Richard Fleming, technical claims controller at loss adjusting business Woodgate and Clark, talks through the role and key focuses of delegated claims administration teams

What does a delegated claims administration (DCA) team do?

In essence, we act as the claims department for our insurance clients, which primarily comprises of MGAs. We work across specific classes of business, managing claims from first notification of loss through to resolution in a cost effective manner.

Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming

That might sound simple enough, but each insurer and MGA will have its own philosophy, values and standards for the management of claims and it is our job to fully embrace and act in accordance with those principles.

The role of a good DCA team goes beyond adhering to service level agreements (SLAs). The DCA team at Woodgate and Clark supports all lines of business – from personal accident and public liability through to commercial property, marine and high net worth.

Why is this such a crucial time for DCA teams?

The insurers and MGAs we support are putting an increasing focus on SLAs as an outcome of the Consumer Duty rules. There is also the ongoing challenge of claims inflation, alongside the Financial Ombudsman Service predicting a rise in complaints – it is now eyeing claims response times.

All in all, insurance providers are under immense pressure to expedite claims, especially at times of surge, without also exposing the market to fraud. Insurance firms are very aware of the reputational and financial cost of complaints.

A good DCA team will alleviate these pressures and bring cost savings to boot.

How are you responding to what seems like a perfect storm for claims?

Our expertise in controlling claims, liaising with underwriting teams and loss adjusters, then expediting the claims process to meet each customer’s specific requirements is facing greater demand – we have expanded our team rapidly, bringing in expert talent.

In fact, our team has doubled in size in just the last year.

What are the key factors for offering a good DCA service?

A huge amount of trust is involved that the DCA team must build, foster and maintain.

Technical excellence is obviously key, but so too is flexibility, scalability at times of surge and a commitment to deliver fantastic customer service.

A vital element in building trust is transparency supported by meaningful and tailored management information, delivered at agreed intervals.

How do you build trust?

We never underestimate the fundamental trust it takes to work with a DCA team and that’s why we go to great lengths to ensure we have the specialist expertise our customers need to make the right decisions for them and their customers.

Our DCA team recently managed a major loss in the European Union. A serious fire in Spain needed experts on the ground as fast as possible.

Being part of the Van Ameyde group, we were able to get a leading team of forensics and adjusters on-site from day one and manage the claim through to settlement.

This meant we could ensure immediate support for the insured, who were understandably distressed, and provide vital information regarding the risk and claim potential to the UK-based insurance provider. This is just one example of the clear value of having a DCA team onboard.

Setting expectations both at the outset and throughout the relationship is vital too, as is ongoing communication and providing timely management information and bordereau.

How can insurance providers differentiate one DCA team from another?

Our insurance clients love data and plenty of it, which we deliver on.

However, insurance providers should see how a DCA team goes beyond this by providing a more personal service and encouraging meetings to discuss the bordereau and latest results.

These conversations should include discussing claims performance, identifying trends, market movements and debating any large and contentious cases.

As the DCA team oversees and closely manages claims, these conversations present a great opportunity to share knowledge and information. It’s certainly the approach we take at Woodgate and Clark.

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