If you write auto insurance policies in a state where hurricane activity, or any unpredictable weather phenomenon, is a regular occurrence, you know that preparation and communication are crucial to supporting your customers during a catastrophic event. But how can you utilize these tools without compromising your budget or time?

Below, we’ve outlined our top advice to agents on helping your auto insurance customers with hurricane preparedness.

1. Check-in early and often

The average hurricane season runs from mid-May to the end of November. In the off months, it’s essential to start getting yourself and your customers prepared.

The first step is doing an annual customer check-in, where you confirm your customer’s contact information so that you can help them stay ahead of the weather. If you remain active in maintaining an up-to-date contact list, then you have the upper hand when it comes time to communicate about severe weather.

In the age of work from home and COVID-19 safety, it’s just as important to update your customers on your contact information. If you have made any changes to your office availability or contact hours, let them know as soon as these changes happen so that your customers know the best ways to reach you.

Bonus: Test out SMS messaging

Not every customer will check their email. However, you can ensure a candid audience via text message. One way to make sure that your customers receive your communications is to ask them to enroll in an SMS text message program. Before taking this route, the most important thing to note is that people are more guarded about what enters their text inbox over their email inbox. If you over-communicate via text, you will likely lose your customer’s trust. Use SMS messaging sparingly—only communicate the most critical information via text.

Many SMS apps are both cost-effective and valuable. Find the right SMS app for you and give it a shot!

2. Share your severe weather expertise

As an insurance expert, you have most likely seen a variety of scenarios where customers have planned accordingly for severe weather. Creating communications with some expert tips during hurricane season would go a long way in helping your customers who do not have the option to leave before severe weather strikes.

Whether it’s small tips to prep their vehicle for rising water or hail, your customers will appreciate your thoughtful message, and it may help them avoid a future claim. Here are a few expert tips to help get you started.

Bonus: Blast your tips on social media

If you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram presence, now would be a great time to start. Not only is social media a lead-generating machine, but it can also help support your retention efforts through thought leadership and customer support.

Create a series of posts that highlight your severe weather expertise and let your social media community share or expand on your posts in the comments.

3. Prepare your customers for the claims process

Even with thoughtful preparation from all involved, there will still be claims when a hurricane or severe weather strikes. Now is the time where you need to prepare them for the claims process and let them know what you and their insurance carrier are doing to support those affected by severe weather.

Here are a few things to make sure you mention in your communication to customers about the claims process:

  • Remind your customers that time is of the essence. The sooner they make their claim, the sooner they can be back up and running at full speed. Many insurance companies, like GAINSCO, have people on the ground as quickly as possible to start supporting the claims process.
  • Reassure them that they have made the right choice in insurance company. If you’re communicating to GAINSCO customers, let them know that we’re one step ahead and ready to help them through the claims process.
  • Provide the information they’ll need on hand when making a claim: policy number, agent name, date of incident, location of incident, and vehicle information (year, make, model) and provide them with the correct number to call to start the process.

Bonus: Let them know you have their back

The most important message to communicate is that you, and the company that provides their auto insurance policy, are here for them. There are a lot of heightened emotions when disaster strikes, and a reassuring message will go a long way in support of your customers.

4. Go above and beyond

Once you’ve had a chance to support your customers most affected by hurricanes or severe weather, guide them to further resources to help.

After a disaster, many states use FEMA resources to help support those severely affected by natural disasters. If help is available for a specific disaster, sending information on this outlet will let your customers know that you are going the extra mile to support them.

GAINSCO is here

GAINSCO is proud to support your business and the customers that trust you with their care. We have an important obligation to provide a fast and supportive claims service to your nonstandard customers affected by hurricanes and severe weather, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

If you need immediate assistance with a customer’s claim, please get in touch with us at 1.866.424.6726 and follow us on LinkedIn for the latest GAINSCO news.