By Werner Kruck
You may think of Twitter and Facebook as a way to catch up on the latest gossip, but social media often becomes a critical lifeline and communications channel after a natural disaster. In addition to using it to locate loved ones, friends and emergency resources, people affected by a natural disaster often turn to social media to contact their insurance company for information and to start the claims process. Homeowners insurance companies must prepare for the reality that today’s policyholders will use any means available to connect with them, including posting a question or comment on the company’s Facebook page or Twitter account.
Florida homeowners insurance companies are extremely prone to the challenge of dealing with disaster in a socially connected world – Florida has more property and people exposed to hurricanes than any other state in the nation. As the fourth largest homeowners insurance company in Florida, Security First Insurance Company understands the importance of adapting to the widespread use of social media and leveraging modern technology to improve the recovery process for our nearly 180,000 customers. As a result, we have partnered with IBM and Integritie, an IBM-business partner, to develop Social Media Capture, Control, Communication, and Compliance (SMC4).
SMC4 integrates social media and email communications, and using IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search and IBM Content Collector for Email, the system automatically prioritizes and routes incoming requests to the appropriate employees based on the content of the message. SMC4 enables Security First Insurance Company to effectively manage a high volume of requests we anticipate to receive after a hurricane and improve the response time to our customers. SMC4 also uses IBM FileNet Content Manager software to archive all communication for compliance review.
The challenge for companies responsible for assisting customers after a disaster in a socially connected world is capturing and prioritizing all incoming messages and developing a quick and appropriate response. According to the American Red Cross, at least 76 percent of the general public would expect assistance to arrive within one to three hours from posting a request for help on a social media website. Built on IBM software, SMC4 eliminates silos and redundancy—expediting the resolution process for policyholders and allowing us to follow through on our promise to be there for Floridians storm after storm, year after year.