Loss specialist forced to review expansion plans as major clients undertake cost-cutting measures

Insurers including RSA and Allianz are bringing their claims services in-house as they look to cut costs in the face of the recession.

As a result of this, many supply chain companies face changes to their arrangements. For example, RSA has ended its agreement with total loss valuations firm ETWB after deciding to bring the service in-house to save costs. Meanwhile Allianz, which is believed to hold the biggest contract, is currently reviewing its partnership with the company, but is expected to bring the majority of the service in-house.

Dane Loosley, Allianz divisional claims manager, said the insurer was constantly reviewing its deals with outsourced providers. “ETWB has provided us with an excellent motor claims handling service for many years and will continue to do so into the future.

“We are currently in the process of making some changes to the services they provide us and our motor claims process. These are being achieved in partnership with ETWB and with their full consultation, given the contract we have in place between us."

An RSA spokesman said: “We have decided to bring the total loss settlement sector of the motor claims process back in-house, as this is more cost-effective than the current outsourcing agreement. As a result, we have terminated our arrangement with ETWB."

ETWB, a company used by insurers to give them accurate valuations of vehicles that they have declared as a total loss, has admitted it will now have to slow down its expansion and is looking to deal with other insurers.

ETWB managing director David Stubbs said the company would continue to receive claims from Allianz into next year and that it was hopeful of working with RSA again.

“We expect to get claims from RSA in the future. Not as many, which is disappointing, but these things happen. They have taken a decision to do more of their claims servicing internally. But we are talking about how we can work with them going into next year. They were important clients.”

Stubbs said that ETWB was currently piloting with three different insurers, but the loss of business from RSA and Allianz would have an immediate impact. He denied that the company, which employs 49 staff including a small team in Poland, was being forced to make redundancies.

“We are always talking to staff about different things. We have a low staff turnover. Our view is this is going to slow down our route of expansion.”

Stubbs added: “We might have to recruit in the New Year, now.” He also revealed the company is in the process of setting up an office in Ireland.

See analysis: Supply pain