Voted by The Judging Panel Sponsored by Legal Costs Negotiators.

Digging trial holes to assess subsidence claims doesn't have to be messy or expensive, thanks to Crawford's innovative Viscat system.

It is estimated that insurers and their consultants spend more than £10m a year investigating subsidence claims. And the results are often almost meaningless - often confirming what the loss adjuster suspected.

With the development of Viscat, Crawford aims to halve the industry's cost for subsidence investigation by eliminating the need to dig holes.

A number of electronic sensors are used to assess environmental conditions and build up a picture of the conditions affecting a claim, which can be visualised on screen.

Electronic levels send data back about how the building is moving and electrical resistivity meters assess the dampness of the soil.

This is combined with a 10-year database of prior claims and a UK digital map, which creates the Viscat tool.

Prior to Viscat, Crawford spent £2.8m on site investigations. After Viscat the cost dropped to £1.8m.

Also the average duration of a claim investigation fell to two months from slightly more than three months.

It is due to innovations such as the Viscat system that Crawford has been able to lead the industry in loss adjusting.

Highly commended

GAB Robins

Having won the Loss Adjuster of the Year award in 2001, 2002 and 2003, GAB Robins is pleased to be Highly Commended in 2004.

"We are investing heavily on developing emerging markets and created an entirely new product, Creditor Claims Service," said GAB Robin's managing director Derek Coles.

Launched in January, Creditor Claims Service has achieved major growth and has been acclaimed by a number of creditor insurers.

Our two-stage transparent process has provided real customer benefits including:

- Dramatically reduced fraudulent and exaggerated claims

- Faster claim lifecycle, with reduced claim cost

- Increased claimant retention and customer satisfaction

- FSA compliant processes, and

- Brand protection.

"We are all very proud of this achievement and will be promoting our success with pride," added Coles.


We are delighted to have been Highly Commended as Loss Adjuster of the Year in this year's Insurance Times Awards, an accolade which is testimony to our desire to deliver bespoke solutions combined with the highest possible standards of service.

QuestGates' business model is founded on providing a quality technical and service-orientated loss adjusting product in the defined disciplines. The product combines the traditional principle of high-quality personal service with a modern approach, underpinned by the latest technology.

Our philosophy is to provide a proactive, efficient, flexible and professional technical service tailored to the clients' needs, regardless of whether they are an insurer, reinsurer, captive, corporate body, broker, solicitor or local authority.

This commendation goes to all our employees, throughout our network of 12 offices - without them we could not have achieved such high standards.