As Stephen Hearn prepares for the Insurtech Insights event in London, he discusses the strong partnership that Crawford has built with the tech-driven insurance sector
As a company that values and champions digital innovation in claims management, Crawford welcomes the opportunity to build partnerships with others who harness cutting-edge technology elsewhere in the insurance ecosystem. We have built strong, successful relationships in the insurtech community, with a rapidly expanding number of clients that are either direct insurtech or traditional Insurer/MGA/Broking houses that have evolved to trade in this exciting space.
Many of our partners, some of whom are embedded platform insurance providers, act as innovative digital underwriters — Their business model focuses on the actuarial pricing and underwriting functions, while we provide the necessary technical and back-office support in dealing with the claims that affords these partners the freedom to drive further innovation and efficiency.
Insurtech Insights is a marquee event for Crawford TPA in the UK. It will enable us to spend valuable, face-to-face time with our clients and also provide the opportunity to meet with other companies in the insurtech arena to explore areas of synergy and collaboration.
The event also allows us to gain insights into what the leading insurtech players are focused on and what their present and future challenges are from a claims and risk management perspective. With technology as well as the ever-changing economic climate advancing and changing at a rapid rate, we know how important it is to keep abreast of the insurtech innovation and development pipeline, ready to ensure that our proposition is flexible and agile enough to keep up with the demanding pace of change.
Insurtech’s are central to progress in advancing the Insurance industry’s quality and efficiency in two ways. Firstly, by bringing new products to market and using new distribution channels, they add to customer choice, enable financial efficiencies, drive down premium rates, reduce fraud and improve collaboration, among their many other peripheral benefits.
Secondly, from Crawford’s perspective as a claims and loss-adjusting business, our close relationships with the tech space helps to propel our own continuous process of internal improvement. Working in partnership with our clients is a two-way street – we are experts at what we deliver, and our clients excel at what they do. When we meet in the middle, the insurance ecosystem strengthens, and the consumer reaps the benefits.
Insurtech’s, like all others in the financial services industry, continue to face challenging investment conditions amid a period of local as well as global economic volatility and uncertainty. For now, however, some start-ups who have put their initial seed capital to work and scaled up are bravely coping with the fact that their next investment round has either been delayed or not materialised, while existing established players in the market are delaying planned expansion for scarcity of capital investment appetite. There are certainly signs of improvement again which is pleasing but progress will be slow and heavily scrutinised no doubt over the next 12-24 months.
This really is where Crawford can help – We see opportunities daily where we can work with insurtechs who are either starting on their journey or looking to take that next step in commercial growth, who are now exploring the potential to outsource their claims and risk management function, when previously they might have preferred to keep this in house. Through working in close partnership, we have been able to help them manage that real-world total cost of risk in the claims context more effectively and in doing so, provide a real level of economic certainty surrounding total cost of claim risk.
Having collaborated with the tech-enabled insurance community for many years, I like to think that we’ve really had the chance to understand the needs of our clients and the insurtech community. The transformation that we have undergone to develop digital solutions to lead the industry in streamlining the claims management process has led us, in many ways, to think like a tech company.
Where our approach may differ though, is that insurtechs are at their core, structured to deliver digital solutions to achieve their efficiency and customer-service goals. We believe that the solution also has to involve human touch points. Delivering the best service possible requires the right people working with the right technology to deliver what customers expect and deserve.
Whenever I speak to a new client or potential partner, I always like stress that they should try not think of us as either a claims or technology company, but rather a trusted partner that ultimately helps delivers value to their customers and stakeholders. For me, it’s all about that partnership and mutual engagement and being an integral part of our client’s proposition from day one.
That sums up the Crawford approach of “Technology + People” — solving claims challenges through innovation and expertise.