Canadian Underwriter

Property claim cycle times are on the rise: Xactware data

August 10, 2020   by David Gambrill

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While everyone in the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry knows that quick claims response times are critical to consumer satisfaction, cycle times for property claims in Canada increased overall between 2018 and 2019, according to the latest property damage statistics cited in a recent report by Xactware.

The average time to contact policyholders increased from .95 days in 2018 to 1.27 days in 2019, the latest report from Xactware shows. The time to inspect the loss increased from 2.29 days to 2.45 days, and the time to return an estimate rose from 14.14 days in 2018 to 14.83 days in 2019.

“Many factors can influence cycle times,” Xactware noted in its 2019 Canada Property Report. “Typically, simple losses can be handled quickly compared to more complex losses.

“On average, wind estimates were returned in just 10.52 days, while fire losses were resolved in 22.97 days, and smoke losses were resolved in 17.84 days.”

Cycle times also vary by geography, the report notes.

In P.E.I., the average time it takes from receiving an estimate to first contacting the policyholder was 3.84 hours, while in nearby Nova Scotia it was 2.7 days. In terms of total cycle time (including inspection, estimate, and contacting the consumer), Newfoundland had the fastest cycle time at 8.13 days. Excluding the Canadian territories, Alberta had the second-fastest average cycle time at 10.69 days. Yukon had the longest cycle time in 2019 at 30.65 days (about a month), which was down from 36.74 days in 2018.

Overall, more than 210,000 property claims were completed in Canada and returned to XactAnalysis last year, for a total value of more than $3 billion – just under the previous year’s total of $3.25 billion, the report states.

A number of winter storm-related claims across the country in March 2019 accounted for 12% of all of the claims for the year, Xactware reports. The average value of a property claim in Canada was $14, 340, which was 5.2% higher than the 2018 average of $13,632.

By far, water claims dominated the number of property damage claims in 2019. Water claims represented 62% (or 131,201) of all Canadian property damage claims in property lines. Water claims totalled $1.49 billion last year, averaging $11,355 per claim.

Wind claims happened the second-most often in 2019, with between 20,000 and 30,000 claims being reported to XactAnalysis in Canada in 2019. The total value of all wind claims in 2019 amounted to just over $200,000.

Fire claims were the most expensive type of loss per claim, even though they ranked third in terms of frequency. The 9,421 fire claims reported in Canada last year averaged $70,722 per claim.

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