Joining Engle Martin (EM) in 2002, Stephen Beene, EM’s President, oversees company culture, performance, business strategy, and operations. Today’s discussion centers around how Engle Martin plays a key role in helping communities recover after a loss in ways you might not think.
Q: Why is it important to EM that a key part of the claims process include community recovery?
A – Stephen Beene: It’s at the core of what we do. I think as our business has evolved, it’s become much more about having a deeper purpose and realizing that what we do is bigger than just handling claims for our insurance industry clients. It’s really about our role in helping communities and, when you really drill down into it, helping people recover.
Even though we handle more commercial clients than we do personal line claims, you’re still talking about businesses that employ people. You’re talking about businesses that provide services – a lot of times in remote areas around the country – and they are the main employers and service providers in an area. It’s their grocery stores, churches, schools, and all those places that local communities rely on.
Our role in supporting our insurance carrier clients in getting those businesses and organizations back-up and running as soon as possible is very important and something we take seriously. We’ve really seen how that impact comes alive when we get testimonials from clients and businesses that we’ve helped.
Q: Even when adjudicating a commercial claim, you’re helping people recover and resume their normal life after a loss that can be very disruptive. How do you help your team to understand that?
A – Stephen Beene: I think it’s something that I’m much more cognizant of as we continue through our journey as a company. Usually in the wake of a major catastrophe event, we’ll share a message and stories about the impact our team members have made and how what we’ve done has truly helped people. I think that’s very gratifying to the adjuster that’s handling that claim and our team as a whole.
Q: Talk to me about the benefits to your customers when these processes work well and what EM uniquely brings to this kind of service?
A – Stephen Beene: I think one of our core strengths is the communication that we have with our clients during the course of a claim or of an event. Our clients want information about their exposure and what we’re seeing as their partner from a “boots on the ground” perspective. We have some folks on our team that have done this for a long time and really understand through that experience what carriers are looking for. Our ability to provide timely communications and status updates is extremely important.
I think another big piece for us is the service component. Our claims team members have deep relationships with our customers, and they know they can pick up the phone at any time, call anyone in our organization, and they’re going to jump on a situation to make sure the customer has everything they need. It becomes highlighted during major events, but it’s really something we strive to do 365 days a year.
Q: Is there a particular case or event that you’re most proud of that illustrates what we’ve talked about here?
A – Stephen Beene: Wow, there are many. I think one I’ll talk about, and highlight is the freeze event in February of 2021. This event affected numerous cities in Texas, and surrounding states, leaving communities and businesses without power for days on end. The event was unexpected and really challenged our team in terms of the volume of claims. However, it really put it into perspective for us that you never know when a major event is going to happen. Our team launched into action without hesitation. I was extremely proud of our team across the board and how we stepped up.
Q: Anything else you want to reinforce?
A – Stephen Beene: One thing that remains constant is just the team’s ability to rise up and handle whatever comes our way. Most of our operational leaders have done it themselves. They’ve been out on CAT Duty three, four or five times in a row. They understand the stresses that our adjusters are under. I think that’s another key for us – that we’ve all walked in those shoes.