ILC ARTICLE

Partnerships key to claims efficiency


Verisk has underlined the need for partnerships to ensure repairs to homes and commercial properties are carried out quickly during winter, when conditions can make it difficult to operate normally.

Head of Property for Verisk Claims UK and Europe Ben Blain revealed that last winter the rapid thaw led to a 560% increase in escape of water claims, leading to a 35% increase in related claim spend. As a result, work-in-progress repairs rose by 10% compared to the previous year, with contractor labour shortages adding to the challenge.

In a blog which first appeared in Post Magazine, he said that recent storms Ciarán and Debi have already led to two surge events this winter, and if insurers and contractors want to respond efficiently the first step is looking at their respective schedules of pricing.

Ben said, “The capability to authorise claims during surge events has to be an efficient process for insurers and contactors to respond optimally. The process will only operate well if both parties are working to the current market cost of labour, materials and equipment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Relying on out-of-date pricing schedules, which in some instances are years behind current price levels, means there is an automatic disconnect between the two parties which immediately introduces friction in the form of avoidable delays and time stealing negotiations.

“One of the essential aspects of any supportive business relationship is the timely and fair disbursement of payments. Contractors often need to invest in their resources, including labour, materials, and equipment, upfront. Delayed payments can strain their cash flow and hamper their ability to take on new projects. Ensuring prompt and fair payments not only fosters trust but also allows contractors to work efficiently and without the pressure to cut corners.”

With customer complaints at a five-year high, he said that a more collegiate approach between insurers and contractors would also improve customer satisfaction.

He concluded, “By working together effectively, insurers and contractors can fulfil their roles in restoring normality, and at the same time ensuring the long-term viability of their businesses.”

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