Insurance carriers affected by the Superstorm Sandy are trying to assess how to get their operations back online and running normally and once that is done they can look at how their disaster recovery and business continuity plans played out in the face of a difficult challenge.
Meanwhile, the rest of the insurance world needs to pull out their own disaster recovery plans and determine what a 50-year storm might do to their operations. As Rob McIsaac, a principal with Novarica points out, disaster recovery planning is critical and exercising the plan is something insurers need to do on a routine basis.
Disaster recovery starts with the basics, according to Hersh. The good news is that in this day and age, no insurer should ever lose their data to a storm. Restoring operations, however, is another story. On the day after Sandy, Hersh went to the websites for some New Jersey p&c carriers. He found some had employee announcements on the site, such as reminders of essential-employee verification cards that were issued to allow people to travel even though the roads are closed.
“[The insurers] were looking to staff their claims center 24 hours a day,” says Hersh. “That being said, you then notice they don’t take claims online or via a mobile app. Wouldn’t that have been handy for them rather than trying to get a bunch of staff to the office?”