How Canada’s Largest Claims Management Company Helps its Clients Weather Any Storm

“Your platform just handled 15,000+ concurrent calls!”
 —RingCentral client
Company profile:
SCM Insurance Services is the largest independent, privately owned provider of claims management, risk management, and related services in Canada. The company has served Canadian families and businesses for more than 30 years and has won numerous awards, including the “Best Provider” honor from the Insurance Business Canada awards.
Year founded:
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Imagine: Your home has suffered major flood damage in a hurricane, and you’re calling your insurance company.

The last thing you want in a traumatic moment like this is to be forced into a long phone queue.
You don’t want to have to tell your story first to someone at the company’s headquarters—wherever that is—only to be redirected to an insurance adjuster closer to home... who will ask you to retell the whole thing.
You want someone on the other end of that phone who knows what you’re going through, who understands how nervous and anxious you are, and who knows how to get you help in a hurry.
Ideally, you’d like that person to be nearby—because only those nearby really understand the situation.
These are precisely the moments that SCM Insurance Services, the parent company of Canada’s largest independent claims management firm, has been helping its clients through for decades.
But until recently, mobilizing the company’s huge nationwide team to provide local support after a regional catastrophe was difficult and more expensive than it needed to be. One culprit? SCM’s disjointed network of legacy phone systems.

The old phone infrastructure was a disaster itself.

Since its founding in 1986, SCM has grown to a national group of companies with over 120 branches coast-to-coast across Canada. Through its seven subsidiaries, SCM offers services including risk management and mitigation, surveillance, investigations, and risk intelligence.
But as the company grew (through both organic expansion and acquisitions), SCM never developed a systematic approach to building its communications infrastructure. When it acquired a new company, SCM just maintained that office’s phone system—whatever it happened to be.
The lack of a consistent communications infrastructure wasn’t the only phone-related challenge for SCM. With 60% of its workforce primarily based in the field, the company was also struggling with how to help these employees stay connected and productive while on the road.
When adjusters and other field-based reps traveled, they would be away from their desks and unable to effectively respond to claim inquiries received on their landline. Staff who decided to share their mobile phone number with insureds would also receive correspondence via SMS, which lived exclusively on the adjuster’s mobile phone and created a gap in overall visibility of file progress.

Cloud communications: available anywhere.

When they rolled out RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud communications solution, SCM finally had a consistent phone system and user experience for all of its staff company-wide—for the first time.
The company’s claims adjusters were now able to take and make calls on their SCM business numbers whether they were at their desks or in the field. This made it easier than ever to be responsive to clients and deliver outstanding service.
SCM also used RingCentral’s open API platform, and the fact that RingCentral integrates texting capability from any device, allowing clients to communicate with adjusters through SMS.
Because employees had used separate mobile phone numbers to have these SMS conversations with clients, important conversations regarding file progress never made their way back to the claims management system. Now, because everything runs through RingCentral, the company can obtain a more holistic view of the overall claims experience for its clients and respond better to customer service inquiries.
And, as Mike explains, the ability to capture and record all SMS messages between client and SCM employee has another important benefit: “Those texts are part of the case history and having them mitigates our own risk in terms of errors and omissions.”

Cloud communications: local everywhere.

But maybe the most significant benefit SCM has experienced since switching to cloud communications is the ability to create a virtual local presence anywhere in the country—almost immediately, when disaster strikes.
As one of the most prominent players in Canada’s insurance industry, SCM has provided support to towns that suffered large-scale fires and cities impacted by massive water damage—disasters affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
In catastrophic events like these, the speed and responsiveness of claim handlers can mean everything to the victims. And it helps to know that the person helping them is nearby too.
With their new cloud communications solution—and the ability to set up employees anywhere with a phone number local to the disaster region—SCM is in a better position than ever to provide fast, personal support to its clients when they need it most.

One more benefit.

In addition to helping its clients, SCM Insurance has found its new cloud communications solutions help the company’s own bottom line.
“We’ve reduced our costs by 50% by removing dormant phone numbers and getting our expenses for toll-free and long-distance charges back under control,” says Ackroyd. “That’s delivering significant savings for SCM Insurance Services.”