ILC Industry Leader Interview: Carl Holt, Insurance Claims Manager, ICAB 

Rental prices and new technologies are having a huge impact on the alternative accommodation sector. Here, Carl Holt, Insurance Claims Manager, ICAB, explains how his company is adapting to support customers and where he sees the industry going next. 

Tell us a bit about yourself; how you got into the sector and your career path to date. 

I have always been drawn to helping people. On a personal level, I enjoy coaching and watching others flourish. I believe businesses can care about their profits and customers equally.  

My career pathway has been driven by taking my knowledge and expertise from the rhythm and rigor of financial conglomerates. Previous roles have included risk analyst at GE and other risk/supply chain and operational posts.  

The fast-paced nature of the financial services industry is not dissimilar to the rapid pace of working in the accommodation team at ICAB. My vision is to lead the insurance team from an operational perspective and to help ICAB continue to transform the alternative accommodation sector. 

Tell us about your business and how it supports the claims process/customer journey. 

ICAB is resolutely based on providing the customer with the best customer journey through these difficult life situations. The core training at all levels of the company is about, ‘What is the customer going to experience?’  

Every process change and CRM evolution is done with the utmost thought to remove barriers and provide solutions. We strive to partner with alternative accommodation providers who share the same passion and desire as ICAB to make customers feel understood, well cared for, and informed. 

What do you see as the challenges/opportunities for your business right now? And what actions are you taking as a result? 

This is a massive question. I see two major challenges and opportunities; the UK property market and technology. 

Regards the UK property market, rent has reached the least affordable level in 10 years. Rents have risen twice as fast as earnings in the last year, meaning single renters now spend 35% of their wages on rent, according to industry experts Zoopla. This has therefore caused a knock-on effect on long-term rental costs and short-term stays such as Serviced Apartments.  

ICAB has taken prudent steps to forge very strong business relationships with small and large companies all over the UK, and is consonantly reviewing the rates, along with technology for faster routes to market and more cost-effective solutions.  

Meanwhile, technology is becoming an ever-present part of life when communicating with clients and all stakeholders. We are investing heavily in a world-recognised CRM system which will enable more efficient communication with all parties on a claim to achieve the most effective decisions and simplified steps for all.  

However, ICAB is mindful that this needs to be done at a rate that is considerate to the aging population and need to mitigate digital exclusion. 

What are your predictions for the industry in the coming 12-18 months? 

Digital Transformation: The insurance industry is likely to continue its digital transformation, with an increased focus on adopting advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. This will lead to improved customer experiences, streamlined processes, and more accurate risk assessments. 

Cybersecurity Concerns: As digitalisation increases, so does the importance of cybersecurity. Insurers may invest more in cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive customer data and prevent cyber threats. 

Climate Change and Natural Disasters: With the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, insurers may reassess their risk models and pricing strategies. Climate change considerations might lead to adjustments in coverage and increased focus on sustainability. 

What’s next for your business? How will this make a positive impact on claims? 

ICAB is in the process of employing a strategic restructure, to ensure that defined target audiences are looked after by specialists in that field. This will ensure that policyholders will receive the best possible customer service in a traumatic time for them, leaving their home.  

We are also implementing a CRM platform that offers a wide range of benefits for businesses. Some of the key benefits include improved productivity, better customer service, streamlined communication, and collaboration among team members, and other businesses and partners. The goal is to increase overall efficiency in managing customer relationships.  

This system will help ICAB to track and manage customer interactions, automate admin processes, and gain valuable insights to make informed business decisions. Overall, we expect improved customer satisfaction and enhanced reporting. The new CRM will be linked to third parties to drive effective and safe data sharing. 

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? 

One of the best pieces of business advice I’ve come across is to prioritise building relationships over transactions. Investing time and effort into fostering genuine connections with clients, colleagues, and partners can lead to long-term success and opportunities that go beyond immediate gains.  

Trust and mutual respect form the foundation of lasting business relationships, and nurturing these connections can open doors to collaboration, referrals, and valuable insights. 


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