Temporary Housing Provides a Permanent Service for the Claims Industry

By Stephanie Moore | July 5, 2012

The insurance housing industry got its start 23 years ago when a few bright entrepreneurs realized there was a temporary housing need for policyholders who lost the use of their homes. Since the mid-1980s, a lot has changed. The insurance housing industry is helping carriers, adjusters and policyholders in times of disasters, as well as for everyday claims nationwide. The insurance housing industry continues to expand as more and more carriers find the value of temporary housing services essential to their property claims. These services provide efficiency and a choice of options that can be tailored to each claim’s needs.

There are a variety of housing options for policyholders that have been displaced from their home. With many insurance housing services available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, solutions are available any time from emergency hotel services to long-term housing, providing plenty of choices for both urban and rural policyholders.

Emergency hotel services accommodate policyholders with smaller losses looking to stay as little as one day in a temporary placement. Most requests for cooking facilities, kitchenettes, pet-friendly rooms and special requirements can be accommodated. Hotels are booked at a preferred rate, ensuring cost-saving for the policyholder as well as the carrier.

Long-term housing solutions include single-family homes, apartments, condominiums, townhomes, mobile homes and travel trailers for displaced families who will be out of their home for a minimum of 30 days. Strong temporary housing companies can facilitate and accommodate lease terms starting at one month. Furniture, housewares and appliances, if needed, can be included in a long-term solution. Most temporary housing companies offer financial transaction preferences, such as preferred invoicing methods and security deposit handling to fit the needs of the insurer.

Temporary Housing Vendors

Why choose a temporary housing vendor versus an adjuster or policyholder setting up housing on their own or using a local realtor?

First, there is the benefit of time savings. Temporary housing companies are experts at placing families into short- and long-term housing options quickly and efficiently. Most temporary housing companies are able to secure hotel accommodations within one hour and rental accommodations within 72 hours. Temporary housing companies can accomplish this quick turnaround based on many facets – hotel and landlord networks, expert knowledge in facilitating the requested terms and leverage due to volume.

Second, there is the cost-savings passed on to the insurance company and policyholders. Volume discounts for hotels, as well as furniture are passed along to the insurance company and policyholder, making it close to impossible for a local realtor or policyholder to be able to secure such unbeatable pricing.

Finally, and arguably the most important benefit is that temporary housing companies are able to fully focus on customer service. Temporary housing companies take the stress off of the adjuster and policyholder by answering questions such as “Where do I go for the night? Will I be able to bring my pets? Or where will I stay while my home is under repair?”

A temporary housing company will present an immediate and customized housing solution, putting the policyholder at ease with just one call and providing one point of contact for both adjusters and policyholders.

Once the family is comfortably settled in their temporary home, customer service is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for any unforeseen situation that arises, making certain the policyholder is under the best of care throughout the life of the claim.

When choosing a temporary housing company, a carrier will want to consider a few key items.

Coverage Area – A nationwide company handles more volume and has stronger networks; therefore, can pass on more cost-savings to the adjuster, carrier and policyholder.

Customer Service Statistics – The average customer service satisfaction rating should be higher than 90 percent.

Time Metrics – A strong temporary housing company should have impressive statistics on their response and placement time metrics. Questions to ask include: “How quickly does this company place a policyholder?” And “Are they available at all hours of the day for customer service for both myself and my policyholder?”

Tenure of Established Business – How long the temporary housing company has been in business is important. In most cases, companies that have been in business longest have a proven track record.

Catastrophe Services – The temporary housing company chosen should be capable of handling claims at every level, even the volume increase that occurs from a catastrophic disaster, so the adjuster and policyholder will be taken care of with the same exceptional timeliness and service.

Temporary housing companies have been assisting the insurance housing industry for years and will continue to play an integral part in the life of property claims across the nation. The choice is left to the insurance carrier and adjuster to decide to utilize the high quality services temporary housing companies offer, which will in turn benefit all those involved in the claim.

Stephanie Moore is the sales and marketing director at CRS Temporary Housing, a nationwide provider of temporary housing located in Arizona.

Email: smoore@crstemphousing.com. Website: www. crstemphousing.com.

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