MGA breaks-out to focus on specialist areas

ILC’s MGA Claims Conference 2023 – in association with the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA) – split for some of the day to focus on specialist areas including personal lines; specialty lines; and next generation.

Focusing on motor and home, the personal lines channel saw Activate Group launch its repair-as-a-service proposition to meet the changing capacity demands of the market whilst also reducing backlogs and delivering better outcomes.

Repair-as-a-service is a bespoke repair model that enables insurers and MGAs to tap into extra repair capacity as and when they need it.

Pete Thompson, Director of Product, Activate Group, explained, “The claims journey is evolving but insurers and MGAs are at different stages of what they can offer, either technically or operationally. Repair-as-a-service takes that into account and provides a solution that they can use in the same way they use claims-as-a-service.”

Managing the rising costs of AA

During his session ‘The changing landscape of alternative accommodation,’ Tim Goodman, Managing Director, ICAB, revealed that in the last three years the total cost of accommodation has increased significantly while the average cost of a settled claim up 23% from 2021-2022 and already 33% higher this year.

Tim has urged insurers to focus more attention on AA as a means to reduce costs. He said, “With AA costs increasing across the board, it’s vital we all think about time-scales upon instruction to save indemnity spend.”

Leverage data

During the session: ‘Home truths: making claims easier in property insurance,’ Owen Pugh, Chief Operating Officer, CCG, suggested a blame culture within the industry is making people reluctant to take radical decisions to initiate change.

Owen said that often it is the amount of data available that is creating hesitancy as people are not sure how best to leverage it for the best results.

He said, “The real benefit of data can only be achieved if we understand it and are brave enough to do something about it. We might use data to price a slightly higher premium because the property has a thatch roof or is situated in a flood plain, but there is so much more we can do that should help us manage claims spend and forecast what is going on.”


Focusing on careers and skills within the sector, Gordon Vater, Managing Director, Gallagher Bassett Technical, Gallagher Bassett; Sophie Ward, Technical Claims Manager, Pen Underwriting and MGAA NEXT Gen Committee Member; and Kajal Vaka, Senior Vertical Market Manager, Claims, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, took part in ‘Navigating future risks and claims: preparing the skills for what lies ahead’.

Exploring the evolving landscape of risks and claims the session delved into the technological innovations that enhance the efficiency and accuracy of claims handling. The panellists shared insights into tools and technologies being used in our industry. It was also questioned whether technology has a role in supporting or replacing human skills when dealing with vulnerable customers.

The speakers also shared best practices their organisations have implemented to optimise the claims handling process and discussed the essential competencies needed for this evolving role.

Lastly, the session examined how customer expectations have changed and what the next generation of customers will demand in the future.

Three further sessions were also dedicated to specialty lines.


Charles Martin, Partner, Kennedys Law, presented, ‘Caution! EL/PL hazards ahead’ where he explored secondary victim claims and questioned how psychiatric injury might be defined in the future and asked if technology is changing the definition of ‘proximate’.

He then looked at vicarious liability highlighting how after a period when case law meant that it was more difficult to sue the negligent person’s employer a recent judgment has simplified the law to make it easier to do so. This could have a profound impact in future.

Charles also explored the impact of social inflation and the resulting rise in shoplifting and looting – coming at significant and rising cost to the insurance industry.

Rebecca Sanders, Claims Manager, Specialty Third Party Administration, CCG; and Tom Burroughs, CTO, Synergy Cloud, took part in ‘Beyond the mainstream: navigating specialty lines with customised solutions’ debate during which they addressed the limitations of generic tech in specialty lines; looked at operational excellence and how tailored technology enhances claims management and loss adjustment; and explored how it can be achieved affordably via cost effective solutions.

Focusing on often regarded smaller value, higher volume claims, Simon Hopkins, Director, Value Checkers, presented a session titled, ‘Value Checkers: are you really making the most?’ where he provided an insight into how the business manages insurance claims for damaged IT goods including smartphones, laptops, tablets, photography equipment and smart watches.

With its vast experience, Value Checkers provides insurers a holistic claims management solution including validation, repair or, where necessary, replacement, and salvage helping to ensure claims are settled speedily ensuring customer ‘downtime’ is minimised.

ILC’s MGA Claims Conference was held in association with the MGAA and supported by Headline Sponsor Claims Consortium Group (CCG); Gold Sponsors: Activate Group, Carpenters Group, EDAM Group, Enterprise, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Pulse, Value Checkers, and Wiser Academy.


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