Gallagher Bassett responds to COVID-19

Gallagher Bassett responds to COVID-19 | Insurance Business

Gallagher Bassett responds to COVID-19

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses, claims adjusters are being forced to change their operations to ensure the safety and success of their organisations.

John McNamara (pictured), Australia CEO for Gallagher Bassett (GB), says with experience, training, tools and technology, businesses can continue to operate effectively.

“We’ve moved quickly to ensure that both our clients and our workforce have the resources that they need to respond to this pandemic,” he said.

“GB has been able to successfully move to having the majority of our case managers working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 900 staff working from home at full capacity within two weeks of initiating our business continuity plan.”

While mobilising his 900-strong workforce to work remotely has been the company’s biggest change, the driving force behind the success of his business during this time is communication.

He says that communicating openly to keep staff, clients and claimants informed helps to ensure their engagement continues.

“We’ve established a resource hub and weekly newsletter for clients to keep them well informed and make sure we’re partnering with them, and we are working hard to keep all of our staff informed of any process changes and, just as importantly, to maintain their sense of connection to the business and The Gallagher Way Culture that underpins everything we do,” McNamara said.

The use of technology, such as apps and video calling, can also help claim adjusters address business situations that would usually require travel or being in close proximity to other people and environments.

“Most of GB’s claims team are web based and paperless by default, meaning that the current conditions haven’t impacted our ability to manage claims,” he said.

“WebEx, FaceTime, Zoom and other video apps are being used to allow us to engage with claimants face-to-face, as well as to allow us to conduct damage assessments for our general insurance claims.”

While GB has always relied on technology for managing claims, a core service for the company at this time is managing catastrophe claims that would normally require assessing the environment.

McNamara says using technology as a “core part of [their] operation” has enabled his team to successfully navigate the challenges that social distancing has posed for assessments and inspections, making the “transition smoother.”

Additionally, providing useful information on the pandemic through GB’s online COVID-19 Resource Centre to staff and clients has ensured they have “what they need” to respond to the unprecedented situation.

“We’ve built an online COVID-19 Recourse Centre that has articles, health and safety posters and access to our GB task force which has been established in response to the pandemic,” he said.

“We’ve also provided resources for people who are working remotely for the first time and have provided training to our managers so that they can successfully guide their teams who are working remotely.”

He said that, as a TPA, business continuity is a core capability for the company that attracts insurance carriers, private companies and governments as clients.

“… Our clients choose to partner with us because they know we have the capability to continue to deliver our services when the unexpected occurs,” he explained.

“Our mandate is to Guide, Guard and Go Beyond for the injured workers, families, businesses and government clients that we work with. We’ve been proactive in reaching out to our clients to let them know about any changes that will affect them, and to find out what challenges they’re experiencing or anticipating so that we can assist.”