Insurance Times is back with another virtual ceremony, this time to celebrate the best of claims excellence in the industry. Who collected more than one award and who won the same award for the second year running?
Due to ongoing lockdown restrictions connected to the Covid-19 pandemic, Insurance Times returned virtually in 2021 for its annual Claims Excellence Awards, which acknowledges and celebrates claims service excellence in the UK general insurance sector.
Dedicoat was joined by the awards judges and the Insurance Times editorial team in presenting the 21 awards up for grabs.
Saxon East, Insurance Times’s content director, opened the event by addressing the online audience - he noted how claims service has never been more important amid the current pandemic climate.
The final and most prestigious award of the afternoon was for 2021’s Claims Champion, which was won by Claire Lashbrook, director of Claims Consortium Group. This category recognises an individual that has made a major contribution to general insurance claims.
Following the win, Lashbrook said: ”I’m absolutely delighted to have been awarded the prestigious Claims Champion title for this year.
”I was completely overwhelmed by the judges’ kind comments and recognition and the reasons they selected me – it is such an honour.
”It’s great for the work that is being done in the claims sector to be recognised - congratulations to all the other amazing finalists and winners.”
Insurtech FloodFlash bagged the Claims Startup award for the second year running.
Speaking on this victory, Adam Rimmer, chief executive of FloodFlash said: “We are hugely proud to win Claims Startup of the Year for the second year running.
”It’s a testament to the great team at FloodFlash and their efforts to put customers first in every single claim we handle. My thanks to them and to the judges who see our parametric cover for what it is: game-changing.”
Several firms also celebrated winning two prizes.
Horwich Farrelly won two awards, including Claims Product Solution of the Year – Corporate Advisory, after wowing the judges with an entry that illustrated the benefits for insurers in using data. The law firm also won the Fraud Solution of the Year category.
David Scott, the company’s partner and head of innovation and client solutions, said: “To have two winners at the Claims Excellence Awards is a truly incredible result for us, particularly given the tough competition we were up against in both categories.
”It is testament to the considerable amount of work our counter fraud and IT teams have put in over the past 12 months in developing this market-leading innovation.
“We also couldn’t have achieved this without the support of our fantastic clients who, by using HOLT and seeing the results themselves, have joined us on this exciting journey.”
Jared Mallinson, partner and head of fraud at Horwich Farrelly, added: “Both these wins reflect not only the considerable amount of work undertaken by our counter fraud and IT teams in the past year, but also our determination to continuously innovate in order to fight fraud across the insurance industry.”
Keoghs, meanwhile, also celebrated two award wins, including the Credit Hire Solution of the Year award, thanks to its “industry-wide legal strategy” for tackling inflated credit hire claims.
The law firm also scooped Claims Product Solution of Year – Motor for a machine learning approach to processing high volume, low value road traffic accident claims.
Insurer Markel UK was highly commended in the Commercial Lines Claims award category, while the winner in this category was QBE.
However Markel UK then bagged gold to win the Claims Service Solution of the Year – Insurer award for thinking outside the box.
A spokesperson for Markel UK said: ”We put our SME customers at the heart of everything we do, which is why we are delighted to win. Covid-19 created a denial-of-access nightmare for a 9,500-strong childcare membership group, rendering them unable to access workplaces or accept children into homes. In an incredibly short space of time, we built a claims automation portal to rapidly settle claims. We’re extremely proud that this solution has been recognised by the judging panel and most importantly that we were able to deliver our Expect More promise to our customers in their time of need.”
Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions won the online event’s first award of the afternoon in the category of Broker Claims Achievement - the judges were impressed with the firm’s staff retention and “impressive NPS score”.
Meanwhile, the award for Insurer Claims Achievement was won by Zurich because it “put the customer first”, according to the judges.
The Claims Product Solution of the Year – Claims Management award went to Entegral, which impressed the judges by “delivering 50% revenue growth during lockdown”.
Whereas the Claims Product Solution of the Year – Technology prize went to CFC Underwriting, in recognition of its proactive tool that helps reduce threats from emerging risks.
The award for Claims Service Solution of the Year – Claims Management Company went to Sedgwick and The Hunting Dynasty for its unique, behavioural science-based approach to customer service delivery, which particularly benefited vulnerable customers.
Claims Service Solution of the Year – General went to Geobear, Sedgwick and Legal General (L&G). The trio joined forces to redesign an end-to-end process for on-site subsidence repairs.
Otso Lahtinen, Geobear’s UK chief executive, said: “We are humbled to work with professionals like Sedgwick and L&G to create innovative ways of saving time, money and environment for the whole supply chain.”
The Claims Service Solution of the Year – Technology Supplier accolade went to Arbitrate because of its solution that uses intelligent automation and advanced data analytics.
This year, firms were also recognised for claims solutions specifically designed for use during the pandemic.
Beazley scooped a highly commended award in the Claims Team of the Year – Covid Response category, while Gallagher Bassett were the resulting winners thanks to a “people first, then process strategy”.
With micromobility really taking off during lockdown, the Claims Team of the Year accolade went to an independent broker that specialises in cycle insurance, The Plan Group. The judges were impressed by the firm’s “passion, innovation and strong customer service ethos”.
The award for Claims Training Excellence went to Romero Group, for a “well thought-through training programme” that shows the broker cares about its staff.
On the win, Romero Group managing director Simon Mabb said: “If the impact of the last year proved anything, it’s the ability of our people to come together and overcome adversity - whether that be dealing with the impact of the pandemic, or tenaciously getting the best results for our clients through claims and renewals.
”Investing in [staff] has always been the lifeblood of our business and I’m so proud of our HR and training teams for their tireless effort in establishing the hugely successful Romero Academy. This award means a lot to me and belongs to everyone within our entire group.”
Justin Romero-Trigo, founder and chief executive of Romero Group, added: “I’ve always been proud of our team and claims has been at the heart of our business from day one.
”Seeing them develop, whether it be our seasoned professionals or our graduate trainees, is so rewarding and I’m glad we’re playing our part in developing the broking professionals of tomorrow.
”It’s our true independence that has given us the freedom to invest in developing our Academy quickly and dynamically, something that few other brokers could boast. A huge well done to the entire team who made this award happen.”
We couldn't be prouder to be part of the Romero Group. It's so exciting to have been awarded Claims Training Excellence Awards at the @InsuranceTimes_ Claims Excellence Awards.— Club Insure (@ClubInsureLtd) May 27, 2021
A massive well done to the entire team! https://t.co/vTjQm1S1oN
On a similar note, the Customer Care Solution of the Year award went to AXA Global Healthcare. The judges were impressed with the winner’s “extremely personable and dedicated service” for those going though trauma.
The Personal Lines Claims Excellence award saw Ageas earn a highly commended prize, but LV= was the winner in this category, standing out for its “customer-centric approach” and for having an eye on the future.
Lastly, Third Party Claims Management Team of the Year went to Countrywide Hearing for a “simple but effective” entry that focused on vulnerable customers.