“What do our members need?”
We ask ourselves that question a lot around the Kin offices, whether we’re helping homeowners understand their coverage or building a system to deliver quick insurance quotes. The question is important to us because the answers inform just about every decision we make. Putting customers first is just what we do.
Our member-centric approach matters most when things are at their worst – and it doesn’t get much worse than the day you have a hurricane barreling down on your home.
Luckily, we had been asking ourselves about our customers' needs long before Hurricanes Ian and Nicole hit the Sunshine State. Our answers let us put together a game plan to help members before, during, and after the storms.
Kin’s catastrophe response
But Kin is also made up of people – our Kinfolk! – who care deeply about our members, especially when those members are facing a catastrophe. So between thinking about what our customers’ needs and having the technology to meet them, we came up with a strategy to keep homeowners safe. It included:
- Overlaying real-time weather updates from the National Hurricane Center on our policies to identify which homes were in the storm’s path.
- Alerting members who may have been impacted by the storm three days before landfall so they could gather supplies and secure their homes.
- Checking in on members after the hurricane to see if they were okay and if they needed to file a claim.
- Using aerial imagery to scan 40,000 properties for damage to jumpstart the claims process and tell members who had been evacuated about the condition of their homes.
- Mobilizing a cross-company effort to contact members who filed claims, allowing us to check in on their well-being and get the claims process started as efficiently as possible.
It’s a good thing we had a plan in place, too. In just one week, we were hit with as many claims as we had for the entire preceding year. Despite the overwhelming number of claims, our team ended up beating the industry averages. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation says we have a higher claims closure rate (78%) and a lower claims open without payment rate (10.2%) compared to our competitors.
We’re proud of the work we did during the 2022 hurricane season. None of it was easy, but we truly feel that we made a difference for many of our members, or at least the 7,944 who filed claims so far – an increase of nearly 17% from our prior update.
Making sure our members have the money they need to rebuild is a big part of our catastrophe response, but it isn’t the only way we helped them. After Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, several of our Kinfolk also put in long days staffing Florida’s insurance village to assist customers who had lost internet or phone service. Whether these employees spent that time helping a homeowner navigate a claim, issuing a check for additional living expenses, answering questions about the claims process, or simply sitting by someone's side and listening to their story, they showed that our highest priority is taking care of our members.
Our members are talking
What really makes our efforts worthwhile, however, is hearing how our members feel about their experience with Kin. This was especially true in the days following Hurricane Ian.
Many of our representatives were working long hours trying to contact members who had initiated claims. You can imagine how tired and stressed out our members were in that situation, so hearing positive comments from them meant the world to our team. Many of our homeowners told us:
- They never had an insurance company care until now.
- Our team members are prompt, professional, and kind.
- They appreciated Kin checking in on them.
You can take a look at more of our customer reviews to get a better idea of the kind of feedback we’ve earned over the years.
We get it, finding affordable homeowners insurance is incredibly tough right now, and storms like Ian and Nicole only exacerbate the problems that push Florida home insurance rates skyward. But we're doing everything we can to provide members with affordable coverage and, when disaster strikes, marshaling all our strength to support people in their time of need.
Like we always say, we’re a different kind of insurance company. So we’re going to keep looking for ways to improve by putting you, our members, first.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2022.