Ollie Waterman, who joined Crawford during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, speaks about thriving in challenging environments, combining technology and creativity, and his commitment to educating others in the industry
When Ollie Waterman joined Crawford UK in early 2021, he had to hit the ground running. Settling into his new role as a major and complex loss adjuster with a new employer would have been challenging at the best of times. But he also found himself deployed straight to the frontline, joining the team handling a one-in-100-year event in the shape of a slew of complex business interruption claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He proved equal to the task, slotted in seamlessly and made valuable contributions to the team in his first year with the company that has impressed colleagues and leaders alike. Showing natural leadership characteristics, a willingness to learn and a flexible attitude, Ollie has taken responsibility for often complex tasks in an impressive manner.
“It was what you might call a baptism of fire,” Ollie said. “However, I enjoy a challenge and there was certainly no better way to be introduced to Crawford’s claims management systems and processes than joining a team dealing with a claims surge.”
Not that Ollie lacks experience of dealing with high volumes of claims from major loss events. During his career, he has handled a wide variety of primarily commercial property losses, handling claims surges stemming from events such as the floods in the UK during the winter of 2015/16 and the ‘Beast from the East’ big freeze in 2018, as well as being a surge team leader during for pandemic-related business interruption claims prior to joining Crawford.
In previous roles, Ollie has also been heavily involved with IT projects, including streamlining existing processes, and developing new loss allocation software. He is continuing to put his technology and process skills to good use at Crawford, where he is being trained in our unique technology BI Portal for clients and is contributing to new process development.
“One of the attractions of Crawford for me was that it is the leader in the digitization of the insurance claims-handling industry,”
Ollie said. “Combining technology with creativity to do our job better is a challenge I enjoy.”
Inside and outside Crawford, Ollie is passionate about his profession and educating others about it. He is a Council member and chairman of the Future Focus Special Interest Group, representing the next generation of loss adjusters and claims professionals.
Through this work, he became part of the team that successfully implemented the UK Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters’ (CILA’s) e-learning platform in 2020. With assistance from two surveyors from the Subsidence and Surveying SIG, Ollie is now working with the CILA on a multi-element e-learning module covering basic construction.
In 2019, he was selected for the claims group on the Chartered Insurance Institute’s prestigious New Generation Programme, where he led a project on Flood Resilience Grants. His team’s work resulted in a guide to the grant application process for both policyholders and claims professionals.
Also in 2019, he established the Adjuster Development Forum to provide a community for adjusters to share experiences and help each other achieve their qualifications and career goals.
His efforts have also earned him a place on the shortlist for the Young Achiever of the Year in the British Insurance Awards. His managers see him as “one to watch” for the future.
“His collaborative approach with both his colleagues and customers, together with his technical ability and problem-solving skills, have resulted in rapid progression within the Major & Complex Loss Team,” said David Townsend, the team’s Director – Quality & People Development. “He is popular with colleagues and clients.”