Flood, Wind & Hail
NSW & Queensland Floods
24/7 Claims Intake
You can be sure that Crawford will be there with the right team, the right technology, and the right processes to help your customers restore and rebuild.
May 10, 2022
The work of our adjusting teams, as well as Crawford Contractor Connection, to restore lives, businesses and communities continues in earnest.
We still have over 60 overseas adjusters (primarily from the US and UK) working alongside the local Crawford Australia team to move through claims as quickly as possible.
Clay Kincaid, Catastrophe Operations Manager & Team Leader for 31 US adjusters in Australia, summed up the enormous size of this CAT: “The damage and destruction reminds me of what I saw during Hurricane Katrina in 2005… but the damage here is even more massive and widespread.”
When you work with Crawford, you have the comfort of knowing you’re backed by a global brand with an army of resources who are available to be called upon at any time.
Mar 25, 2022
Four weeks since this CAT hit eastern Australia and the number of claims industry-wide has tipped over 160,000 this week (according to the Insurance Council of Australia). The volume of new claims coming through has now reduced significantly, indicating that the bulk of claims has been lodged.
Crawford is at the forefront of utilising technology to make our work more streamlined and also to make things easier for policyholders – our virtual adjusting capability, using video technology, is one such example that continues to differentiate us and offer strength in our response. In addition, our proprietary app YouGoLook is being used to guide policyholders, step-by-step, to document their own claims in order to speed up the overall claims process. While YouGoLook and virtual adjusting is not always appropriate, these tools remain useful to inform our understanding of the nature and extent of damage where a physical visit isn’t immediately able to occur.
Specialists within our Global Technical Services team are managing a significant number of major and complex losses right across the affected areas down the coast. We recognise that a high priority is arranging interim payments to alleviate hardship positions of business owners.
This week we have continued to welcome additional offshore resources (who are Crawford employees from other parts of the world), to assist our local adjusters in our efforts to restore lives, businesses and communities as quickly as possible.
Crawford notes that over the past 18 months there has been significant inflationary pressures, labour challenges and material shortages across the building sector, which will undoubtedly be exacerbated because of this CAT. The industry is expecting to see additional pressures on material costs and construction timelines, and it appears highly likely that this will influence claim costs in relation to both material damage and business interruption.
While we appreciate no claims management company will ever work fast enough in the eyes of policyholders who have had their livelihoods destroyed, we are prioritising assessments and repairs of total loss situations. Crawford appreciates the continued willingness of insurers to work collaboratively with us so we can provide the best service level possible to your policyholders under these unprecedented circumstances.
Mar 18, 2022
Now three weeks following the start of destructive weather events that lashed large parts of the east coast of Australia, we can confirm this is (without a doubt) the largest event we have ever handled in Crawford Australia’s history.
As a business, we have evolved considerably in recent years, and this is now putting us in the best position possible to deal with what we are currently working through. We are handling a much larger number of lower-value claims from the desk without the need for a site visit. While the demand for our adjusting resources is still enormous due to the scale of this event, it is not as challenging as it would have otherwise been having we not evolved our desktop adjusting capability.
Naturally, major and complex loss will always require a site visit, and clients are reminded that Crawford is home to one of Australia’s leading major and complex loss teams (Global Technical Services). GTS is fully staffed and remains well equipped to handle commercial claims.
Overall, we have about 50 additional adjusting resources either here, or arriving into the country in the coming weeks, with another 20 on stand-by.
We are aware of some claims businesses that have ‘closed their doors’ temporarily due to the volume of claims and their own capacity to deal efficiently with new claims. Crawford can confirm our doors remain open and we are continuing to take on claims. However, this is on the basis that there will be longer than ideal wait times for site visits and overall claim resolutions. This is not due to a lack of effort, it’s because of the sheer scale of this event. Thank you to our clients and partners for your understanding and willingness to work through service-level challenges together.
Crawford will always be a business that will support you in both ‘business as usual’ times, as well as through the worst CAT events.
Mar 09, 2022
With the weather progressively moving down the coast and claims now being lodged by residents and businesses across the greater Sydney region, Crawford clients are reminded of our capability in the commercial SME arena. Our team is market-leading across both large loss property claims, and also business interruption claims.
We are very aware there is limited capacity in the broader adjusting market within Sydney at present (with many resources having been diverted north), particularly when it comes to what would be considered “smaller” scale commercial claims. With the sheer volume of claims currently being experienced, some adjusting houses are choosing not to take on commercial claims unless the losses are estimated to be over $1 million. Rest assured, Crawford is ready to assist insurers with claims both big and small. It is worth noting that we have a team of 22 forensic accountants who are highly proficient when it comes to putting an accurate dollar figure on business’ financial loss of income.
While Crawford has kept teams on the ground in Sydney, this unprecedented event is causing longer than usual wait times for claims to be assessed.
Mar 07, 2022
In efforts to speed-up claim response times, Crawford support staff (including those in management, compliance, business development, HR) have worked through the weekend to support our 24/7 claims intake/ triage team. It has been ‘all hands on deck’ in terms of phoning policyholders, gathering claim details and logging claims in our system so we can get adjusters, builders and restorers out to businesses and homes as soon as possible.
With damage extending as far north as Gympie in Queensland, right down to Sydney, there is no doubt that this CAT event is shaping up to be one of the largest property events the industry has ever experienced (the Insurance Council of Australia today said there are now more than 86,000 claims, which is a 28% increase on Friday’s count driven by some policyholders in NSW being able to return to their properties for the first time over the weekend).
Access to Lismore remains difficult and we are still largely waiting for floodwaters to subside in that region before our people can safely enter. Safety for both our people and impacted community members remains the highest priority.
We understand there is sometimes frustration among policyholders over the time it can take for initial contact to be made after they’ve lodged a claim when it comes to events such as this. As we move through this unprecedented situation, we again thank our clients for their patience and support.
Mar 04, 2022
While we are boosting our people resources in order to move claims through as quickly as possible, it is important to understand that no one touches a claim at Crawford without adequate training.
The Crawford commitment is that our service delivery will always be professional, empathetic and consistent, even under catastrophic event conditions where industry claim volumes are the highest we have experienced in recent years.
Our local teams periodically participate in technical training refreshers to maintain complete CAT readiness. Over the past three years, we have also increased our focus on empathy workshops within our CAT training modules. This teaches our adjusters how to manage conversations with empathy, while at the same time ensures claims continue progressing through the claim cycle at pace.
Importantly, while the Crawford adjusters coming from overseas are highly-skilled and experienced, we require them to complete a full-day Australian specific training program before they go on location, or deal directly with policyholders. These live sessions give adjusters the chance to really understand the differences between Australia and their home countries. Topics include technical considerations, client-specific requirements, and processes, plus general information that they need to be aware of when assessing claims for this particular event. We also facilitate daily catch-ups and have local mentors available to discuss any specific issues, plus all reports are peer-reviewed.
We will have loss adjusters arriving from the UK, Canada, Asia, New Zealand and the US in the coming days and weeks, to support our large Australian-based team.
In addition, when it comes to building consultancy capacity through CRD Building Consultants & Engineers (100% owned by Crawford & Company Australia), we are exploring the opportunity for additional people from the UK to join us in Australia for an extended period of time as we manage through this unprecedented situation.
While it’s normal for claim processes to take longer under CAT conditions (a challenge that is consistent industry-wide), we pride ourselves on having adequate surge capacity. Bringing in our Crawford colleagues from overseas is part of our standard catastrophe management plan which we have successfully utilised during previous major loss events in this country.
Mar 03, 2022
Today, senior Crawford loss adjusters began arriving in Australia from overseas to support our local teams.
We are pulling levers in all directions to bolster resources, in attempts to move through claims as quickly as possible under the current circumstances.
As the world’s largest provider of claims management and outsourcing solutions with nearly 9,000 employees in over 70 countries, our capacity to handle high volumes of claims remains strong.
Claims continue to flow in every day, although they have slowed slightly against what we were seeing at the start of the week. Claim volumes are now around four times higher than what we would see in ‘business as usual’ periods.
We are still not able to safely access the worst affected areas in Brisbane, while Lismore remains completely off-limits. Unfortunately, access issues are causing inevitable delays.
As with any event of this nature and scale, we all know that assessments, clean-up efforts and restoration take time. Of course, this is not a challenge that is unique to Crawford, but one that is felt industry-wide. We thank you, our clients, for your support and patience.
For 80 years, Crawford has been restoring lives, businesses and communities. We will do it again.
Mar 02, 2022
As various types of claims continue to be lodged from communities in northern NSW and southeast Queensland, insurers are reminded of Crawford’s full spectrum of specialty adjusting services.
While we have strong capacity to handle high volumes of property claims, it is important to understand our expertise in Industrial Special Risks and commercial claim management – both in terms of property damage and business interruption – is second to none.
Commercial claims following weather events such as flooding often involve more than just the physical damage to the commercial premises or stock. The business interruption elements of the claim require a very specialised skills set in order to put an accurate dollar figure on the loss. This is the work of forensic accountants who are also qualified adjusters. Crawford is home to one of the best forensic accounting teams in the country. Read more.
The multi-disciplined approach of our Global Technical Services team more broadly, which looks after large and complex loss, eliminates double-handling, improves overall customer experience, shortens claim life and provides our clients with substantial savings. We offer our clients a fully-tailored claims management solution coupled with the rigour of consistent, high-quality project management for each claim. Read more.
Catastrophic weather events involving flood waters are one of the most challenging and complex to deal with from a claims handling perspective. Floodwaters leave no stone unturned in their path of destruction, impacting critical infrastructure including roads and bridges plus weather-vulnerable construction projects. Industrial and commercial premises are often exposed despite the best-engineered risk management strategies.
As one of Australia’s leading major and complex loss teams (Global Technical Services), we are working through claims arising out of water inundation including for example major global manufacturing facilities, for both food production and construction of raw materials and supplies.
To reiterate our earlier sentiment, the thoughts of the Crawford team are with all those who have been impacted by these disastrous weather events. Those who have lost loved ones are forefront in our minds, as we begin working with each impacted community across northern NSW and south-east Queensland.
Mar 01, 2022
Plans are underway to fly in Crawford loss adjusters from other parts of the world, to ensure we have appropriate surge capacity in the coming weeks, as the full extent of the damage becomes clearer.
Currently, our claim levels are four to five times higher compared with normal ‘business as usual’ claim volumes. We are expecting claims to skyrocket in the coming days as people return to their homes and businesses following mass evacuations.
Bringing in our Crawford colleagues from overseas is part of our standard catastrophe management plan which we have successfully utilised during previous major loss events in this country.
Feb 28, 2022
Over the weekend, our adjusting teams across southeast Queensland and northern NSW began working with those impacted by storms and floods that continue to devastate the area.
With water still rising in many areas, access is proving challenging. However, where we can safely get to policyholders, we are doing so.
Today we have deployed additional major loss and general adjusters from other parts of the country, to help the on-ground efforts in the coming days and weeks.
We are also reviewing our Building Consultancy and Engineering resources and Contractor Connection is working with our building contractors to ensure we have the capacity to manage initial emergency repairs, as well as future restoration and reinstatement works.
We extend our sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones through this tragic weather event.
Feb 25, 2022
Our 24/7 claims intake service is ready to assist insurers, as heavy rain and widespread flooding continues lashing southeast Queensland. The Bureau of Meteorology says there is a risk of dangerous flash flooding and possible landslides.
Here at Crawford, as well as our world-renowned loss adjusting skills, we are strongly positioned to deliver emergency repairs in the aftermath of weather events via Contractor Connection (our managed repair service).
Weather events don’t always happen during office hours, but Crawford responds to claims any time. If you’re already a Crawford client, contact us on 1300-135-790 so we can assist.
We exist to restore lives, businesses and communities.