“On an annual basis, Crawford leaders from around the globe come together to analyse and refine the corporate strategy. This year the theme was ‘Own it, Do it,’ which embodies our commitment to total accountability as we execute on our strategy. Attendees worked collaboratively to brainstorm solutions to anticipated challenges. We determined that attracting and retaining the best people and using innovative technology as a vehicle to lift the overall value proposition for our clients are two key pillars of that strategy.” “For me, the event was hugely motivating. I felt proud to be amongst other leaders who share my passion to reach the next level of client centricity and develop an obsession in everything we do — customer service, technical excellence, training, digital development, fiscal responsibility and building an engaged, diverse and motivated workforce. I would like to share some of the detail with you.”
The digital claims route
The customer journey through the claims management lifecycle is ripe for innovation. A multi-phase process from the first notification of loss through to final settlement, the multiple human touchpoints and considerable administration demands would suggest the potential for disruption is significant. Yet it is not as simple as inserting technology to relieve pressure on overloaded segments or targeting innovation at specific bottlenecks. As Jarman explains. “Fundamentally, it’s about understanding how technology changes the claims process for the client,” he says. “You can’t simply force a client to go down a particular technological route; you have to Tim Jarman, president, Crawford Australia work out how that innovation best enables their ideal claims experience – and that means giving them choice.”
Mapping the digital road ahead For Crawford, ensuring that level of choice and offering the range of technologies to ensure no client has to adopt a ‘one-size fits- all’ solution, has required an approach that goes far beyond simply bolting new tools and systems onto existing platforms.
“To ensure we deliver that diversity of claims experience,” Jarman states,
“I want my team to first take a step back from the frontline to examine the operating platforms that support the claims process. By advancing the underlying architecture, we are evolving our infrastructure to support the integration of more agile field tools, enabling the collection of claims data in a structured and consistent manner for improved analysis and allowing for greater self-service options for the client.”
A core component of this is creating an infrastructure across Crawford which enables us to respond effectively to the ever-changing and rapidly expanding needs of our clients and the broader market.
“By harnessing data effectively, analysing it quickly and delivering that insight direct to our clients, we’re establishing a much more strategic relationship where we can use loss data and wider market trend information to support broader risk appetite decisions.”
On the ground technology
At a more granular level, innovative technologies are helping Crawford enhance efficiency, boost productivity and deliver a more effective claims response for both the insurer and the insured.
“We’re using a range of technologies to enhance multiple aspects of our claims response,” Jarman continues. “For example, we have robotic process automation (RPA) to speed up the claims process, reducing the administrative burden while increasing data accuracy for more standard claims, and freeing up our adjusters to devote more attention to larger, more complex claims”
At the individual loss site, electronic site and scoping tools, virtual reality, 3D imaging cameras and live-streaming capabilities are creating a much more interactive experience that can greatly reduce the time to restoration.
“Our teams across Australia are using these tools,” he says, “to give our insurers a 360-degree interactive view of the loss site. That means that they can remotely walk through the scene, zoom in on specific aspects of the damage, and make judgments based on what they are seeing on how to respond.”
“And with the scoping and pricing tools, by working with our building and restoration colleagues at Crawford Contractor Connection®, we are working to establish the scope and price of the project whilst the builder is on site. That means that the builder can immediately start talking to the insured about when they can start the work. That’s a real game-changer in our ability to help restore lives, businesses and communities.”
Crawford is also using technology to bring the customer into the claims process, either through self-service loss notification through its Alexa first notification loss capability, self-service apps, or enhanced customer portals. “By downloading apps, such as our YouGoLook app, insureds can upload their own images or videos of the particular loss which are then assessed by our adjusters and triaged accordingly. Further, our integrated customer portals mean they can get an instant update on how their claim is progressing.”
Jarman also highlights how the company is implementing new sensor-based technology that is repositioning the loss adjuster in the risk process, capitalizing on the latest monitoring tech to reduce the potential scale of a loss or even prevent it.
“Colleagues around the world are currently using water sensor tools, for example, fitted to the water systems in insured properties to monitor for potential leaks – one of the biggest causes of property-related losses,” he explains. “If any spike in water usage is detected Crawford Contractor Connection is immediately alerted and dispatches a plumber to the property to check for a leak and prevent further damage. We are currently working to introduce this sensor technology in Australia.”
Taking the best route
Bringing this diversity of new technologies into the claims arena will undoubtedly bring much greater fluidity to the claims process, reducing settlement times and lowering claims costs. “Ultimately these new capabilities enable us to deliver the right customer experience to the insurer or the insured,” Jarman concludes, “giving them the ability to choose the path that works best for them.”
Developing our people
“Alongside the development of our technology roadmap, I am fiercely committed to the continual growth and development of our people. Significant investment in building a more robust and structured learning and development program is pivotal to our global and local strategy. The program aims to enhance both the technical skills and knowledge of our adjusters and claims specialists but equally importantly, enhance those vital soft skills that are fundamental to the delivery of an experience that meets the expectations of our customers and clients. Well-equipped and confident people who can see that their employer is invested in their personal career journey will always be more engaged and we know that increased employee engagement leads to increased success.” Jarman says.
This is a critical time for the insurance industry and for Crawford. We have some great opportunities ahead that will flow directly from our drive to evolve claims technology, improve quality and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Our job is to ensure that Crawford thrives in this changing world and is viewed by industry colleagues as the partner of choice. I feel both excited and privileged to have the opportunity to navigate Crawford through the journey.