1. Smithers Purslow acquires Byrom Clark Roberts

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    Rutland-based consulting engineering and surveying firm, Smithers Purslow (SP), has acquired its northern and Wales-based counterpart, Byrom Clark Roberts (BCR), increasing staff numbers to over 100 working from 10 locations across the UK.

    SP employs 70 staff in Glaston, London, Reading, Exeter, Nottingham and Newcastle; BCR has 31 staff in Manchester, Chester, Leeds and Llandudno.

    The buy-out completed on 28 October follows a period of phenomenal growth for SP. In five years turnover has grown by 25% per annum – from £1.7m in 2014 to £5.1m – and the firm’s directors are confident this acquisition will propel turnover to £8m in the next two years.

    SP’s core business is handling complex insurance claims and solving challenging construction/ property issues and legal disputes for the insurance sector; BCR offers similar services outside this sector, including expert witness support and architectural consultancy.

    SP director, Stephen Fraser comments:

    “BCR is the perfect fit for us – the firm’s well-established in the north while we have a strong presence in the south and midlands – giving us a bigger UK footprint. We’ve known and worked with BCR for 20 years and the sectors they operate in complement our key areas of focus.

    “Our proven ability to manage and simplify complex building issues has enabled us to avoid the economic stalemate caused by Brexit uncertainty and consolidate what is already a thriving business, broadening the services and support we’re able to give clients.”

    BCR director, Paul Vipond agrees:

    “Smithers Purslow is a growing multi-disciplinary company, similar to us, operating in comparable building consultancy fields and with shared values of technical excellence, professionalism and integrity. We bring to this newly-formed Group our expertise in architecture and forensic/expert witness work and our partnership will enable all engineers/surveyors to work across a broader range of clients, projects and disciplines.

    “Bringing the companies together extends our services to clients across the country, strengthening the Group’s national presence and reach.”

     The new board comprises SP directors Andrew Bussey and Stephen Fraser and BCR directors Paul Vipond, Andrew Gooud and Shona Penfold.

    To find out more visit


    Founded in 1978, Smithers Purslow handles high net worth and complex building, construction and property claims for the insurance market.

    In 2016, SP was the first in the professional services sector to be given Platinum Investors in People status and, at the time, was one of only 16 businesses to achieve this accolade worldwide. The firm recently secured the same Platinum status, underlining its commitment to support and reward staff.

    Founded in 1925, BCR has grown as a result of mergers with Frederick Hill, the Moxham Clark Partnership, Alex Roberts Associates and SIX Architecture. Its multi-disciplinary practices specialise in architecture, building surveying, civil and structural engineering and expert witness consultancy.

  2. ClaimsTech 2019: Speaker Insight – Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner at BT

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    We were delighted to be joined at our recent ClaimsTech conference by Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner at BT.

    She explored the trends transforming digital customer experience highlighting the ‘3 Us’ test – useful, usable and used. However, quoting professor Alan Dix, Birmingham University, she declared ‘What is useful and usable isn’t always used!’

    To watch her in action on the day click here 

    Highlighting research – The Digital Customer 2017 – and the ever-increasing trend for digital customers, Nicola said, ‘Customers are seeking simplicity: digital customers want easy journeys – and that is likely even more relevant when it comes to insurance.’

    Nicola went on to focus on how smartphones are becoming more important in the digital experience and how apps have previously provided a ‘solution’ yet often missed the mark. To this end, Nicola pointed at how micro-apps were now becoming the ‘go to’ customer engagement solution, providing quick, personalised, omni-channel, fully integrated interaction.

    ‘Omni channel solutions are important because customers make decisions on engagement at each stage of the journey based on their motivation, context and attitude,’ explained Nicola. ‘Customers in crisis do not deal well with complexity – they want a simple and straightforward service which is more often than not a phone call, and that’s regardless of generational behaviours.’

    One area Nicola drew attention to as a real opportunity for customer engagement was video which she claimed can ‘transform the customer experience’. Referring to it as personalised video as a service, Nicola highlighted how one major financial services provider has achieved a 400% increase in loan sales by implementing such strategy.

    For another video clip from her presentation just click here

    BT itself has implemented SightCall, allowing it to deliver a ‘see what I see’ experience to the customer, saving on simple connectivity solutions.

    Nicola then described how ‘chat is where it’s at’, citing how 65% of the research participants want chat support when faced with a problem.

    She also referenced how 73% believe chatbots will help companies improve their customer service yet how 74% were in favour of human agents checking the more complicated responses.

    ‘Chatbots certainly have appeal but with checks and balances from human agents. They work for simple queries by steering customer through the ‘known knowns’ but currently struggle with complexity – intelligent routing is the key to customer experience,’ explained Nicola.

    Nicola rounded her session by pointing to how consumers are impressed by proactive service and more open to sharing information if it is of benefit to them but warned: ‘engage with customers but do not annoy them – too much contact just becomes creepy.’

    A highly informative and insightful presentation with some very positive delegate feedback post event.

  3. I Love Golf Charity Day on 16th October 2019 – Places available for meal and networking!

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    We wanted to update you on the I Love Golf Charity day run by Safeline Environmental and SOS Leak Detection in association with ILC on Wednesday 16th October 2019,

    There has been a fantastic response to this event (the proceeds of which will all be donated to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity) which has lead to all the golf participation tickets having sold out!!

    Organiser Brad Wilby of SOS Leak Detection told us: “Participation in the  golf event is now sold out . The demand outweighed the places available so many apologies for those that we could not facilitate , however it’s not all bad news!”


    I would like to attend, what options are now available?

    There are still available places for the evening meal and networking event during the latter part of the day.

    The price is £45 per person and this includes a delicious 3 course meal , set in the wonderful venue of  of the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club.

    How do I book my place?

    If you wish to enquire about booking a place then please contact Brad at SOS Leak Detection who will be happy to help –

    For those that have missed out on the golf event then there will be another opportunity to join us on the next ILG event in April 2020″

    More about Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity

    This great charity works tirelessly to provide bespoke support for families who have a child with a serious illness. By offering the whole family support, regardless of diagnosis for as long as needed, they are a lifeline for many individuals.

    For information about the day please  download the event flyer hereCharity Golf Day Flyer

  4. Save the Date for the ICAB POD Warehouse Open Day

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    We would like to let you know about the ICAB POD Warehouse Day which will be taking place  in a few weeks’ time on 25 September 2019 from 11am – 2pm.


    This day will be a fantastic chance to see all variants of the ICAB PODS (including internal Pop-ups) up close as well as an opportunity to meet the entire ICAB POD team.

    It’s a great opportunity to ‘touch and feel’ the product and ask any questions you may have in an informal environment

    Interested in coming along?

    If you or any of your colleagues wish to attend please RSVP to Alisa Gold

  5. Adjuster market set for disruption as Claims Consortium Group acquires Stream Claims Services

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    Claims Consortium Group has acquired the trading business of Stream Claims Services Ltd for an undisclosed sum – one of several strategic moves designed to disrupt the loss adjusting market. Responding to a clear market demand for enhanced capacity, increased choice and smarter solutions for large and complex claims, Claims Consortium is expanding the scope of its current offering by welcoming Stream into the Group.

    Stream’s excellent technical skills and exemplary customer service complements Claims Consortium’s strategic goals. Both company cultures are dedicated to delivering the best customer service and adding Stream’s expertise to the current Claims Consortium Group offering takes this service to the next level.

    The industry can expect transformational access to capacity with better cost control and exceptional customer service by combining technologies, supply chains and technical adjusting. Placing the latest technology in the hands of expert technical adjusters and surveyors will enable data driven decision-making and will create a more agile model for bespoke claims management, providing individual solutions for every customer.

    Claims Consortium Group CEO, Jeremy Hyams, says, “We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful claims handling model as we welcome Stream to the Group. Combining the loss adjusting expertise within Stream with the breadth and variety of our claims handling experience, supply chain capability and cutting edge technology will create a scalable adjusting service that will completely revolutionise the loss adjusting market.”

    Claims Consortium Group demonstrated the success of its modern adjusting service with the new subsidence model. Tested last year during the subsidence surge, it delivered faster resolution for customers at lower costs for clients, whilst providing an exceptional level of service for all parties involved.

    Stream will become Claims Consortium Adjusting, joining the existing Adjusting arm of Claims Consortium Group. Nick Turner, Professional Services Director at Claims Consortium, joins the Board of Directors overseeing all operations across the Group. Jim Pittman, current MD at Stream, will report into Nick.

    “We are thrilled to join Claims Consortium Group,” Jim says, “Joining a large company we will have a new platform for growth and be able to offer the wider range of services that our clients require. Our loss adjusters will have more access to superior technology and a range of additional services that will underpin our ability to offer individual solutions for every customer.”

    About Claims Consortium Group

    Claims Consortium Group provides claims handling services and claims workflow technologies to insurers, brokers and other property service organisations across the UK. The company was founded by Jeremy Hyams in 1996 as Property Consortium Ltd, which is still a trading company under the Group today.

    Claims Consortium Group now offers an end-to-end claims management and repair network to major insurers in the UK. The company has consistently grown organically year on year. Starting as originally three members of staff working out of Jeremy’s house, there’s now 270 people and counting working across multiple sites.

    The Group’s specialist claims handling services include Property Consortium UK, Property Consortium Drainage, Building Claims Services, Motor Claims Services, Digital Claims Services and Claims Consortium Adjusting.

    Claims Consortium’sworkflow technologies driveindustry-leading levels of information management and service excellence. Its success is down to understanding how to meet the expectations of the modern customer, strategic innovation in technology, hard-working staff and strong supplier relationships.

    Claims Consortium consistently win awards and accreditations for excellence including:

    • ICS Service Mark
    • Investors in People Gold Standard
    • Listed for four years running by the LSE as 1 of 1000 companies to inspire Great Britain
    • Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation in 2017
    • The Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for

    For any follow up questions please contact:

    Ruth Graves, PR & Marketing Manager

    M:07748 070719 E:

    About Stream Claims Services

    Established in 2012, following its buy out from Stream Group in 2016, Stream Claims Services operates across the UK, consistently bringing a combination of great customer service and strong technical ability to the large and complex claims sector.

    The company provides complex and large loss adjusting on domestic claims where the cost, customer issues or fraud concerns require an expert.

    Stream also provides surveying services direct to insurers or in support of their preferred adjusters to ensure complex building issues are resolved and health and safety is managed. Stream works as a claims manager for clients who want technical competence and an express service on simpler claims.

    The great service and cost control Stream is known for is reinforced by up to date systems and comprehensive management information to assist clients in their oversight of what Stream delivers.

  6. Industry Leader Interview – Martin Oldroyd, Managing Director at the Alternative Accommodation Agency Ltd

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    Martin Oldroyd is Managing Director at the Alternative Accommodation Agency Ltd

    How did you get to where you are today?

    Almost by accident! An off-chance discussion led to a germ of an idea and a proposal which grew into a plan and ultimately the Alternative Accommodation Agency was born. Fortunately, I absolutely love what I do so I just keep on doing it.

     What’s the biggest challenge facing your sector of the industry?

    One of the biggest challenges as I see it is helping the process be more effective both for customers and insurers to allow us all to deliver great service each time, every time. I think this applies to ALL suppliers.  With more effective communication we can gain speed and accuracy of information and reduce unnecessary duplication in the process.

    How are you and your business dealing with this?

    Fortunately, we have a great team and they gather information in a positive manner at the very outset. This allows us to move quickly to the right solution for customers. If we can increase the flow of accurate information across the supply chain the customer will be looked after, the best overall outcome is achieved for everyone through the collective effort. And we should be able to reduce the cost of claims too.

    Out of your business achievements, what are you most proud of and why?

    Personally, I find that a difficult one to answer not as a consequence of a long list of achievements but because of a natural sense of humility. If I had to express pride, I would say that reading the Google review comments about A3 – praise for the team and the level of service they provide – is hugely gratifying.

    What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry?

    Keep an open mind, remain positive in the face of adversity and above all else believe in your own ability. Also, quite simply, always be nice to people as that often makes a huge difference.

    If you could change anything what would you do to make the insurance industry “Better tomorrow”?

    In my humble opinion, the industry sometimes loses touch with its customers and at a time when those customers require their insurers the most. We come across customers when they are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole claims process. We are sometimes told by policyholders that they have ‘no idea what is going on’ or ‘we are waiting to be told what we should do’. I feel that a ‘back to basics’ approach may be needed with simple, clear communication, advice and support for claimants throughout the cycle of their claim.

    What’s your top tip for being productive?

    Get in to the office super-early. Get as much done as possible before the whole world catches up.

    What gadget can’t you live without?

    I’m not really a gadget person. Having said that the modern smart phone is such an amazing piece of tech that I don’t think I could function properly without it.

    Talent or Perseverance?

    My instinctive response is perseverance all day long. But even that takes some talent of sorts so definitely plenty of both. Maybe a 60/40 split.

    What do you do to switch off or escape from work?

    Family comes first but when my wife and three daughters allow it, I like to sneak off to play golf, usually badly. Having said that I often play with my co-directors who are also my buddies, so work is never totally off the agenda.

  7. Join ILC Day 2020!

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    ILC Day is where ILC members across the country ditch their uniforms to wear red on Thursday 14 February to raise vital funds for ILC’s official charity partner, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

    Occurring always on the reddest day in the calendar, ILC Day is an annual event where we encourage everyone in the insurance claims industry to be our Valentine and show their love to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity by wearing red to work and making a small donation to the charity.

    All donations raised on the day will go to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. This will help them to continue to support the families with a seriously ill child that they care for, allowing families in unthinkable circumstances to make the most of their precious time together.

    In past years, companies of all sizes have signed up to take part, but their participation hasn’t always been limited to just wearing red. The amount of additional fundraising ideas people have adopted on the day has been staggering, from BBQ breakfasts to Office Olympics, and Raffles to Bake Sales, there is no limit to the fun you can have raising money on ILC Day.

    Sign your company up today by visiting the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity website or by emailing: to register your interest and help us succeed in raising £1,000,000 by the end of the year!

    Follow the social media buzz leading up to and on the day itself on Twitter and LinkedIn, using #ILCDay2020, and don’t forget to share your own photos and ideas!

    Sign up for ILC Day 14th February 2020 and join these companies!



  8. Industry Leader Interview – Claire Lashbrook, Operations Manager at Claims Consortium Group

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    Claire Lashbrook is Operations Manager at Claims Consortium Group.

    1. How did you get to where you are today? 

    Like many of us, I didn’t specifically pursue a career in Insurance, in fact prior to joining Claims Consortium Group I was running a McDonalds restaurant! I initially joined as a temporary worker 7 years ago but quickly saw a long term future within this company and industry.

    A desire to always challenge the status quo and never walk past a problem saw me progress from claims handler, to team leader and service leader within the Operations department.

    I then took an exciting side step to run some key business projects for the implementation of our Synergy system before returning to my roots as Operations Manager overseeing our claims handling centre in Taunton.

    2. What’s the biggest challenge facing your sector of the industry?

    There are currently two major challenges claims handling providers are facing, the first being the expectations of the modern day customer. The immediacy with which we can access and share information means companies need to change the way they do business to manage these new expectations and demands. The second challenge is the drive to reduce indemnity spend.

    3. How are you and your business dealing with this?

    Our software helps us tackle both these problems at once. Synergy creates an information sharing platform for every person involved in the claims process which facilitates better communication between all parties. This gives the customer more transparency on their claim and allows them to ask questions whenever needed. It also speeds up the overall life cycle of a claim which helps keep costs down.

    4. Out of your business achievements, what are you most proud of and why?

    I really enjoyed being the spokesperson for our Synergy system in the wider industry and working closely with other suppliers in the property insurance space. When I started working on this project we had 7 other suppliers using the system covering drying, adjusting and contents.

    In just a year, I increased this to 22 suppliers covering all commodities from alternative accommodation to soil sampling and hard surface repair enabling all parties to get a really comprehensive overview. I am really proud of this achievement because the system is at its most powerful when all the suppliers from an insurer’s panel are using it and sharing claim data.

    5. What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry?

    I would say that this is a really exciting and varied industry to join and not to be shy with any ideas you may have that could revolutionise a process within the company you are working for.

    We are always looking for new and innovative ideas to update the way we do business and the way our industry operates to make it more efficient and enable the best possible customer service.

    6. If you could change anything what would you do to make the insurance industry “better tomorrow”?

    Introducing a real partnership for everyone involved in the customer journey and using technology to do so. The more collaborative the various teams involved in each claim can be, the better the overall experience for the customer will be which should always be the ultimate goal in any claim.

    7. What’s your top tip for being productive?

    Turn off your new email alerts! In all seriousness, the ‘urgent/important matrix’ by Dr Stephen Covey can be really useful when trying to maintain productivity. Leading a busy Operations department comes with its fair share of urgent and important tasks but also interruptions that need to be managed.

    By listing out what category all of my tasks are fall into I can quickly and easily move to the work where I add real value and stay focussed. I love a good list and there is nothing more satisfying than ticking off those big ticket items once they are completed

    8. What gadget can’t you live without?

    I’m not massively in to gadgets, but can’t live without my i-phones, one for work and one for home so that I can stay connected with colleagues, friends and family at all times.

    9. Talent or Perseverance?

    Perseverance , I am really lucky to work in a company where if I have an idea that doesn’t work out my colleagues will stand by me, support me through it and challenge me to keep going and better myself every day. This helps me accept that the first plan is rarely the final plan and encourages me to keep persevering.

    10. What do you do to switch off or escape from work?

    I have a 4 year old daughter so spending time with her is my escape from work, her endless imagination fascinates me every day and provides so much entertainment.

  9. Sedgwick enhances its UK specialty portfolio with media and entertainment services

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    Source: Sedgwick

    Sedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, today announced the addition of the Adams Media Loss Adjusting Team to its UK specialty portfolio offering.   They will be known as Sedgwick Media and Entertainment.

    Adams Media has been a long established technical insurance loss adjuster specialising in film and television production as well as broadcast, commercials, music, concert touring, theatre, live events, sound, lighting, video and rigging.

    The team of  specialists  (Nick Adams, Ian McDonald, Tim Adams, and Dani Vignjevic) work with major insurers, brokers, broadcasters and corporates, providing ‘around the clock’ emergency support and dealing with all aspects of incidents and claims, from urgent notification, advice, attendance, investigation, reporting and negotiation through to resolution and settlement.

    “With our new specialist capability, we are uniquely positioned to handle claims and provide the right team, right technology and right processes to help our clients in the entertainment industry. Sedgwick’s global reach and advanced technological capabilities also make this particular sector a natural fit for our specialist practice,” said Stewart Steel, CEO for Sedgwick in the UK.

    The addition of media loss adjusting further enhances the scope of Sedgwick’s services and is a further step in its continued growth and expansion into new sectors.

    Nick Adams, director of Sedgwick media and entertainment team added: “Becoming part of the world’s largest claims management company gives us access to a strong network of professionals which are invaluable for our growth. This is an excellent opportunity for us to expand our client base with Sedgwick’s world class expertise and capabilities.”


  10. Cheapercover aims to ‘bring back the true cost of insurance’ for 20 million UK households

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    A new online insurance provider called is launching in the UK. Cheapercover believes that customers are being taken for granted by current insurance providers and a number of middlemen that have crept into the process over recent years.

    Cheapercover intends to use Blockchain technology to forge a better link between customers and their insurance companies. This will mean lower running costs for Cheapercover and eliminate the need for insurance brokers, price comparison websites and search engines – meaning these savings can be passed straight back to the customer.

    How will this work?

    Using blockchain technology, Cheapercover will provide a virtually instant link from each customer direct to the insurance company for the policies they hold. This will mean that both parties – the customer and the insurance company – will be able to see all policy details in real-time.  The customer will be able to make changes to their level of cover direct through an app on their Smartphone or via the Cheapercover website.

    “There is a “White Paper” on blockchain technology, titled “Bringing Back the True Cost of Insurance” available for download via the Cheapercover website at

    Most insurance customers who shop around for cover at present, do so via a search on Google or one of the other search engines. Insurance companies and brokers pay up to £8 per click to appear in these search results.

    Price comparison websites (PCW) first appeared about 15 years ago. They compare prices from a range of insurance companies and brokers – but PCWs also pay up to £8 per click to appear in search engine results and they charge insurance companies and brokers about £50 for each policy sold through them.

    Insurance brokers charge commission of between 10 and 20% on each policy sold by them. So now we have brokers, price comparison websites and search engines – all taking a slice of insurance premiums. Cheapercover customers won’t have to fund these middlemen.  Customers think they are getting a good deal by going through PCWs, but growing interest from the regulators shows that the insurance market isn’t working anywhere near as well as it could.

    Another advantage of using blockchain is that Cheapercover will be able to offer their members semi-automatic switching. Currently, many insurers hike the cost of insurance when it comes up for renewal each year.

    In October 2018 the FCA announced2 that it was looking into how insurance companies charge their customers for motor insurance. They talk about “potentially excessive differences between premiums charged to new customers and those renewing”.

    Through Cheapercover, if a customer’s policy is set to increase by more than the official rate of inflation, the system will automatically search for a better-priced policy for them.


    Andy Willis, Cheapercover Managing Director, says:

    “The UK insurance industry changed a lot when price comparison websites first arrived 15 years ago – but it allowed a couple of extra middlemen to creep in to the process of shopping around – and these middlemen want to be paid very well for what they do.

    Our Blockchain systems will revolutionise the marketplace and give customers exactly what they want – the right policy for them, at the best price and with the least effort”.

    David Griffiths, Cheapercover Marketing Director, says:

    “One continuous policy for life. Just imagine not having the worry of shopping around for car or home insurance ever again! Our members will be part of a real partnership and we intend to treat them fairly”