As Thanksgiving approaches, there is a lot for insurers to be mindful of. The holidays are a time of increased risk for policyholders, and carriers often see a rise in claims around Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
We’ve rounded up a list of the biggest risks of the season and how you can combat them below:
Between traveling long distances and shopping on Black Friday, there are a number of opportunities for automobile accidents. On Black Friday alone, parking-related auto claims increase by 36.5%. This number is born from the hectic scramble of shoppers, typically played out in incidents of rear-ending, hitting parked cars, and backing into other cars.
Additionally, the weather can play a role in accidents. As many people hit the road to see family and friends in other places, they brave treacherous storms and highways in less than perfect conditions. With an increased number of people on the road (an estimated 48.7 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more) this year, the number of accident claims is expected to rise.
Fire risk also increases around the holidays, mainly due to cooking accidents. Thanksgiving Day has historically been known for the most cooking fires, with causes ranging from unattended stoves and grease fires to accidents involving deep-fried turkeys. Electrical overloads and misuse, along with decoration placement, also come in at some of the top contenders for fire-related claims.
Poor weather and large crowds provide ample opportunity for injury. Falls in the home related to ice, snow, and wet surfaces can occur in times of inclement weather. With the mass of Black Friday shoppers, businesses may see an increase in injury claims as well.
Another risk that often accompanies the holiday season is identity theft. Due to travel and the rise of shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, digital threats are heightened. Incidences of fraud and theft claims may increase as scammers and thieves take advantage of the busy season.
So what can insurers do during these times of increased risk and claim volume?
Engage with consumers and stay relevant
Insurers should be aware of the seasonal claim risks and communicate these potential issues to their policy holders. Knowledge is powerful, and it’s important to disseminate information in ways that will garner the most attention. Carriers should already be utilizing online platforms to engage with consumers and ensure relevance in a technology-driven world.
Use digital tools to expedite processes and lower cost
To combat the increased volume in claims, insurers should make sure they use every tool at their disposal, including digital tools that harness data in real-time for quick claims routing. To investigate claims swiftly and cost effectively, carriers should leverage every data source at their disposal – including social media, data from the IoT, and other online content.
Even though the holidays are rife with risk, today’s technology can be a great tool to meet the challenges that accompany such joyous and busy times.
The Carpe Data team wishes everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!