How will developing technologies affect property restoration demand?
Developments in customer relations, equipment and restoration techniques have come as a result of technology advancements. In a world full of uncertainties, one thing can be sure – technology is affecting property insurance claims and the way they are handled and resolved. Yet, just how are we going to see the demand of property restoration affected by this? Jonathan Davison, Strategic Development Director of the British Damage Management Association (BDMA), shares the BDMA’s view.
We have seen an innovative drive to develop restoration equipment which is energy efficient and can improve drying times and the efficiency of drying regimes. There has also been an increase in the application of remote monitoring systems. Naturally, with technology developments comes greater expectations from insurers and adjusters to complete projects faster and more cost-effectively. Whilst claim settlements and works costs can be largely brought down as improved technology can lead to a bigger probability of avoiding hard strip-outs and major construction works, the costs of using this innovative technology cannot be overlooked. If property restorers have invested in advanced technology, they will of course be looking to recoup this expenditure.
With the industry’s focus on sustainability, newer technologies need to be prioritised and therefore it is likely that restoration demand will remain high. This will be further pushed with digital claims handling processes increasing the rate of which claims are dealt with, and policyholders expecting a quicker response time from the supply chain. Some damage management companies will likely feel the pressures of this, especially with recruitment challenges, where surge vs. business as usual makes the necessary employee level balance unpredictable.
Quality must be prioritised
With restoration demand growing, it is critical that quality standards are consistently delivered. Claim life cycles may be expected to be completed sooner, but not all projects run as smoothly as we like – complications can still occur and the duty to the policyholder must ultimately be to prioritise quality restoration.
Investing in professional industry training is one way to combat this. Ensuring all technicians are competent and up to speed with delivering current industry best practice means that they will be able to make better on-site decisions. This is equally important with new technicians in the field, and those who need refreshers – as industry regulations are always changing. A standardised certification, such as the BDMA, delivers on the quality service expectations that customers and service users should receive. With technicians consistently developing knowledge and technical skill, the whole supply chain can have enhanced confidence that standards are abided and being managed. This builds trust amongst service users and excels damage management business reputation, which is critical in a regulated industry. Consistently developing experts within the industry should take precedence.