Assurant Educates Employees, Helps Customers Prepare Early To Protect Things that Matter Most
Although the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently predicted a "near or below normal" 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, it is important not to be lulled into complacency. When a hurricane hits, damaging and sometimes demolishing homes and businesses, it’s too late to take action. That’s why it is critical for members of the public to P-R-E-P -- plan, ready, educate and protect.
Providing hazard and flood insurance for properties throughout the United States, Assurant Specialty Property knows the importance of being prepared when disaster strikes. The business, a part of specialty insurer provider Assurant, Inc., needs to react swiftly to address the urgent needs of clients and homeowners affected by the storm. This requires significant training and resources, and it includes ensuring the company’s own employees are safe themselves.
Employees put in hard work and long hours to get trained so that they can stay safe, protect their families and, in turn, help those in need.
“We can’t respond to help customers in the aftermath of the storm if our employees have not weathered the storm safely themselves,” said Gene Mergelmeyer, president and CEO of Assurant Specialty Property. “With offices in hurricane-prone areas, we’ve seen firsthand the destruction that results from a storm so we dedicate significant resources to safeguard our employees, minimize damage to our facilities and reduce business disruptions to help our customers in times of distress.”
Assurant provides employees a customized hurricane handbook, online training in emergency preparedness and detailed information about preparing for hurricane season. All company facilities also have a detailed playbook for storm emergencies, including evacuation plans.
Assurant’s Business Continuity Services team also is at work ensuring the company can continue to handle claims as seamlessly as possible. As a hurricane forms, Assurant Specialty Property storm specialists begins briefing the staff about its direction, speed and expected landfall target, so claims and response teams can move quickly if necessary. For example, when Superstorm Sandy raged across the East Coast, Assurant Specialty Property deployed claims specialists and staged them nearby so they could get to customers’ homes as soon as it was safe to do so.
“We reached customers’ homes in the area very quickly, sometimes before the evacuated homeowners were able to return,” Mergelmeyer said. “In those cases, we left cards with our contact information and instructions on how to immediately start their claims. We wanted them to know we were there and ready to help.”