Making the data work for you

The quantity of data now being generated is not in question, but how it can be used to improve claims and the customer journey was put under the microscope during two sessions at ILC’s Home and Property Claims Conference held at the CBS Arena, Coventry, on 10 November.

Featuring keynote addresses and wide-ranging panel debates with some of the sector’s most influential leaders, the interactive event was staged to help the industry better understand what data is available, how relevant information can be harnessed and what insights can be gleaned to improve efficiency, resilience and environmental sustainability.

Providing a deep understanding of the type of data now being garnered during a claim, Wayne Calderbank, Director of Data and Insight, WeatherNet UK, took delegates on ‘A Data Journey’.


He said that first businesses needed to understand the ‘DNA’ of a claim.

“That means what happened, where did it happen, how did it happen, who handled the claim, what was damaged, what did it cost, how was it settled, what were the touchpoints with a customer and how satisfied were they. It sounds like a lot, but if you can capture all that then you’re half-way there.”

However, gathering that information is worthless if it is not interpreted and acted upon. He encouraged businesses to take a strategic approach to data usage, which means identifying what problems you are trying to solve and efficiencies you are trying to introduce, and then deciding on the metrics necessary to realise those goals.

He said, “Everyone measures the cost of claims and time to settlement, but often indemnity spend is overlooked and if you can reduce that it can yield significant benefits. There are lots of indicators around performance so there are ways to understand indemnity spend better.”


Looking to the property claims horizon, he forecast a spike in volume driven by more frequent extreme weather events and the economic downturn – which will in turn result in an increase in crime.

He also said that claims costs would continue to inflate, with the price of construction materials rising 56% in three years and continued labour shortages also impacting costs.

To mitigate these challenges, Wayne said that using data to prevent claims in the first place – predicting floods and taking preventative measures, for example – was an under-exploited potential but that it could only be fully realised if the industry took a more open approach to sharing data.

He said, “There is a lot more we can do around data and data sharing, but we need to be braver.”

Wayne was then joined on stage by Matt Jackson, Head of Supply Chain, Property & Casualty, AXA; Byron McGill, Supply Chain Change Innovation and Technology Lead, Aviva; Ian Marsh, Head of Property Claims, Saga Group; Ron Rookledge, Head of Technical and Audit, Rainbow International; and Nicola Sutton, Head of Private Clients, QuestGates, who discussed how data can be shared up and down the supply chain to streamline services and improve outcomes.


Nicola explained that on a high level data can be used to forecast surge events. Sharing that information with the supply chain can help partners ensure they have the necessary resources to respond efficiently.

However, of equal value is the micro data available to suppliers on site. This can include the progress of the repair and details about what matters most to the policyholder on an individual basis.

She said, “It is the personal touch that makes all the difference. Appreciating what the priorities are for the customer can reduce indemnity spend and that’s great, but it will also make them feel like we really care about them.”

In many instances this is happening now. Ian said that saga already uses live data from weather forecasters to predict surges in claims and resource appropriately, while Matt revealed that AXA data is used to select the best triage solutions, freeing up handlers to provide a more personal service to customers who need more support.

He said, “In the future data will be used to understand the customer even better, to discover what matters to them and shape the customer journey around that.”

Byron agreed, saying the industry is ‘swimming’ in data and while much of it is used retrospectively the next leap will be using metrics to make future improvements.

“It’s moving from a lag measure to a lead measure,” he explained.


Of course, every business decision these days is taken with the environment in mind, and here again the best use of data can and will be critical. Apart from reducing carbon footprint through efficiencies of process, data modelling can also help determine the most sustainable and cost-effective repair solution.

QuestGates has recently launched a carbon calculator which measures the carbon outputs of different repairs, factoring in all the associated costs.

“This is where data can be most effective in the longer term,” Nicola said, “in introducing carbon initiatives and building resilience.”

ILC’s Home and Property Claims Conference was Headline sponsored by WeatherNet along with Gold Sponsors Catalyst, Davies Group, Perfect Group, Rainbow International and Rhodar Homeworks and Silver Sponsors A3 Accommodation Connect, A3 Relocations Solutions, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Polygon, QuestGates and SD Sealants.

ILC’s Home and Property division is backed by Corporate Partners: Carpenters Group, Claims Consortium Group, CoreLogic, ICAB, Innovation Group, and Sedgwick.


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