The move is aimed at tackling the rising cost of EoW claims

Crawford and Company has set up a new loss adjusting team, specifically aimed at handling escape of water (EoW) claims.

The new team has been created after results showed another increase in costs and challenges relating to an EoW claim.

Crawford says the establishment of the team “marks a shift in approach” to such claims by treating them as a standalone peril handled by a dedicated team.

According to the ABI, domestic claims totalled £483m for the first nine months of 2017 and accounted for claims costs of £654m in 2016.

Customer service data also indicates that 63% of complaints registered on higher value buildings claims relate to escape of water.

The new team will be based in Manchester and will be headed up by Iain Salkeld (pictured), who was formerly Crawford’s head of surveying services.

Iain salkeld

He said: “There are a number of factors increasing the potential for escape of water losses, ranging from general wear-and-tear-related pipework failures, through to changes in construction practices and lifestyle trends, such as the introduction of wet rooms and underfloor heating.

“Through the new EoW team, we are creating a dedicated resource committed to helping insurers drive down these rising costs while also delivering a more responsive and effective solution to their customers. By speeding up the response process and reducing the number of ‘touch points’ our aim is to help to reduce existing claims expenditure by up to 10%.”

Clive Nicholls, chief executive, UK & Ireland at Crawford added: “There is no doubt that the focus on escape of water claims in the property insurance market will only intensify in the coming years. By launching our team of EoW building adjusting specialists, we are recognizing this fact and offering our clients a service which is 100% focused on tackling the unique and increasingly complex aspects of this risk.

“Under Iain’s expert direction, we expect the team to become a strong part of our overall adjusting services very quickly.”