Pandemic responses dominate British Claims Awards 2021

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Sedgwick and Brit Insurance were among the winners at the British Claims Awards 2021 last night, capping off a ceremony in which 20 categories were closely fought.

The British Claims Awards championing ‘Claims as a Service’ across insurance, crowned 18 winners in total, with their pandemic responses front and centre of their submissions and the independent panel of judges keen to recognise them during the review process and last night.

Claire McDonald, chair of iWIN and head of the independent judging panel for 2021, wrote in her programme foreword: “There was a clear demonstration to us, the judging panel, of the adaptability and agility of the insurance industry as a whole (so not just insurers and brokers, but other suppliers such as loss adjusters and solicitors, to name but a few).”

“Some companies had to turn their business models on their head overnight, others rethought processes from the customer perspective to be able to withstand the volumes of claims and provide the expected service levels.”

Last night’s big winner, Sedgwick, demonstrated this adaptability and agility during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. The claims management company won Loss Adjuster of the Year for managing a significant share of business interruption claims and adapting well to better serve clients.

Sedgwick also won Best Use of Technology and the InsurTech Award, and shared Outsourced Partner of the Year with The Hunting Dynasty.

The two biggest awards of the night, Claims Team of the Year and Claims Director of the Year, went to Brit Insurance, whose response during the pandemic was exemplary, and Richard Napoli of Markel UK, who has had an excellent 12 months, according to the judges.

Here is the full list of winners and the reasons for their success:

  • Barristers’ Chambers of the Year: 7 King’s Bench Walk 
    • “7 King’s Bench Walk played an important role in the defining legal case of the pandemic. The business interruption test case had far reaching implications for the insurance industry and the judges wanted to recognise the efforts of this chambers in bringing that to a conclusion.” 

 

  • Best Employer: Speed Medical
    • “The best employer of 2021 is not the biggest, but it’s certainly the most impressive. Speed Medical stood out for its investment throughout the pandemic, in everything from technology to wellbeing. Its employees were empowered and supported with a broad response in a year when this employer also secured an Investors in People Gold award.” 

  

  • Best Use of Technology: Sedgwick 
    • “Sedgwick went the extra mile for its clients during the pandemic, reacting with speed to deliver a technological solution to managing a massive influx of business interruption claims. The judges said Sedgwick’s solution was highly practical and very beneficial to clients during a difficult time.” 

  

  • Broker of the Year (sponsored by Kennedys): Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions 
    • “Broker of the Year was a tough category for the judges to call, with some impressive candidates. But Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions impressed with a clear focus on clients. In particular, the implementation of technology for claims during the pandemic made this broker a worthy winner.” 

  

  • Claims Director of the Year: Richard Napoli, Markel UK 
    • “Richard has had an excellent 12 months, going beyond the company to support the claims profession. Internally, Richard has also enjoyed a number of business successes.” 

 

  • Claims Team of the Year: Brit Insurance 
    • “Brit Insurance’s response during the pandemic was exemplary. It demonstrated clear commitment to clients and significant compromise during such a difficult period. Brit Insurance is also a leader in innovation, bringing technology to bear to really support clients across a range of product lines.” 

 

  • Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year: Allianz 
    • “Allianz reacted superbly to the onset of the pandemic, shifting to remote working in quick fashion, making a number of fundamental changes to the claims process to support clients, and much more. All in all, Allianz ensured that normal service was maintained, which was vital.” 

  • Counter Fraud Award: DWF Law 
    • “In very much a good way, DWF Law is breaking a lot of the rules for law firms and leading the way with its work. This law firm provides innovative value-added services beyond traditional legal advice, and even gets ahead of new types of fraud to help insurers with concerns about the future.” 

  • Diversity and Inclusion Award: Crawford & Company 
    • “Crawford & Company is no one-year wonder. It’s tackling issues such as the gender pay gap globally across the organisation, with impressive leadership from the very top.”  

 

  • Insurance Law Firm of the Year: Minster Law 
    • “Minster Law impressed the judges with its focus on alternative dispute resolution and delivering a timely and well-made solution. This law firm is also sensible in its approach, preferring to enter into collaborations rather than being adversarial.” 

 

  • Insurer of the Year (sponsored by Sedgwick): Covéa Insurance
    • “Covéa Insurance was the standout winner. It demonstrated clear progress in improving the claims experience for clients during the pandemic, against a backdrop of severe reputational damage to the insurance industry. In the words of the judges, Covéa Insurance was ‘streets ahead’ of the competition.” 

 

  • InsurTech Award: Sedgwick 
    • “Sedgwick goes to a company that developed a highly practical solution that really adds value to customers, including lots of savings. Launched in the UK at the height of the pandemic, Sedgwick’s solution continues to gain traction as customers’ satisfaction with it increases.” 

  

  • Loss Adjuster of the Year: Sedgwick 
    • “The judges are giving this award to Sedgwick for its work in business interruption claims. They say Sedgwick was the clear winner, having managed a huge share of the claims that came in following the introduction of lockdown restrictions. Sedgwick also deserves this recognition for adapting well to better serve clients.” 

  

  • Loss Assessor of the Year: Oakleafe Claims 
    • “Oakleafe Claims stood out a closely fought category. It displayed a winning approach during the pandemic by focusing on its claims workflow system while making sure that its clients had the right sums insured.” 

  

  • Major Loss Award: Corporé 
    • “This provider is a credit to insurance claims. It carried out exceptional work in relation to a tragic event, demonstrating a strong human element that is so important to claims work in major loss scenarios.” 

  

  • MGA of the Year: ARAG 
    • “ARAG stood out during the pandemic, demonstrating an exemplary level of compromise when dealing with both landlords and tenants during a particularly difficult time. ARAG also deserves the recognition of this award for supporting brokers well during the pandemic and undertaking lots of staff development.” 

 

  • Outsourced Partner of the Year: Sedgwick and The Hunting Dynasty 
    • “The 2021 Outsourced Partner of the Year award goes to both the client and its partner, Sedgwick and The Hunting Dynasty, for recognising that customer communication could be improved, investing in a programme that actively sought to rectify the issues, and the execution of the programme itself.” 

 

  • Outstanding Services to the Policyholder (sponsored by Fenchurch Law): Aspray
    • “Aspray takes charge of property damage claims, handles every detail, and takes the time to communicate and explain the situation. The pandemic proved no barrier to this excellent service delivery and Aspray continues to use technology to maintain and even improve on this record.” 

  • Personal Lines Broker of the Year: Smart Cover 
    • “Smart Cover impressed the judges with a well-received and reviewed product designed to improve the health of its policyholders. The judges say this broker is very much going in the right direction.” 

 

  • Rising Star Award (sponsored by Nexus Claims): Ashley Preece, Claim Technology 
    • “Ashley has achieved much over the past year or so, particularly in support of the organisation’s founder and writing and presenting their thesis. The judges expect big things of Ashley in the future.” 
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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