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BIA 2023: Winners Q&A with Crawford & Co’s Lisa Bartlett

Lisa Bartlett

In July, Crawford won the Major Loss, Claims Initiative – Insurance Partner, and Professional Development awards at the British Insurance Awards. How does that feel?

It’s inspiring to take home one BIA, but taking home several is fantastic. The heritage of the awards means a lot to everyone in the industry. We know the judges are looking for the best of the best, so we’re proud to have three more trophies for the cabinet.

These wins collectively speak to Crawford’s over-arching strategy to reimagine and simplify the customer experience, use renowned industry experts, and set industry benchmarks. That, alongside our commitment to innovation, service excellence, and our people’s quality helped to set our entries at the top.

Major Loss is a significant award for a claims company – what do you think elevated the Crawford entry and made it the winner?

This is related to a considerable claim for a fire at a multi-use property in Southwark: the affected premises comprised of commercial units, leasehold flats, social housing, and car parking.

We were proud to work with our partners CLEAR, Zurich and loss assessor, Harris Balcombe, on this significant claim.

The case at the centre of this entry is a­ testament to the ‘people first’ culture embraced by all parties involved. It’s about rapid response, communication, and going above and beyond to help those affected by the incident during lockdown.

From rehoming to reoccupation, the quality of life for those affected mattered to us, and we swiftly organised accommodation, despite facing challenges due to the national lockdown.

The scale of the incident called for expertise, compassion, and collaboration, and the outcomes, restoration speed – the repair project was completed in just six months – and care shown towards the victims of the fire are why we took home the award on the night.

Technology is a major tool for the insurance industry. What did Crawford do to win the Claims Initiative – Insurance Partner award?

We’re always looking at ways we can develop claims technology. One innovation we launched recently is our automated claims settlement system designed for the UK livestock market.

This is a­ testament to the ‘people first’ culture… It’s about rapid response, communication, and going above and beyond to help those affected by the incident during lockdown. From rehoming to reoccupation, the quality of life for those affected mattered to us

We were aware these customers – who face increasing pressures and costs – weren’t getting the service from the industry they needed, and claims could take up to 40 days to resolve. Our system is designed for high-volume livestock losses.

The platform offers users a fully automated experience with real-time information – completely revolutionising the claims cycle, from the first notification of loss to payment of a valid claim – and takes the settlement process down from 40+ days to just three minutes.

By using automation for low-value, volume agricultural claims we could provide a low-cost solution for our clients and help free up our industry-leading specialist technical adjusters to focus on larger more complex losses where they can provide a greater value and return on investment.

It is a real high point for us, and we were delighted to offer our clients this level of service excellence. Of course, we’re equally pleased the BIA judges recognised our credibility, reliability, and innovation.

What about People? Crawford also took home the Professional Development prize.

We couldn’t achieve any of this without our fantastic, dedicated team. Developing our people is a strategic priority, and we strive to be seen as best-in-class educators. We want our people to have a shared purpose and values and operate in an agile culture. The Professional Development Award reflects this commitment.

We’re highly aware that there is a talent drain in insurance as experienced people retire – we call it the silver tsunami. Crawford recognised the reality of the situation, which served as a catalyst for implementing a robust and extensive talent management and development program. This initiative was strategically designed to future-proof the business and safeguard our unique selling proposition: our exceptional, highly skilled workforce.

We developed a fresh strategic approach with several pillars, including a development and coaching academy, leadership and management training, bespoke manager training, and a values-led engagement and retainment programme to help engage our teams.

The silver tsunami is a challenge across the insurance industry, so I hope that the sector takes on board all the innovative solutions available.

What is next for Crawford?

The insurance industry doesn’t stand still, so we’ll reaffirm our focus on innovation, our people and our service levels and continue to work toward our purpose, which is all about restoring lives, businesses and communities.

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