ILC ARTICLE

Home Claims Conference highlights need for change


The home insurance sector is facing its most challenging time since the 2008 credit crunch, and significant improvements in efficiencies and communication will be critical for those hoping to emerge from this period stronger.

That was the message from Gary Barker, Claims Director, The AA, during his keynote address at the I Love Claims Home & Property Claims Conference, which took place at the CBS Arena, Coventry, on 11 November.

The event was ILC Home’s first live conference in more than two years and has been hailed a huge success, with some 350 industry professionals meeting to share insights around key issues such as post-lockdown trading, ever-more stringent environmental legislation and new regulations.

Challenges

“The challenges we face today are more difficult than any we’ve faced since the recession of the credit crunch, and maybe even before that,” Barker said. “The fact that they’re all happening at the same time is what makes it so difficult to deal with. Leaner, more efficient insurers who are more connected to their customers and supply chain through a digital chain will give us the best possible chance of making some money, and also doing the most important thing, which is putting our customers back to where they should be.”

Barker was followed on stage by a panel debate with Mike Lawson, CEO Property Risk Inspection; Neil Stothert, MD, RSK RAW; Jeremy Sykes, MD, Polygon UK; and Laura Lazarus, Supply Chains Lead, Property, Aviva, who provided a wider perspective of the state of the industry, before Steve Gelder, CEO of leading construction company, The Gelder Group, offered a supplier’s view.

He explained how raw material and wage inflation has made insurance work almost unviable for many insurance repair and renovation companies, some of whom are looking for alternate revenue streams or, in the worst case scenario, leaving the industry completely.

He said: “I’ve come up with five easy wins to help building resilience: reduce the number of people managing each claim; move to a quarterly schedule of rates review; work harder on quicker payments; deal in fact; and look after and value your building repairer, because then they’ll look after you.”

Solutions

Having highlighted the challenges facing the sector, the conference, which also provided delegates with invaluable networking opportunities as well as first sightings of the very latest in product innovations in the Expo Hall, then considered the potential solutions and how best to implement them.

Alongside further panel debates on positive steps forward, presentations were also delivered by Jeremy Hyams, CEO, Claims Consortium Group; Will Sherwin, Senior Category Head, Procurement & Supply Chain, Household & Property, Direct Line Group; and Angela Kelly, Director, Client Operational Delivery, Sedgwick.

Alan Soutar, ILC Home Claims Chairman said: “A lot has happened in the two years since we were last able to host a live event. We’ve been through two years which we can’t have imagined, two years during which as an industry we’ve done things I don’t think we believed were possible. We moved people to working from home, we engaged our customers with innovations we’ve been pushing for for 10 years, and we managed to see each other through some trying times, both economically as businesses and personally. There have been some remarkable innovations and we want to recognise that here, because ILC is not about us, it’s about everyone in the claims industry.”

Full insight of the event will be shared over the coming weeks.

ILC Home will be back in 2022, with its first event – an Environmental and Sustainability Specialist Conference – taking place on 31 March.

ILC would like to thank headline sponsor Synergy for its support in making the event possible, as well as Gold Sponsors – Catalyst, Dasa, LexisNexis, Perfect Group, Polygon and Sedgwick; Silver Sponsors – Belfor, Bdeo, CRDN, Farcroft and Gelder; and Corporate Partners – Carpenters Group, CoreLogic, ICAB, ICAB Pod, and Innovation Group.

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