20 Oct 2020

More claims at weekends as driving patterns change 

In April and May 2020 when first lockdown restrictions were introduced the volume of traffic on our roads fell dramatically (UK Government, 2020), and motor accidents and claims followed suit, dropping by nearly 70%.

Analysing Cobalt’s claims data for the last year has revealed some very interesting insights. Whilst the number of claims fell across the board what is really interesting is how the distribution of incidents altered too.

The well-established pattern pre Covid was to see a peak of claims every Monday reducing on weekends, particularly Sundays, but in April and May this year Mondays became only the 3rd busiest day of the week, breaking a precedent of several decades, with claims on Wednesdays and Fridays increasing past the Monday levels.

The time of days claims were reported also changed. Pre lockdown in April around 25-30% of claims were received ‘out of hours’ that is claims between 5pm and 8am or at the weekend. From April to September the picture has been very different with only around 20% of claims coming out of hours.

Remarkably though whilst the evening and early morning contacts had understandable reduced the proportion of weekend claims saw quite a marked rise.

For the period October 2019 to March 2020 claims received on a Saturday or Sunday accounted for only 16.4% of all claims, from April to September 2020 this increased to 24%.

Having flexibility in customer facing operations to deal with changing patterns of demand is essential, but not common, especially in assisting customers at the weekend. However for most insurers an in house 24/7 operation with this flexibility just isn’t viable - whilst extending opening hours for an existing claims handling team may be possible, the requirements to deal with overnight and weekend work is much more difficult. Especially if you don’t what to compromise the breath of service offered.

Add to this managing calls that come in which are not related to incidents or claims out of hours. Customers calling with queries that would traditionally be dealt with during office hours, with expectations that these queries will also be dealt with when it is convenient to them, not to the traditional working week pattern.

That’s where the scale and experience of the Cobalt operation can show real benefits to our partners. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is part of Cobalt’s DNA, it is not a bolt on to our core services.

As disruption from Covid-19 continues it’s good to know that if your policyholders need to make a claim on a rainy Sunday afternoon, or wants clarity around another query, the team at Cobalt can step in. The flexible way in which Cobalt works means we can mirror your operation in hours and plug into your existing supply chain as needed.

There should be no need to compromise on service just because it’s out of office hours. Cobalt makes sure that it’s easy for our claims handler to know exactly how to help each policyholder through intelligent system rules, which clearly show the services available based on cover and liability, and not the time of the week.

For more information about Cobalt's out of hours service get in touch today.

 

References

UK Government. (2020, October 19). Transport use during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Retrieved from Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

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