Building Trust with the Iowa Insurance Industry

Water damage, fire damage, mold remediation and trauma clean up all have 2 things in common; nobody wants it to happen to them, but when it does they want someone they can trust to take care of their home or business as if it was their own. Luckily, all of these disasters can be taken care of by the professional team at ServiceMaster by Rice in Des Moines; however, our team is not the only party involved in handling these losses.

In January of 2012, ServiceMaster by Rice kicked off its sales campaign called “The Right Tools for Building Your Policy Holders Retention.” This sales campaign was designed to help build trust within the insurance industry focusing on agents and adjusters alike. ServiceMaster by Rice wanted to ensure the insurance industry could take comfort in knowing that we were a company that was easy and worthwhile to work with.

Focusing on a Fast Project Turnaround

The first quarter was our introduction to the campaign as we traveled throughout central and western Iowa delivering one yellow toolbox with two tools to each agency. The first tool was a screw driver with the question “How do you turn a problem into an opportunity? Answer? “With a quick turn.” Meaning, the sooner we can get the project done, the sooner we can get out of the owner’s space and back to normal living conditions. The second tool we handed out was the tape measure. The concept?  “How do we measure success?” We measure success one policy holder at a time, making sure we have a clear path of communication throughout the project and that no questions go unanswered. At the end of each project we do we ask every home/business owner to fill out a quick survey we call “Listen 360.” Listen 360 gives us feedback on every job we do, whether it is a minor carpet stain or a major water or fire loss. ServiceMaster by Rice then takes those surveys and uses them to praise employees for their work well done as well as for constructive criticism in an effort to make our franchise even stronger.

Building A Positive Relationship Between Policyholder and Insurance Agent

As we moved through the second quarter of this campaign, we tried to focus on negative aspects of the relationship we share between insurance agents and policy holders and give more information on how we try and help ease the stress. The second quarter tool to go into the ServiceMaster by Rice tool box was the Multi-purpose tool.  The multi-purpose tool consisted of multiple tools, however the pliers part of the tool was where the concept was focused. “Don’t let property claims put the squeeze on your policy holder’s retention.” With this concept we talked about the folks who have non-covered losses due to the water loss being water seepage through windows or hydrostatic pressure coming from the cracks in the floor. Lack of coverage or not having enough coverage for a loss is something we run into at times as well. ServiceMaster by Rice knows this can put a huge strain on the relationship between the agent and the policy holder and we want to do whatever we can in hopes of the outcome being a positive one.

Precisely Estimating ServiceMaster by Rice Project Losses

The third quarter tool was the flashlight and the concept was “Spotlight on loss ratio.”  For this concept, we talked about how we go about scoping the loss as well as estimating the loss in each of our projects. We know each disaster or trauma is unique, so we understand the importance of correctly estimating the loss in each project so we can handle it effectively. If I heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times, “water mitigation is expensive.” Quite frankly, it can get very expensive depending on the size and severity of the water loss and the longer one waits to mitigate the more expensive it is to take care of.  The estimating we do at ServiceMaster by Rice is done through a program called Exactimate or Exactinalysis. This program is used and preferred by 90% of the insurance industry nationwide. The beauty of that is we are using the industry standard program in our industry as well as doing everything we can to work with adjusters and agents in each claim we handle together. Using Exactimate and having an adjuster on site means estimates should resemble each other. It is also very important to know and recognize the term IICRC, something else we focused on during this quarter’s tool. The IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification and it is the governing body for companies that provide water mitigation, fire restoration, mold remediation and trauma clean-up services. The IICRC tells us what we can do and what we can’t do depending on the severity of the loss.  When working with ServiceMaster by Rice, you can rest assured that you are working with IICRC personnel. If a company you are thinking of using cannot provide documentation stating that they are certified by the IICRC, STEER CLEAR!

Fostering Open Communication

We ended the 2012 ServiceMaster by Rice campaign by delivering a hammer. The question for the hammer was, “Can better claim communication help drive more policy holder renewals?” Probably the most important part of taking care of a loss (other than handling the protocol and clean up correctly) is communication.  Communication between the service provider and home/business owner and communication between service provider and insurance agent/ adjuster. Without communication you’re setting yourself up for disaster on any project dealing with a loss. When all parties are on the same page verbally, the job will run smoother, people will be happier and the chances of the policy holder staying with that agent increases. ServiceMaster by Rice aims to keep the relationship between policy holder and agent as incident and stress free as possible.

At ServiceMaster by Rice our goal is to help people in need, offering a fair service for a fair price, doing the job correctly and taking care of one policy holder at a time. We do this in hopes of developing a strong relationship with that client for many years to come. Our goal for this project was to build trust between professionals in our industry and insurance agents and adjusters to create an efficient and enjoyable working relationship. We believe we accomplished that goal and more during this campaign and saw results throughout 2013.