BIBA2017 – The Connected Claim: Disruption should be invisible to customers

UK & Ireland CEO Clive Nicholls has been representing Crawford at the British Insurance Brokers Association conference in Manchester this week. He explains how the business has avoided disrupting service to brokers, while building a flexible business model to meet modern day needs.

Most of us will be familiar with the frustration of shopping for a tried and tested product and it is no longer available. Why is it not there? When will it be back? Has it been replaced? Whom should I ask about it?

The most successful retailers today have all but done away with this problem, making everything available on demand, in an instant.

Clive Nicholls - Preferred

Crawford UK & Ireland CEO, Clive Nicholls

While the disruption of high street retail is certainly something the insurance industry aspires to, the insurance claims process could fairly be labelled as the handicapped horse in this particular chase.

Claims management businesses like ours are delivering and managing a finite expert labour force, putting services in reach of the customer at the point of need.

For example, contractors are not such easy commodities to stack on a warehouse shelf. Even though Crawford & Company has become renowned for its pioneering acquisition of WeGoLook, the business of delivering expertise remains our core commitment, just as it is for insurance brokers.

Therefore, we have focused on building an infrastructure to give brokers access to the right experts, when and where they need them.

Initially, we reorganised to ensure that priority number 1 – the site visit – was dealt with; gradually retreating from provincial office networks and introducing the home working model so adjusters could visit any location before filing reports and managing claims quickly and efficiently online. Enabled by technology, this has proven flexible enough to meet the market’s needs during a claims surge as we proved last year with our pop-up adjusting office to support customers in Cumbria after storm Desmond.

Now, having consolidated our operation into several key locations in the UK’s largest cities, we are building a network of specialists who enhance the broker’s role in their local business supply chain.

Our multi-disciplinary office network has everything from dual qualified engineers and surveyors, to forensic accountants and an in-house legal team able to pursue subrogation claims and recover lost money from third parties.

When 15% of insurance claims are closed without any recovery at all, too many organisations have placed this problem in the ‘too difficult’ drawer. Crawford & Company UK has invested in the right expertise and is now the only adjusting business in our sector with such an offering available to brokers and insurers alike.

Wherever you are in the insurance industry, it is hard to ignore the constant march of disruption and the way it threatens established ways of doing business. We take this issue seriously too. The trick has been to make it as seamless a change as we can for customers and having a clearly defined strategy to provide them with the best of what we can offer.

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