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Freisenbruch-Meyer Group launches mobile e-Claims app

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Local insurer, Freisenbruch-Meyer Group (FMG) has launched a new mobile app designed to allow policyholders to file insurance claims remotely right from their phone.

A first of its kind in Bermuda, the FMG e-Claims app is free to download and available for Apple and Android devices.

Developed to assist customers in capturing information following an accident, theft or other loss, the app enables users to submit details that will support their claim. Customers can use the phone’s camera to take photos of the location and any damage caused, as well as a voice recorder so eyewitness accounts can be recorded at the scene of an accident. Customers can then submit the pictures and recordings with their claim directly to FMG to get the claims process started.

The smartphone application is the brainchild of Antonia Holder, assistant vice president of business development for FMG and while there are similar apps in the US and UK, this is the first time the technology has been available locally. Ms Holder saw the entire project through from concept to implementation — working with local design firm, Cosmic to bring it to fruition.

“What I really wanted was another way for our clients to be able to get in contact with us regarding their claims,” Ms Holder said. “Technology is really shaping the way we do business and so we want to be able to offer all ways for our clients to contact us and this medium is one of the newest but certainly just as effective.”

“No one is going to send a claim through the app if they have a fire or something more serious happens. This is more for your personal insurance claims, a fender-bender, maybe a burst water pipe,” she added.

While the app only launched last week and the company is still trying to get the word out about it, they’ve already started receiving claims through it.

“We’ve already had our first one — just yesterday,” Ms Holder said. “Our client had a fender-bender, he took a few photos and then submitted them to us through the app.”

William Madeiros , executive vice president and general manager of FMG says that while many clients will still want to come in or call the company on claims, the app offers customers another way of doing business.

“We’re excited about it. I think it differentiates us,” Mr Madeiros said. “The app, for me, is another layer of service.”

“I think for the foreseeable future, the vast majority of people I think are still going to handle claims the old fashioned way which is to call us, e-mail us or come in and see us and we want that to still happen. On the other hand, there will be times when this is just the icing on the cake — it’s a way of saying, ‘Hey, Julie, look, I’m sending you the photos as we speak’ and I think that’s fantastic and that’s exactly what happened with this first claim we had. This individual used the app as an adjunct to what they were already doing,” he said.

“Clearly, there is an entire league of young people — and not young by virtue of age, but young by virtue of mentality — and they see this as the way they’re going to communicate and do business moving forward and we have to be at the forefront of it,” Mr Madeiros added.

Ms Holder says it’s all about communicating the way their clients want to communicate.

“We have a very wide range of clients and so that’s why it’s important to continue to communicate with them the way they like to communicate,” she said. “We have the traditionalist who will pick up the phone — they will never send you an e-mail and then you have those who will only send you an e-mail.”

“It’s just another avenue to communicate,” Ms Holder added. “We already have our claims process established for our claims adjusters, so they would still be the primary respondents for the claims through this Monday-Friday 9-5 and we will have backup staff who will be available after hours and on weekends.”

Ms Holder said once a claim is submitted through the app, users will receive an automated message saying their claim went through. Then, she said within moments, customers will receive an e-mail from a member of their claims team.

Mr Madeiros said the app will give customers peace of mind knowing their claim has been submitted and received — even during off-hours.

“Inevitably, things happen on a Saturday afternoon, and there’s absolutely nothing worse than putting a claim out there and you’re thinking, ‘Hello …? Is anyone hearing me?’

So we want to be responsive and let people know right away that we got their claim and that we’re on it. We want that client to walk away thinking, ‘Wow.’ And that’s what we want is that ‘wow’ moment,” Mr Madeiros said.

Mr Madeiros said the app will be especially helpful if or when the next hurricane strikes the Island — allowing adjusters to sort through claims and prioritise by severity.

“If there’s a time when I can see this really having value, it’s in the aftermath of a hurricane when so many of your clients are trying to get a hold of you,” he said. “They’re trying to get a hold of you, they’re trying to get the kids to school, they’re trying to get the generator going — they’re doing all these things, but they want to let you know that hey, I’ve had a claim. I just want to be on this list of 500 claims you’re going to deal with and I want to make sure I’m there and one of the early ones as well.”

“Heaven forbid, let’s not have one, but if we do, it’ll create another avenue by which our clients can get a hold of us when they need our help,” Mr Madeiros added.

While customers may be without power and the use of a landline during a hurricane, the app could be useful, allowing them to submit claims through with the use of a cell phone connection.

And while the app is great in the aftermath of a natural disaster or accident, it also has some other fun features customers will find useful in their everyday lives, like the app’s “Parking Assistant” which allows users to set the location and time that you parked your car — automatically updating you when your time’s running out.

The Freisenbruch-Meyer e-Claims app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or iTunes Store — just search for “FMG Claims”.

High Tech help: Antonia Holder and William Madeiros show off Freisenbruch-Meyer's new local E-Claims app. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Freisenbruch-Meyer Group's newly- launched e-Claims mobile app enables customers to file claims right from their mobile devices. (Photo by Zachary Friesen)
Freisenbruch Meyer launche a new local E-Claims mobile app yesterday. (Photo by Zachary Friesen)
Freisenbruch Meyer launches local E-Claims mobile app. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Freisenbruch Meyer launches local E-Claims mobile app. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Freisenbruch Meyer launched a new local E-Claims mobile app yesterday. (Photo by Zachary Friesen)
Left- Antonia Holder and William Madeiros hold the new Freisenbruch Meyer local E-Claims mobile app. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 10, 2013 at 10:05 am (Updated April 10, 2013 at 10:04 am)

Freisenbruch-Meyer Group launches mobile e-Claims app

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