Ahead of the deadline for entries to the 2014 Insurance Times Awards, we speak to past winners about their award, their top tips for success and challenges and changes in the industry

Sarah Mallaby Allianz

Allianz Insurance head of motor claims Sarah Mallaby spoke to Insurance Times about winning the Claims Initiative of the Year - Insurer award.

IT: What project did you win the award for, and what did the win mean to the team? 

SM: We won the award for Allianz claims department’s PROUD initiative which developed out of the desire of claims management and staff within Allianz to create a really effective, engaged and professional team to meet the needs of our clients. The win raised the profile and enhanced the reputation of the casualty Milton Keynes claims department. Morale and engagement increased following the nomination and it provided well deserved recognition to the handlers and management team for all their hard work and effort in their journey towards delivering a high performance culture.

IT: How have the challenges facing the claims sector changed over the past five years? 

SM: There is now a much greater claims culture among the population with increased fraud due to the economic situation. Changing legislation has impacted the way claims are now handled with more focus on cost effective investigation at an early stage.

We have also seen an increased focus on our customer proposition and how we add value to the whole claims process. This encompasses the speed in which we are processing claims, how we defend liability and how we pay out when we are at fault. This isn’t just about cost reduction but improving the entire customer experience. 

IT: Since you won the award, what has been the biggest change to the insurance industry? 

SM: MoJ and LASPO are the two glaring changes. The impact of the portal extension, with the reduction in the time allowed to investigate claims and the reduction in fixed fees, has been significant.

IT: What is the biggest issue facing the industry in the next 12 months? 

SM: One of the biggest issues is the significant increase in fraud, particularly casualty fraud. Tackling this head-on has to be an industry priority. We have also seen a worrying increased expectation from brokers and customers for lower premiums due to the MoJ reforms.

IT: Do you have any comments on new developments at Allianz in the year ahead? 

SM: We are concentrating on our customer offering, professionalism, technical excellence and innovation this year in order to support our exciting growth plans.

IT: Top tip for people entering this year’s awards? 

SM: Be passionate. If you want the judges to care about what you are doing then you need to care about it yourself. Have a go and enjoy the whole process.  


To enter this year’s Insurance Times Awards or book a table, please click here.