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Environmental accidents that cause hazardous spills and health concerns require a quick response.
So say developers of Ace Logistical Environmental Response Technology, a portal available on computers, smartphones and tablets that swiftly connects the insured to claims adjusters, disaster experts, environmental assessors, cleanup contractors and more.
Known as Ace Alert, the program was developed to avoid the often troubling insurance response to an emergency, said Robert Winterburn, Philadelphia-based assistant vice president and product line manager at Ace Environmental Risk, a unit of global insurer Ace Ltd.
“Before we designed and implemented Ace Alert, it was a more traditional reactive process,” Mr. Winterburn said. “There was reporting and invoicing; we would collect information, ask contractors for help. Ace Alert allowed us to be very proactive.”
With the program that rolled out last year, “we are alerted within minutes of an incident; by getting involved in the very beginning, we are able to understand what the work is,” Mr. Winterburn said.
For the parties involved, “this eliminates the Monday-morning quarterbacking and second-guessing that often occurred,” he said.
Steve Piatkowski, Philadelphia-based vice president of Ace Environmental Risk, recalled that previously a client would call in after a loss and be subjected to an answering service. Often, the person on the line would take information without any knowledge of the client or risk factors.
“What we did with Ace Alert is give our insured access to a qualified person immediately,” Mr. Piatkowski. Ace Alert is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Everything from contractor referrals — a database of more than 3,500 companies — to invoicing is available via the online portal.
The system, a 2015 Business Insurance Innovation Awards winner, also allows claim documentation to be uploaded to the portal.
“This is (about) getting the right contractors, getting everybody on the right page,” Mr. Winterburn said. “The Ace Alert program is a communication platform; it's that pebble into the pond. The communication goes out in all directions so everyone is on the same page. The lack of communication can cause a lot of mistakes. With Ace Alert, we are able to upload information so everybody is seeing the information.”
He said the first year of Ace Alert has been so successful that the insurer is looking to expand it to other business units and product lines, including nonenvironmental incidents such as construction slips, trips and falls as well as overturned trailers and other transportation-sector accidents.
Ace also is working on a multilingual capability, he said.