The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the insurance sector has been far-reaching, affecting multiple market sectors and driving a surge in claims across many lines.
In particular, we have seen waves of business interruption claims, with the recent UK Supreme Court ruling creating a significant surge in cases; while the pandemic has also proved fertile ground for fraud and cyber fraud, as criminals exploit the unique environment created by lockdown and remote working.
By their very nature, these types of events create highly complex and demanding claims situations. Meticulous investigation, expansive and swift data collection, and detailed analysis are central to a speedy and effective resolution – and the current spikes in activity are driving significant market demand for these services.
Throughout this surge, the Crawford Forensic Accounting Service team has been working side-by-side with our clients to ensure high standards of claims management are maintained. From pre-loss reviews of potential business interruption exposures and calculating related claims, to conducting fraud and misappropriation investigations, our specialised forensic accounting professionals have been working hard to achieve a fast and effective resolution.
On the business interruption front, the final quarter of last year also saw the launch of our BI claims portal which is built to enable affected policyholders to upload the information required to support and conclude their claims. The digital solution significantly enhances the ability to process such data and supports the faster review and settlement of these claims.
However, perhaps one of the most significant step-ups in our response has been the number of new specialists that have joined the CFAS team in the UK in recent months. Across every level of our operation, we have expanded our teams, including the appointment of two new directors.
Richard Keegan has joined as Director, Head of Fraud and Casualty, bringing over 15 years of experience in the major loss arena handling financial loss claims including business interruption; while Louise Butcher has taken up the role of Director, Head of Training and Development, also a business interruption specialist who is highly experienced in the quantification of financial losses.
In addition, Laura Lagana and Greg Taylor have joined the team as Senior Accountants. Laura brings almost 20 years of adjusting experience to the role, with her extensive expertise spanning business interruption, fraud, stock losses, employee fidelity, and cyber. Greg is a highly experienced accountant with significant experience in public practice, who specialises in business interruption claims and works with the major and complex loss team.
The surge of new appointments has also seen Stephanie Young join the CFAS team as a manager, bringing over a decade of experience in forensic accounting to the position, while Laura Trevett, Daria Olszewska, Demini Varia and Charlie Waite have all come on board recently as Financial Claims Accountants.
As an ICAEW authorised training firm for chartered accountants we have also just welcomed to the team Charlotte Ainsworth, Taranvir Sekhon and Tyrone Muriithi as our new graduate intake for 2021.
There is no doubt that business interruption claims will continue to maintain their high-profile status for some time to come, and the spike in fraud and cyber fraud shows little sign of diminishing. That is why at Crawford, we are extremely proud of our ability to draw on the strength and expertise of our CFAS team, attract top talent and apply the latest in innovative solutions to help our clients stand firm in the face of this surge in demand.