A business argument for going green

The argument that going green is a more expensive way of operating is not as unequivocal as it once was. 

Apart from rising financial penalties for failing to meet ever-stricter environmental targets and the obvious cost benefits of reducing energy usage, it is also true that real savings, both economic and to the environment, can be made by taking inefficiencies out of the process by working differently.

Angela Kelly, Client Operational Director, Sedgwick, speaking at the I Love Claims Home & Property Claims Conference held at the CBS Arena, Coventry on 11 November, honed-in on just one area where improvements can be made – water leakage.


She said, “The escape of water has always been a challenge. I think we still take far too long to settle these claims and the customer effort is far too high. And now we’ve got the additional challenge of the carbon emissions these claims produce.”

Angela pointed to a ‘fairly typical’ claim of escape of water from a bathroom. She explained how the insurer, when notified, would then contact four suppliers, each of whom are working to their own Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

She said, “The drying company dries the property based on rate set, the loss adjustor visits site within its own SLAs and makes sure the claim is covered, and the flooring company values the flooring repairs. The customer then drives to the shop to select flooring they want, which is then installed in a timely manner. So from a supply chain point of view, it is a smooth claim.

“However, it takes 53 days, six visits to the customer home, and 789kg of carbon emissions to settle a small escape of water claim. Extrapolated out over an average book with 15,000 claims, that is 11,850kg of carbon emissions, more than five million litres of petrol, and enough energy to provide electricity to 8,000 homes for a year.”

Cut wastage

She believes there is another, more collegiate way of approaching claims that could cut wastage out of the system. By setting a collective goal rather than having each supplier working towards its own targets, and by giving each the authority to make decisions to expediate the claim, Angela is convinced there are substantial savings to be made.  

“Going back to the original example, the drying company might assess the site and put in thermal drying equipment that cuts drying time from 21 days to six while also removing the need for building repairs. Meanwhile, the loss adjustor might decide it’s a small claim and they can validate it and establish an appropriate settlement digitally.

“Processing the claim this way instead, it is settled in 16 days rather than 53, the cost comes down from £3,400 to £1,900 while carbon emissions are cut from 790kg to 590kg.”

Collective goal

This, she says, is something that insurers could achieve right now simply by establishing a collective goal within the supply chain and convincing customers that restoration is as good as replacement.

Angela said, “If insurers and the supply chain approach the claim as a single thing instead of focusing on their respective roles, we can reduce the life cycle of the claim, reduce our carbon footprint, and serve our customer better.”

ILC Home and Property Claims’ next live event will be the Environmental and Sustainability Specialist Conference taking place on 31 March 2022.

ILC’s Home & Property Claims Conference 2021 was supported by headline sponsor Synergy; Gold Sponsors – Catalyst, Dasa, LexisNexis, Perfect Group, Polygon and Sedgwick; Silver Sponsors – Belfor, Bdeo, CRDN, Farcroft and Gelder; and ILC Corporate Partners – Carpenters Group, CoreLogic, ICAB, ICAB Pod, and Innovation Group.


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