Virtus, a new independent validation and surveying service for property insurance claims, is targeting major insurers ahead of the likely surge in winter property damage claims.
A subsidiary of property claims specialist MA Group, Virtus went live in December 2016 under the leadership of managing director Daniel Ashton. Both Ashton and Andrew Dakin, Virtus’ client development director, were high-profile departures from Imperial Consultants last summer.
The company says that the new venture is focussed on delivering accurate validations and fair cash settlements on lower value property claims to improve the perception of the property claims market. It also says that it enables building repairs to be completed by a reputable local contractor of the customer’s choice or via the insurer’s preferred suppliers, ensuring cost control and removing delays from unnecessary variations.
The service uses a wide range of new mobile and video technology to reduce claim life cycles and to maximise fraud detection. Virtus surveyors use a mobile surveying app, called Scoper, to create an accurate and fair scope of works which can then be forwarded to Virtus’s control centre, saving time and enabling a consistent approach to surveying and validation.
In addition, Virtus surveyors video and audio record all inspections which the MA Group says not only improves the quality and accuracy of the validations, but is a useful fraud prevention tool as well.
MA Group chief executive, Paul Hayman, said that Virtus was the next step in the growth and development plans for the group.
“Our research has shown that property claims are regularly and routinely under-scoped and under-valued,” said Hatman.
“We estimated that over the last seven years, cash settlements for property claims will have been under-valued by almost £0.5 billion, which I believe is totally unfair to consumers. So I have always felt passionately that we need to make sure all customers are informed, have options, and their settlement is fair. Virtus brings a completely new level of transparency to the market.”
Ashton said: “We knew through experience there was the desire and a clear place in the market for an offering that not only brought greater clarity and fairness to settlements, but also control. Through Virtus we are protecting the consumer but also their insurer’s bottom line.”