support in motor claims

In October last year we saw a change to the pattern of motor claims reports from March to September 2020, with a shift towards more people making a claim at the weekends as driving patterns were disrupted by the pandemic.

The same analysis has been carried out to the end of March 2021 to review how further lockdowns and changes in driving patterns continue to impact when customers wish to report their claim. This might affect how Insurers plan to resource their claims operations, especially as an upward trend for out of hours, evenings and weekends, continues.

Like the findings in October, the later part of 2020 and beginning of 2021 saw weekends being a more significant reporting period than it had before. Some weekends in particular saw a huge shift in when claims came in. A peak of 24.3% of claims were received over the last weekend of January 2021, with an average of 20% of claims across the weekend for the whole period of October to March 21.

As well as weekends being more significant in claims reporting, the late evening time period also saw an increase. There was an overall dip in the proportion of claims out of hours during weekdays (between 5pm and 8am) – from 23% to 20% but a small uptick in claims notifications in the late evening – from 9pm to midnight – which rose from 2% to 3% of the overall volume. Potentially linked to a higher proportion of road users doing non office hours e.g. key workers.

There are indications too that customer needs were more complex during this period. The duration of FNOL out of hours calls increased by almost 3 minutes in this six month period versus the previous period, and year on year. At Cobalt, we pride ourselves have offering the same level of service to customers 24/7, so the increase is due to the complexity of the contact.

Steve Molloy, Head of Insurer Services at Cobalt, was interested in what the findings tell Insurers, “There remains disruption around people’s driving behaviour and patterns and that is affecting motor claims. However it’s not easy to manage an out of hours operation and with the pandemic continuing to shift claims to outside of core business times this can be a challenge to deal with – if you want to truly offer a 24/7 service to customers.

“FNOL calls out of hours are taking longer. That’s because customers want more assistance, have questions and queries. It’s really important we are there to provide that on the Insurer’s behalf – whether that’s purely out of hours or an overflow solution.

“Insurers need to present a convenient solution to their policyholders, a claims service that does actually progress the claim, not just take a message, at a time when the customer needs assistance.  If the insurer, or their representative, can’t help straight away the customer is much more likely to sort things out themselves and that will incur higher costs in the long run.”

Cobalt is an accident management specialist operating 24/7. Our service can mirror the insurers in hours operation, and is a comprehensive first call response and fulfilment service.

Get in touch today to find out how Cobalt can help your business with out of hours motor claims handling.

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