Kieran Rigby, Crawford & Company chief executive officer for Europe & Latin America, explains how insurers, brokers and risk managers wanting to work with adjusting firms today, must seek out compliance capabilities that reflect their own burden.
I have been working in claims adjusting for more than 30 years and when I started out, compliance was a rarely used term that typically attached itself to health and safety topics.
It is with no little irony, therefore, that I’m reminded of how far we’ve come when I reflect on my former managers’ approach to workplace welfare in the early 1980s. For example, after a typical windy winter storm in the UK, I was often told never to agree to pay or decline a roof claim until I climbed onto and inspected the rooftop myself. There may have been a hard hat involved—but you get the point.
Fast forward to 2015: We operate in an environment of ever-increasing regulation. When we work on our customers’ behalf, they must be able to trust that the systems we’ve implemented will keep them within the rules.
In the UK, claims adjusters are indirectly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). An insurer or broker could be fined and sanctioned because of errors or omissions we make. Given this fact, we have to “act as if regulated,” which can create a significant burden for companies without the scale or infrastructure to comply.
Crawford’s Risk & Compliance Group is populated by subject experts in relevant disciplines, who are members of and qualified by relevant professional bodies. Their role is simple—to keep our business, clients and other stakeholders safe.
Compliance Burden Yet to Come
The Crawford Risk & Compliance Group is doubly important when you consider the changes approaching our industry.
Data protection laws are set to change in 2016 under the General Data Protection (GDP) regulations and will apply to European Union member states, without requiring implementation through national laws.
GDP regulations will most likely require businesses of a certain size to have a qualified data-privacy professional in place; and robust systems to ensure mandatory reporting of breaches to the regulator.
Meanwhile, FCA regulation requires bribery and money laundering controls. Businesses can face millions in fines, even when the FCA doesn’t find bribery but rather a lack of systems and controls to prevent it. The FCA also mandates that businesses have ‘fit for purpose’ Business Continuity Management (BCM).
One final example—but perhaps the most important of all—is the fact that Crawford is based in Atlanta and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Being a NYSE-listed company means we are subject to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and the strong governance of Sarbanes Oxley, amongst others.
Client due diligence for adjusting firms has evolved substantially during the past 15 years. From an environment where an insurance company claims manager might ask a few simple questions, in 2015 Crawford is fully prepared for an intensive review by our clients’ and prospects’ in-house compliance departments. The relationship may even require insurers to engage one of the global audit practices to interrogate us over an extended period.
Executives will all too often bemoan onerous regulation, but that is a debate for another day. In the meantime, our customers need to be aware of the risks that are posed by doing business with outsourced partners. We’re here to reassure them that regulatory compliance will be a key element of the Crawford Solution.