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  1. 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.

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

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    12/3/19

    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.”

     

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

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    20/3/19

    Source:  Journalism.co.uk

    A new online insurance provider called Cheapercover.com 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 www.cheapercover.com

    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.

    Quotes:

    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” 

     

  4. Industry Leader Interview – Keith Walters, Director for Field Technical Services at Sedgwick

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    Keith is the Sedgwick director for Field Technical Services.

    He started his career from school as a trainee working with a major insurer, before moving to loss adjusting where he has worked for the last 30 years. 

    His roles include senior positions in domestic and commercial claims, with both volume and major loss markets.  He also has expertise with supply chains and the building repair industry.

    Keith is a Chartered Builder and holds an innovations qualification with the Institute of Customer Service and is passionate about finding new ways to improve customer service.

    Find out what he had to say by reading on:

    How did you get to where you are today?

    Many years ago, when I took on my first senior role, the director said to me “You’re here to make a difference,  once you stop making a difference you stop doing your job”. I still remember the conversation as if it had just happened, and follow that advice to this day.

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

    The property insurance claims industry has traditionally relied upon an ageing population of experienced, technical decision makers and there has been a lack of new, talented entrants, although I’m pleased to say this is starting to change.

    The industry is also good at tying its experts into too much processing, making them less effective at what they are good at.

    How are you and your business dealing with this?

    The Sedgwick business has been particularly successful at attracting talented colleagues from grass roots level and retaining them through development, opportunities and a culture of belonging. One of the benefits of now being part of this global organisation is the opportunity to collaborate and attract talented people into a rewarding career.

    How many industries can offer development paths as wide as structural engineering, building surveying, accounting and loss adjusting, on a global scale? I’m working with my counterparts across the wider business to develop clear opportunities, find new and current colleagues to grasp these opportunities, and simplify our systems and processes to make their roles easy. 

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

    I recently moved into my current role and many of your readers will know me from the days when I ran Oriel. I’m really proud of what the business achieved in what has to be one of the hardest commodities to get right.

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

    It’s a big industry with great opportunities – stay flexible, take risks.

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

    I’d like it to change its image. Seriously, we provide exciting careers.

    What’s your top tip for being productive?

    Understand you can’t do everything, deal with the now but focus on the future.

    What gadget can’t you live without?

    It used to be an iPad but now it’s a Microsoft Surface Pro, it does everything so well.

    Talent or Perseverance?

    I’d say both. But then I would.

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

    I love getting out mountain biking, if I don’t switch off I fall off! Failing that road cycling, but I’m not very quick.

  5. ILC Vulnerable People Workshop Success

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    14/01/19

     

     

    Last week we held our first workshop – Working with Vulnerable People, which took place last week at the Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.

    We welcomed over 50 insurers and suppliers from the Home & Commercial Claims sector to this informative and thought-provoking event.

    Run by ILC and ISScic , the agenda covered areas including legal obligations and duty of care, FCA approach to consumers, it looked at a range of case studies and gave actionable guidance into organisations on creating policies and delivering strategies to protect vulnerable consumers.

    Attendee John Nicholls, LV= said, “I felt the session was extremely beneficial and a real eye-opener. Whilst we look to deal with vulnerable customers fairly, correctly and make the right adjustments when considering bespoke needs, the topic covered really gave additional considerations. I felt this was a fantastic opportunity to learn and inspire for future ways of working.

    Nic Sproul, Commercial Director at ILC said:

    “It was fantastic to see our first ILC workshop fully subscribed last week, and on such an important topic – Vulnerable People.  The feedback from all of the various insurers, suppliers and professionals who attended confirms not only was the content of the highest standard, but that there is a requirement within the claims community for further similar workshops which ILC will be delivering.”

    A great way of connecting with our valued community, this was also a great chance to improve knowledge and understanding – all of which make us ‘better tomorrow’.

    Some great feedback from our post event survey!

    We were delighted with the above responses from our post event survey that we sent out. It’s great to have confirmation that our attendees feel that our workshops are worthwhile and relevant to them.

    We look forward to welcoming you to further thought provoking workshops in the future.

  6. ILC – Vulnerable People Workshop

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    14 January 2019    
    Last week we held our first workshop – Working with Vulnerable People, which took place last week at the Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.
    We welcomed over 50 insurers and suppliers from the Home & Commercial Claims sector to this informative and thought-provoking event.
    Run by ILC and ISScic , the agenda covered areas including legal obligations and duty of care, FCA approach to consumers, it looked at a range of case studies and gave actionable guidance into organisations on creating policies and delivering strategies to protect vulnerable consumers.
    Attendee John Nicholls, LV= said, “I felt the session was extremely beneficial and a real eye-opener. Whilst we look to deal with vulnerable customers fairly, correctly and make the right adjustments when considering bespoke needs, the topic covered really gave additional considerations. I felt this was a fantastic opportunity to learn and inspire for future ways of working.
    Nic Sproul, Commercial Director at ILC said:
    “It was fantastic to see our first ILC workshop fully subscribed last week, and on such an important topic – Vulnerable People.  The feedback from all of the various insurers, suppliers and professionals who attended confirms not only was the content of the highest standard, but that there is a requirement within the claims community for further similar workshops which ILC will be delivering.”
    A great way of connecting with our valued community, this was also a great chance to improve knowledge and understanding – all of which make us ‘better tomorrow’.
    We look forward to welcoming you to further thought provoking workshops in the future.
  7. Mark Barrett, UK Commercial Director – Symbility Property

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    At Symbility we create world class experiences that simplify businesses and improve lives. We believe that technology is the enabler to achieve this ambition. Our solutions help streamline the claims journey for the user, enabling them to deliver a fast and effective service for the customer. Symbility Claims Connect & Symbility LINK enhance customer communication by enabling all parties to collaborate together, concluding claims quickly and effectively. It puts the insurer in control, reduces friction and in turn reduces claim lifecycles delivering a better outcome for all parties. Our technology enables improved customer service, indemnity control and process efficiency whilst at all times controlling risk through the claim process

     

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

    Hard work, perseverance, making decisions, creativity but above all, working with great people in some great teams.

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

    The fear of change and making decisions.

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

    Constantly bringing new ideas to the market and developing them into reality. Demonstrating the value that those new opportunities and processes can bring/have brought, to deliver against the constant challenges of Cost, Customer and Control.

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

    Changing the way the market works through independence of validation versus fulfilment. It still stacks up to this day.

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

    Listen, learn quickly but be inquisitive, bold and brave. Look to make a difference through change.

    6. If you could change anything what would you do to make the insurance

    industry “Better tomorrow”?

    Speed up decision making and go after opportunities quickly.

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

    Carve out thinking time in the diary and act on those thoughts.

    8. What gadget can’t you live without?

    I hate them all, they’re so addictive!

    9. Talent or Perseverance?

    You need both, both can be learned so never give up and be satisfied with how you are today.

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

    That’s always difficult but I love all sports albeit I’m more of a watcher these days than partaker!

     

     

     

     

     

  8. Speaker Announcement: Andrew Sellars, Hiscox – ILC Home Claims Conference (Wed 14 Nov)

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    We love our conferences to be full of Optimism, Energy and Purpose, so I’m delighted to announce that Andrew Sellars, Group Head of Claims Supplier Management will be speaking at the 6th Home Claims Conference on Wednesday 14 November.

    Guest Speaker – Andrew Sellars

    Group Head of Claims Supplier Management

    Andrew is a Hiscox veteran and was recently appointed a Hiscox Partner. He started out specialising in Tech; Media & Telecoms (TMT) E&O and was Head of TMT Claims before moving over to underwriting as Head of Technology Underwriting in Europe.

    As Group Head of Claims – Supplier Management he has successfully focused on professionalising the supply chain and the retail claims functions service proposition when it comes to partnering with third parties. He is a member of the global leadership team and co-executive sponsor of the LGBT+ employee network.

    With creativity, Andrew will discuss his evolving expectations when it comes to supply chain partners and the impact they have on the insurance experience.

    Buy Ticket

    Double ILC Sponsorship for Clearabee

    ILC is delighted to announce that Clearabee has taken out Gold Sponsorship of the Home Claims Conference on 14 November. They are also the sponsor of our post conference drinks.

    Clearabee are market leaders and innovators in their field, delivering on demand and same day rubbish removal across the UK.

    MD of Clearabee, Daniel Long said “Clearabee’s support for the ILC Networking Lunch in May was a great experience. We look forward to continuing our association by supporting a forward-thinking conference that aligns with our own vision.”
    Buy Ticket

    I think this is fantastic news. As the ILC Conference is increasingly popular, the involvement of advanced thinking businesses like Clearabee with innovative offerings for the market is really welcome.

    As you can see, great speakers and sponsors are joining our conference on Wednesday 14 November. I look forward to seeing you there too. If you want to know more about the event, please e-mail me at alan@iloveclaims.com

    Have a brilliant weekend!

    Kind regards
    Alan Soutar

    Chairman, ILC Home

    E: alan@iloveclaims.com

    P.S. Remember that if you want to Bring a Party of Five you’ll Save 20% and have the chance to win a FREE day with LIVE BIG’s Rob Chilcott.


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  9. Industry Leader Interview – Stewart Steel, CEO, Sedgwick

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    Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. We provide a broad range of resources tailored to our clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts®; through the dedication and exper­tise of more than 21,000 colleagues across 65 countries, the company takes care of people and organisations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact the bottom line.

     

    1.  How did you get to where you are today?
    Broadly, through a combination of hard work and the good fortune to work for and with excellent people.  By watching, listening and learning from others, I have been able to develop a leadership style that works for me, as much from observing what doesn’t work as well as what does.

     

    Being able to relate to people at all levels is a critical requirement for any leader. Early on in my adjusting career, I relocated often to different parts of the country, meeting new people from varying backgrounds which really helped me develop my interpersonal skills. Working with people to understand what motivates and challenges them has probably been the key driver in my career.

    2.  What’s the biggest challenge facing your sector of the industry?
    The advent of ever better and faster technology brings both a challenge and an opportunity for the claims service sector. Whether a consequence of insurers in-sourcing work or new technology led competitors undercutting on price, traditional adjusting houses will suffer in the lower value space as the number of field visit assignments – notably in the volume homeowners sector – dries up.

     

    The opportunity for the sector is to use its renowned industry leading technical and customer service expertise supported by technology (rather than led by it), to deliver its own faster, more effective and cost sensitive end to end solutions to the market. For some customers, this might take the form of adjusters delivering higher end and niche expertise and capacity as a seamless adjunct to the customer’s own end to end solutions. For others, this might see the complete outsourcing of the claims function to an external provider.

     

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

    Sedgwick is extremely well positioned to work with the insurance market to support its digital journey. Technology has always been at the forefront of all that Sedgwick does, with bespoke multi-access platforms created and developed in-house to support our market leading positions in many product areas.

     

    With access to deep resources available through being the world’s largest insurance claims services provider – people, technology, innovation and finance – we are heavily engaged in an exciting project at the moment in the UK to “make claims easier”. A key part of this project involves bringing together all of our wide and varied expert and volume services in a single new end to end digital process.

     

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

    In 2005, I was asked by my then employers to lead a project to create value out of what remained of the loss adjusting business they had acquired in 2001. This broadly involved working with the major loss and corporate account practice teams, out of which we together created a new business called Teceris. Being an adjuster by background, I knew we had the technical capability to achieve our aims, but there were significant internal and market barriers to overcome which necessitated a lot of hard work by the team and a lot of belief in the end outcome.

     

    When we set up Vericlaim in the UK, Teceris became the first acquisition we made. The company went on to become some 250 strong by the time of the acquisition of Cunningham Lindsey.

     

     

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

    First and foremost, be yourself and be prepared to work hard.

     

    In the claims space, qualifications are very important, so these need to be passed with reasonable despatch. In the long run, however, qualifications on their own are really only entry to the game and are no guarantee of future success. In short, it’s what you do with the knowledge you gain and with the relationships you build that dictate future success.

     

    My advice to future insurance leaders is to focus first on people and relationships before task and output. Be decisive – it’s sometimes better to make a poor decision than no decision at all – and, above all, build and preserve a reputation for honesty, integrity and fairness.

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

    In our bit of the claims industry I believe we are still not where we should and need to be from a diversity and inclusion perspective. Quite simply, it’s our loss that we are not finding enough people from ethnic and minority backgrounds to develop and enhance our world.

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

    First of all, keep on top of your inbox, but I don’t just mean this in a mail sense. Rather, prioritise time to make decisions quickly so that the rhythm of the business is not interrupted waiting for the boss to approve / comment / whatever a request from below.

     

    In addition, make time each day to do (at least) one difficult task i.e. one of those things in the pile on the edge of your desk that requires time to get stuck into. Pull out one of those and get it done.

    8.  What gadget can’t you live without?

    It’s got to be the iPhone, sadly.

     

    On the domestic front, I’m rather partial to my Nespresso coffee maker. I only drink black coffee so get the benefit of great tasting blends with a minimum amount of fuss.

    9.  Talent or Perseverance?

    Definitely both, but my view is lots of the latter will get you further in the long run than lots of the former on its own. Through absence of application, resilience and dedication, many incredibly talented people fail to realise their full potential.

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

    I love to play and watch sport. I play hockey – indoor and outdoor – to keep fit and also like to get the road bike out now and then, go for an occasional run and play the odd round of golf. I also ski – more motorway and apres ski than daring off piste stuff!

     

    With two young daughters aged 11 and 8, I also spend time supporting them in their activities. My eldest is a competitive pony rider and my youngest is mad about gymnastics – training about 12 hours a week!

     

    I also like to travel – preferring city breaks to beach holidays – which is starting to cause challenges in the family holiday planning dept. Favourite city break to date – Barcelona!

     

     

  10. ILC Focus Group – Vulnerable Customers

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    In June, ILC facilitated a Focus Group which looked at, ‘Vulnerable Customers’.  It was attended by a select group of Insurers and Suppliers from the Home Claims Industry.   

     From the meeting is is clear that many organisations have an insufficient understanding of what is meant by a Vulnerable Person or the skills / training to give the appropriate level of service. A short summary report which outlines the key findings and recommended next steps is available as a pdf download.

    This event was kindly sponsored by ICAB.

     

    DOWNLOAD FOCUS GROUP REPORT