We continue our series of blog posts looking at the results of the Property Claims Management Survey conducted by Ward Group and sponsored by BrightClaim. Today, we look at how companies manage their catastrophe programs, as well as how they utilize staff and independent adjusters to support those programs.

The survey revealed that during a CAT, carriers are primarily focused on the availability of quality adjusting resources more than they are on the management of loss adjustment expense and indemnity paid. They deploy a combination of staff and independent adjusters to handle CAT claims. However, independent adjusters are the go-to source for most carriers.

Only 6 percent of participants indicated independent adjusters were not used in any form during a CAT.  While field adjusting is the primary role independent adjusters fill, they are also frequently used to backfill daily claims positions that become vacant by staff adjusters reassigned to CAT operations.

Overall, only a small number of participating companies employed full-time CAT adjusters (17 percent). Large carriers were more likely to employ these adjusters (33 percent) than small carriers (6 percent). For those carriers with full-time CAT adjuster positions, the average number on staff was 11.

The survey also examined the different catastrophe benefits paid by companies. Large carriers are most likely to offer additional compensation and benefits.

In addition to their normal salary, a flat-rate catastrophe bonus, comp time and overtime are the top three types of additional compensation paid to staff adjusters for working CAT. The average daily CAT bonus was $137, with large carriers paying $24 more ($145)  than small carriers ($121).

A successful CAT program requires the use of both staff and independent adjusters.  Since most carriers primarily use independent adjusters during a CAT, access to a large pool of high-quality independent adjusting resources is a key to success.

The leadership team at BrightClaim can help design a CAT program that deploys the right mix of staff and independent adjusters and gives carriers confidence they will have enough resources to handle the influx of claims from a catastrophe event.