In the aftermath of a fire, a flood or some other catastrophic event many homeowners are faced with the overwhelming task of filing a claim. Carriers must quickly assess the situation and take decisive action to help their policyholders get their lives back. For carriers, there is a need to balance great customer service with a cost-effective approach.

Complex claims involving smoke or water-damaged possessions can drag on, causing serious disruption for policyholders. Having detailed their losses, it can be a long wait while claims adjusters analyze the damage and determine precisely what can be salvaged and what needs to be replaced.

Keys to shortening claims cycle times

Survey after survey highlights the speed of a claim as the number one determining factor for customer satisfaction. Insureds want to put catastrophes in the rear-view and get their lives back to normal as quickly as they can. A full contents restoration service, capable of dealing with both soft and hard contents such as furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances and more can help resolve a claim while salvaging as many precious possessions as possible.

Transparency is also vitally important for homeowners, and the process must be straightforward and accessible. They don’t want to have to deal with multiple points of contact to find out what’s happening with their possessions. In fact, customer satisfaction declines significantly with each additional contractor or representative a homeowner must deal with, according to JD Powers & Associates, “How Homeowners Really Feel” study.

Reducing claim cycle times is desirable for insurers and full contents restoration can readily streamline the salvage process. Nowadays, restoration providers employ more eco-friendly solvents and cutting-edge cleaning technologies that can restore more contents types than ever before, which helps carriers reduce loss ratios since they no longer need to replace every single item.

Logistically speaking, managing the transfer of different categories of contents to a disparate group of restorers, staying abreast of the latest developments, and then delivering everything back to the homeowner fully restored is a daunting challenge. The idea is to centralize remediation to a single provider since using multiple contractors adds complexity, can be more costly and delay settlement.

Successful carriers understand the need to foster customer loyalty through excellent service. They recognize the value in going the extra mile and making things quick and painless for policyholders.

Full contents restoration delivers tangible benefits for homeowners and carriers. It’s in everyone’s interest to expedite the process and settle swiftly. The insured wants their life back the way it was, so restoring as many of their precious possessions as possible is always going to be a positive. As well as delighting policyholders, restoration results in less trash in landfills and helps carriers keep costs down.

Ken Campbell is vice president of ECONA Network, the largest contents claims network in North America with over 265 certified restoration contractors. He has 25 years of experience in restoration and property claims management. Contact him at

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