ILC ARTICLE

Tech and trust critical to achieving common goals


Technology advances mean a new, transparent and streamlined relationship between insurers and suppliers is within the sector’s grasp.

Quicker decisions, improved customer service and lower costs could all be achieved if the industry took time to reimagine the claims process and exploit existing solutions to make it a reality.

However, Owen Pugh, Chief Operating Officer, Claims Consortium Group, believes that getting there in today’s challenging environment is difficult as it means taking a long-term view in a time of short-term pressures.

Speaking alongside Steve Knight, Claims Supply Chain Manager, AXA UK; Ian Hogarth, Managing Director, Home Repair Network; and Mike Lenn, Director, Ecologia Environmental Solutions, during a panel debate at ILC’s Home and Property Conference, Owen said, “We’re all busy. It is hard work coming up for air and finding the time to do things differently and being brave enough to make a change.

“We like doing what we’ve always done because then we get what we’ve always got. But getting what we’ve always got means we’re moaning about the same things we were moaning about 10 years ago.”

Collaborative

However, the opportunity exists to create a far more collaborative claims ecosystem based on trust, shared information, and a common goal of better customer service.

Owen continued, “A partnership needs to be about using and working with someone who wants the same end-goals as you do. As insurers, we’re so careful about selecting our suppliers but then we handcuff them with governance. There does need to be governance, but it can be retrospective, after the claim.

“At the moment we’re elongating the lifecycle of a claim with legacy technology and trust barriers. But trusting supply partners leads to cost, process and indemnity savings, so why on earth haven’t we done it yet?”

Steve agreed, saying, “With the technology we’ve got now, I don’t understand why we don’t allow suppliers to continue with the claim and then we just manage it at the back end. Doing it that way, we would quickly identify which suppliers want to develop a long-term partnership with us and which ones are just trying to make short-term profits.”

Trust

However, delegating authority to suppliers through the lifecycle of a claim means giving them accurate information at the outset, enabling them to make informed decisions. But the quality of information passed down the chain can vary significantly.

Ian said, “We need accurate information at the start of the process. We get big variances in the quality of data we receive, which means we can’t always do straight-through processing because we don’t know what’s happened, what’s been damaged and what the insurer wants us to do.

“There is so much opportunity to reduce overall spend by allowing suppliers to make decisions on the ground, and with the technology that’s available now they should be able to justify every decision they make.”

The panel agreed that trust is the fundamental element in effective supply chain management, and only once that has been established will the right data at the right time be shared openly to deliver a more streamlined and cost-effective claims journey.

Mike concluded, “Insurers need to get to know their suppliers more. We’re specialists but perhaps we’re not listened to enough. Most of the delays we experience are about decisions over cost but trust in us would speed up certain decisions and reduce costs.”


ILC’s Home & Property Conference took place at Silverstone Race Circuit on 30 November 2023. It was headline sponsored by Claims Consortium Group; Gold Sponsors Rainbow Restorations, Catalyst, Clearspeed, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Perfect Group, Polygon, Pulse, and Wiser Academy; and Silver Sponsors Crawford, eVolution Claims Management, Home Repair Network, ICEYE, Prime Disaster Response, Safeline Environmental and SD Claims.

ILC’s Home & Property division is backed by Corporate Partners: Allied Universal, Clearway, Corelogic, DAC Beachcroft, Geobear, ICAB, Innovation Group, Sedgwick, and Verisk.

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