Zurich and Ashton West OBE among winners at the British Claims Awards

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Attendees of last night’s British Claims Awards saw Zurich win three awards and former Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) chief executive Ashton West OBE recognised for his contribution to the sector.

Zurich picked up the coveted Innovative Use of Technology Award for its first notification chatbot at the event, which took place at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London.

Named ‘Zara’, the sophisticated chatbot programme allows customers to notify the insurer of a claim efficiently, intuitively and promptly. The judges, led by Philip Godwin of Lloyd’s of London, praised Zurich for its “aggressive” implementation of this technology, taking just six weeks to get it off the ground.

Zurich apprentice claims handler Verity Ross received the Rising Star of the Year Award, sponsored by CL MediCall Aid, for symbolising what the insurance industry is trying to achieve in its pursuit of the next generation of claims professionals and experts.

To cap a successful night, Zurich picked up the Insurer of the Year Award, sponsored by Revival.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to West, whose 15 years in charge of the MIB transformed the once claims-focused organisation into a supplier of data management services to the entire insurance industry, the British Claims Awards judges said.

West’s time in charge of the MIB came to an end this year. The judges recognised the role he played in modernising the bureau, making it a proactive force designed to reduce uninsured driving while placing it at the centre of many of the sector’s data management initiatives.

Attendees of the British Claims Awards enjoyed a three-course meal and live music, as well as stand-up comedy from host Ellie Taylor, star of Snog Marry Avoid and The Mash Report.

The British Claims Awards is organised by Claims Media, the sector-specific publishing and events brand of Barker Brooks Communications, a Leeds-based company that specialises in live events and media content in business-to-business professional markets.

Barker Brooks director Alex Gray congratulated last night’s winners, and said: “People, businesses and communities literally depend on and must trust in the compassionate responses of their service providers. Reporting an incident to an insurer can be a time of significant stress, whether a road traffic accident or a major catastrophe. The British Claims Awards recognises those within the profession who have gone above and beyond for their clients to ensure quality customer service on behalf of the policy holder.”

The judging panel for the British Claims Awards also featured: James Dalton of the Association of British Insurers, Peter Staddon of the Managing General Agents’ Association, Jonathan Davison of the British Damage Management Association, Laurence Besemer of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, Kishan Mangat of Tomorrow’s Forum of Insurance Lawyers, Dave Matcham of the International Underwriting Association, Ben Fletcher of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, John Eves of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters and Lee Elliston of the Lloyd’s Market Association.

The winners of the British Claims Awards 2018:

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk