New generation claims group: Networking opportunities

blue-network

With a brief of developing innovative ways to improve the claims process, the Chartered Insurance Institute’s new generation claims group recently finished its year-long pilot. Ant Gould looks at the results and talks to the key players.

With the insurance industry working harder then before to attract and retain young talent, the Chartered Insurance Institute’s claims faculty brought together a group of young insurance professionals to develop innovative ways to improve the claims process.

Starting in August last year, the eight-strong new generation claims group, led by Robin Stagg, corporate partner and claims team leader at Allianz Insurance, took part in a year-long pilot programme, with the task of identifying an area within the claims profession where they could make a difference for the benefit of customers and the reputation of the industry.

The NGCG’s report New Media — Communicating in a Crisis details how the insurance profession can use social media, particularly Twitter, to enable the early dissemination of fact-based information.

The study outlines the mechanics and practicalities of piloting an effective Twitter claims surge feed, including managing divergent interests and engaging wider audiences. It also identifies the main dangers that are inherent in embracing social media on this scale — from customers using the feed to grumble about specific issues, through to corporate attempts to hijack the feeds for their own marketing agendas — and how each of these risks can be mitigated.

The Association of British Insurers will pilot the project and plans to test it during the Cabinet Office’s surge event test day — codenamed Watermark — later this month. The ABI will have responsibility to act as the @ABISurge twitter account administrator but the workload should be minimal in terms of physically tweeting the information and links.

This is, of course, only part of the plan, but will be a crucial building block in the profession’s move to support and engage with customers collaboratively via new media.

Although the official NCGC programme for 2010-2011 is technically over, those involved are still keen to keep pushing the project forward, underlying just how successful, and important for the future of the profession, effectively managing claims is.

The success of the programme has meant that the CII is now due to replicate it, with a few tweaks and additions, across all of its faculties, as it looks to release the enthusiasm, talent and forward thinking attitudes of the profession’s future leaders.

Ant Gould is CII director of faculties

Robin Stagg, Corporate partner and claims team leader, Allianz
Why is this project so important?
We felt new media could provide a highly effective way to share practical and useful information with policyholders quickly and efficiently in a surge event. The aim was to build on the existing framework for dealing with major disasters, and use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to create a dedicated framework for each event, within which member organisations could share information with large numbers of customers.

What have you gained from participating in the NGCG in terms of knowledge and skills?
The most interesting aspect for me was the opportunity to get an insight into the high-level planning and lobbying work that the CII and the ABI do. In addition, the group was a good chance to network.

What do you think the insurance industry stands to gain from the work of the NGCG?
On one level, our specific project can have real benefit. Social media, particularly Twitter, is the perfect medium for communicating during disaster events as it combines both the local and the international in real-time as events unfold. On the other hand, I also hope that we have proved effective enough as a collective to be used as a blue-print for other similar groups, within other faculties, not just claims.

What tips would you have for others in the industry invited to join the CII’s new generation groups covering other insurance disciplines?
Just approach the task honestly, with enthusiasm and you’ll gain some really useful experience and contacts from it.

What social media do you use for work and how do you use it?
We occasionally use Facebook when handling fraud. There are also a number of good sources of industry information I follow on Twitter.


Clare Ditum, senior technical case manager, Axa Commercial

What have you gained from participating in the NGCG in terms of knowledge and skills?
I have built a technical knowledge of social media and how it can be used for business and have learnt more about team work and co-operation within our industry.

What do you think the insurance industry stands to gain from the work of the NGCG?
Firstly, the industry has the foundation of a universal platform for Twitter which is ready for implementation. Secondly, the group has proved that collaboration and co-operation can and does work, and can be used in numerous other situations.

What tips would you have for others in the industry invited to join the CII’s new generation groups covering other insurance disciplines?
I would say go 
for it. Be prepared to commit time 
and effort, but make the most of the opportunity as there are benefits for you, your company and the industry in general. It was exciting to work on a project with people who were so engaged and committed to making it success, especially in the field of social media, which is developing all the time and offers such an opportunity to 
the industry.

What social media do you use for work and how do you use it?
I use Facebook and other social networking sites to monitor certain claimants who are under investigation for fraud. I also use Twitter to keep up to date with industry news.

Neil Higgins, Global casualty and professional 
indemnity claims, QBE Europe
What have you gained from participating in the NGCG in terms of knowledge and skills?
Mainly networking skills. It was excellent to meet counterparts from competitors. There was a very open and diverse group of people and it was good to see how members worked in various roles. It enabled us to gain an insight into our competitors’ personnel and their views of the market.

What do you think the insurance industry stands to gain from the work of the NGCG?
There was no politics between 
the group, which was refreshing. There 
was a genuine willingness to work together. It demonstrated that, with the right 
group of representatives, insurers could work well together in all areas to achieve a common goal.

What tips would you have for others in the industry invited to join the CII’s new generation groups covering other insurance disciplines?
Join with an open mind and you will gain an insight into how other insurers work, their philosophies and their view of competitors. It is also beneficial to learn from like-minded people from various working environments.

What social media do you use for work and how do you use it?
On this point I’m probably not a good advert from the group, but that should take nothing away from the objective. I was not a key user of social media. Again this was a positive from the group — that no matter what your background you could remain a party to a common objective.

New generation groups: the future
This summer, the Chartered Insurance Institute will be launching new generation groups across all of the original insurance faculties. The new generation initiative is part of a faculty strategy designed to support the retention of talent and the development of young professionals. The scheme will aim to complement existing company talent programmes and give the individuals selected additional exposure to market issues. It will also give tools to equip members for future leadership opportunities and allow them to make their mark by being involved in an industry initiative of their own choosing.

Views on the group
Tony Emms, chief claims officer, Zurich Insurance, and CII claims faculty chair
The concept of the new generation claims group came from the initial conversations with faculty board members. It was something we all felt we should try as a way of connecting the faculty with younger and talented members of the institute., as a means of providing them with a platform for widening their horizons, networking with like minded individuals, an delivering through leadership into the industry that could add real value.

Being the first time we had tried this, the experience was not without hiccups but we have learned our lessons, and the outcome has been positive and worthwhile. The exercise achieved its ambitions and we can use our learning as a platform for an improved NGCG programme in the future across all faculties. The group members threw themselves into the programme and I have seen them develop along the way.

Association of British Insurers
The work of the CII's NGCG in looking at how social media can be used to help communicate with the press, customers and other stakeholders during and after major events, fits in with the ABI's work on how the industry responds to surges. The best possible use of social media can help further improve service to customers as well as enhancing the profile and public image of the industry in times when it is the focus of media attention.

New generation claims group 2010 - 2011
Claims faculty chair: Tony Emms, chief claims officer, Zurich Insurance
Mentor: Clive Nathan, chief executive of underwriting, Towergate partnership
Project team members
NGCG chair: Robin Stagg, corporate partner claims team leader, Allianz
Tim Andrews, technical claims manager, Aviva
Clare Ditum, senior technical case manager, Axa Commercial
Paul Handy, director of global technical services, Crawford & Company
Neil Higgins, senior claims adjuster for global casualty and professional indemnity, QBE Europe
Jonah Lee, technical team manager, Zurich Insurance
Gary Lobb, head of operations for household and travel claims, Ageas
Paul Mayes, trainee adjuster, specialist adjusting network, Cunningham Lindsey

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have an Insurance Post account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an indvidual account here: