Following is the first in a series of excerpts from Crawford’s 2014 annual report. This post focuses on the news from the Americas region. Full copies of the annual report are available here https://www.crawfordandcompany.com/media/1803962/crawford-2014-annual-report.pdf.
“We made solid progress towards our strategic goal of creating a Global Technical Services (GTS®) powerhouse. Combining Specialty Markets into GTS significantly increased our ability to offer specialized industry services that are key to serving the London Market and the complex claims market. We also achieved record claims growth in Canada and record revenues in Contractor Connection®.”
— Vince E. Cole
STRONG PROGRESS IN THE REGION
In 2014, the Americas segment focused on strategic initiatives to promote growth and increase efficiency. This segment includes U.S. claims services, Canada, Latin America/Caribbean and Contractor Connection operations.
U.S. claims services improved efficiencies across systems and processes. These included enhanced support technologies and new platforms, based on Crawford iQ™, our group of proprietary technology systems. One new technology platform reduced certain claims processing steps by 90 percent and created almost 20 back-office automated processes related claims activities.
Responding to increasing market demand for emergency contractor services, Contractor Connection released a technologically enhanced model to increase network response capabilities to respond to catastrophic weather events that impact homeowners in the United States and Canada. Contractor Connection also launched an enhanced service model for commercial property repairs ranging from low- to high-severity restoration needs.
Overall, 2014 was a very strong year for the Canadian business; both in record revenue and assignments received. Even with minimal catastrophe activity, the core business achieved growth. Canada’s specialized businesses— Contractor Connection, Class Action Services and Appraisal Management—continued to deliver solid performance and growth.
In Latin America, we reached an agreement with a Swiss reinsurer to handle reinsurance claims across the region. In Chile, Crawford Affinity adjusted more than 2,800 cases from the Iquique earthquake. Crawford Affinity expanded to Brazil, and our Brazilian operations were nominated to handle marine road service cases for a U.S.-based insurer. We also began handling new automobile services claims with a major auto insurer and providing claims adjustment services for homeowners, condominiums and small businesses for a Germany-based insurer.
We are looking forward to more growth in the Americas in 2015. We will continue to invest in GTS, new product offerings and expand certain services to more countries. All our operations will benefit from our Global Business Services Center (GBSC) in Manila, Philippines, which commenced operations in 2014. The GBSC is expected to enable Crawford to improve service quality, operational efficiency, business growth and cost effectiveness as outlined in our Strategic Plan.
VINCE E. COLE
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Property & Casualty—Americas