Flushed with the success of processing and paying almost all hurricane insurance claims and the positive response it brought, Fidelity today began extending its opening hours to field the rush of queries from new customers.
The company is now opening at 8:30 am and closing at 5pm. Previously, the hours were 9am to 4pm. Additionally, Fidelity will be keeping its doors open through the Christmas holiday period, a time when insurance companies traditionally close their offices until the new year.
Fidelity Insurance Vice-President Dale Edwards said the company’s settlement of 95 per cent on motor claims and 80 per cent on home owner claims came through dedicated staff putting in extra hours of work, and it has resulted in an increased number of persons wanting to do business with the firm.
‘Our phones have been ringing, ringing off the hook with enquiries for new business,’ Mr Edwards said.
He explained that this good-news story came through planning and preparation of fidelity operations throughout the Caribbean.
‘Prior to the beginning of the hurricane season we updated our Hurricane Recovery Plan to include data recovery backup systems and other business continuity measures. This ensured we were fully operational and open for business within 72 hours of Hurricane Ivan’s passing,’ Mr. Edwards said. ‘We had a full catastrophe plan in place.’
Regional Marketing Manager Tom Gammage explained that the company does not use paper files and backs up its records daily while sending them to different territories. The Cayman insurance records were stored in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.
‘So we would have been able to retrieve our information even if the present location was wiped out,’ Mr. Edwards said.
Recognising that increased insurance premiums in the post-Hurricane Ivan period may prove a burden on clients, Fidelity has drawn on its resources as a group of companies and is offering loans from the banking section, enabling them to meet their annual insurance payments easier.
‘Rather than have to pay in two months, which is usually the case, we can offer a payment plan in 10 months,’ Mr. Edwards said.
Fidelity is a financial services group of companies, and its insurance operations is on behalf of RoyalStar Assurance and NEMWIL.
‘We are the conduit through which claims are paid,’ said Mr. Gammage. Fidelity’s handling of claims in the Cayman Islands apparently pleased the principal insurance companies.
Managing Director of RoyalStar Assurance Steve Watson commented: ‘The hurricane season of 2004 has been unprecedented. We have together with Fidelity, our exclusive agents in Cayman, handled these events comfortably and have provided in my opinion a high level of customer service’.