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The new deputy global claims directors more than 50 years combined experience working in protection and indemnity insurance and their experience and commitment will further enhance North P&I Club’s claims and service levels, the insurer said.
Their roles will cover geographic and technical team responsibilities, loss prevention and various IGP&I committees and pool claims.
Paul Jennings, North P&I Club’s chief executive officer, said: “The transition of P&I claims responsibilities to Mike and Matt is testament to their skills and experience.”
Royal London paid out 99% of all claims in 2018, with more than £506 million going to UK protection customers.
The UK mutual life, pensions and investment company issued nearly £174 million to cover life and terminal illness claims last year.
Some 95.2% of term life insurance claims were paid, with an average of nearly £103,000 each. Terminal illness claims had an average payout of more than £156,000, with 89.4% paid.
Whole of life claims reached 99.9% paid, with an average payout of more than £3,800.
Critical illness claims surpassed the 90% mark. Cancer was the most common reason for claiming, followed by heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis. The average payout was nearly £99,000.
Royal London paid £930,544 for income protection claims last year, with 72.2% of claims being paid and the average payout being more than £5,900.
The most common reasons for income protection claims were musculoskeletal, cancer and mental health.
Craig Paterson, underwriting and claims philosophy manager at Royal London, said: “While 99% of our claims were paid last year, we remain focused on continually improving our claims experience.”
“We have sped up the claims process and reduced the need for paper forms, which has meant that for many claims we are able to take digital consent from customers to get the medical evidence we need.”
Paterson continued: “Cancer continues to be the most common reason for a claim for both adults and, sadly, children too. With cancer being the single biggest critical illness risk we all face, it’s important to have comprehensive critical illness which is why we enhanced our product and introduced four additional cover conditions for early forms of cancer.”
He added: “As well as receiving a financial payout, we recognise that customers are going through a difficult time in their life, which is why our Helping Hand service is an added benefit that supported more than 1,200 customers and their families last year.”
The new counter fraud intelligence sharing platform from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is now live.
Ageas, Allianz, AXA, ERS, Markerstudy, Mulsanne Insurance, QBE, RSA, and 1st Central are among the first insurers to begin using the SAS-powered Insurance Fraud Intelligence Hub (IFiHUB), which enables data and information sharing in real time.
Ben Fletcher, director of IFB, commented: “IFiHUB has been built by the industry, for the industry—to deliver a powerful counter-fraud tool. It was recognised that fraud intelligence had historically been shared inconsistently and therefore inefficiently. By developing a single platform for insurers to share intelligence in real-time, IFiHUB is a real game changer for our sector.”
The platform was developed following an industry consultation to support IFB’s mission to evolve the insurance industry’s fight against fraud.
Sitting alongside the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR), which insurers have loaded with almost 25,000 records of proven fraud since it was launched in 2013, the IFiHUB will hold industry data on suspected fraudsters and professional enablers.
IFB said a privacy impact assessment alongside counsel from a barrister on data protection has ensured the platform has been built with compliance and integrity of data at the forefront.
Fletcher added: “Once matured, the IFiHUB will be utilised to develop data-lead strategic threat assessments. It will also provide a platform from which the insurance industry can share intelligence with other sectors.”
Graham Gibson, chief claims officer at Allianz Insurance, said: “Allianz is very pleased to be amongst the first insurers to try out the IFiHUB. The insurance industry has been calling for greater collaboration for some years and the IFB’s new platform, which is instantly updated with real-time data, should now enable insurers to come together and share intelligence. We look forward to proactively working together to tackle insurance fraud.”
“This tool is great and it adds to our own detection processes, which are already strong,” added Mike Bennett, head of investigations and fraud control at AXA UK. “The industry is sharing more information than ever before; that makes us all more reactive and quicker to defeat fraudsters. AXA is proud to be among the early adopters and looks forward to more insurers joining.”
The UK’s current network of river barriers and defences is preventing £1.1 billion a year of flood damage, according to new research.
The results, the first time the financial contribution of river water defences has been quantified in this way, were unveiled yesterday at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) property insurance conference.
The modelling, based on thousands of simulations of weather events with and without defences, was commissioned by Flood Re and conducted by Risk Management Solutions.
It emphasises the value to UK homes and businesses of defence spending and the importance of ongoing public investment, particularly for flood-prone locations such as Cumbria, Yorkshire, Somerset and the Welsh Valleys.
The research shows that inland flooding would, on average, cost almost three times more on an annual basis without the defences—a bill of £1.8 billion rather than £700 million across the whole of the UK.
In England, the government currently spends around £600 million each year on building and maintaining defences, with the Environment Agency recently recommending an annual spend of £1 billion on all risk management.
Despite the lack of severe flooding in recent years, speculation that this June could be the wettest on record is also a timely reminder that any long-term government spending allocations need to reflect the importance of ongoing funding for flood management.
James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said: “The human cost of flooding is immeasurable, putting lives at risk, causing families great trauma and pushing some businesses to the brink. Flood defences are an essential part of the protection system which prevents and minimises the trauma caused by flooding as much as possible.”
“Faced with the growing threat of climate change, there is a clear financial argument for investing in flood defences. The barriers, walls and natural defences that currently prevent greater damage being done by the UK’s rivers during times of extreme weather make economic sense, but they must keep pace with the threat if they are to continue being effective. It’s essential the UK government sticks to its ambitions on flood defence spending and doesn’t let the lack of severe flooding in recent years lull the country into a false sense of security.”
Dermot Kehoe, director of communications and transition at Flood Re, added: “Since our launch, almost 250,000 properties at risk of flooding have benefitted from the peace of mind provided by Flood Re. However, Flood Re will only be around for the next 20 years. This research shows just how vital it is that investment in flood defences is maintained in the future so that householders will not need to live in fear of flooding after Flood Re has gone.”
Zurich Insurance Group has appointed former Lego executive Conny Kalcher to the position of chief customer officer.
She will lead the newly created customer office as part of Zurich’s drive to elevate customer excellence across the business.
Kalcher joined Lego in 1985, and held numerous senior global roles between 1999 and 2018, such as head of people and culture, corporate communication, new product innovation as well as building new business areas, including starting up Lego Film & TV.
She later had global responsibility for the development of the Lego brand and served as vice president for marketing and consumer experiences.
In her new position at Zurich, Kalcher will ensure the delivery of a unique and distinctive customer experience. She will take up the role on 1 July, and will report directly to group chief executive officer Mario Greco.
Greco: “The digital era is driving significant change and a transformation of customer experience in the marketplace. This is a transformation that has already begun, delivering a number of company-wide initiatives to improve customer satisfaction and to drive profitable growth.”
“We are delighted that Conny is joining us on our journey to accelerate the group’s transformation and spearhead the digital customer experience, which will be reflected in Zurich’s brand refresh.”
Kalcher will join Zurich from MindFolio, an innovation and analytics consultancy based in London and Chicago, where she has been a partner since 2018.
Zurich revealed last month that the total value of all claims paid to UK general insurance customers last year reached more than £1.6 billion.
More than 99% of general insurance customer claims were paid, with 140 of these valued at more than £1 million.
Three men who carried out a crash-for-cash plan on a motorway slip road in Coventry have been sentenced to at least 20 months in prison, following a City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) investigation.
All three men pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Birmingham Crown Court last week. Mohammed Azam and Husnain Ahmed were sentenced to 25 months in prison, while Sufyan Lone received a 20-month sentence.
The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) led on the investigation and was initially made aware of the trio’s fraudulent activity through a referral from Hastings Insurance.
Hastings Insurance received a call from one of its customers who believed he was the victim of a crash-for-cash plan. The customer provided Hastings Direct with his own dash-cam footage to substantiate his belief.
The footage revealed that two cars in front of the customer were driving erratically and very close together. As the two cars travelled along the slip road of the motorway, the one directly in front of the customer carried out an emergency stop, causing him to collide into the rear of it.
IFED crash for cash dashcam footage - City of London Police - YouTube
Detective constable Kevin Hughes, who the led the investigation for IFED, said: “These men were solely focused on making a financial gain and clearly didn’t care about endangering the innocent driver they targeted, as well as other drivers in the area.”
“Despite driving at such a high speed, thankfully no-one was seriously injured and it resulted in was these men getting the punishment they rightly deserve.”
When IFED questioned Azam, who was driving, he stated that he’d been involved in a road rage incident with the car in front, which caused him to suddenly stop. One of the men who got out of the car directly after the collision also claimed they had to brake because of a lorry travelling along the motorway.
Hastings Direct also received footage from a person who was driving behind the cars at the time of the incident. Their footage revealed there was no lorry or indications of road rage and also showed how they and another driver had to swerve out of the way to narrowly avoid the collision themselves.
After the collision, all three men put in personal injury claims for whiplash and car hire costs. In total, the fraudulent claims amounted to £28,161, but Hastings Direct rejected the claim.
Matt Stevens, director of counter fraud at Hastings Direct, said of the prison sentences: “We make significant investment in counter fraud operations to protect honest customers from criminal activity. The sentencing in this case sends out a strong message and we are delighted to work with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and bring these fraudsters to justice.”
Lisa Bartlett is the new UK chief client officer at Crawford & Company.
In her new role, Bartlett will lead all employees involved in UK sales and account management functions across Crawford’s global service lines and will be responsible for delivering claims solutions.
Reporting directly to Clive Nicholls, president for the UK and Ireland, she will also have accountability to Benedict Burke, chief client officer for global client development, in respect of Crawford’s global clients.
Bartlett brings extensive industry experience to the role, spanning both the insurance and broking sectors. Most recently, she was regional director at AXA Insurance, responsible for distribution across the North of the UK.
Previous roles have included area director for Aon and UK sales and marketing director for Towergate.
Commenting on the appointment, Nicholls said: “Lisa is a fantastic addition to our team with an excellent track record for developing and implementing highly effective sales strategies. She brings the perfect balance of experience and market knowledge to help us deliver precisely tailored client solutions that reflect the truly expansive range of services that Crawford offers.”
“Only by creating such compelling propositions can we deliver on our mission to restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities.”
Bartlett holds an MSc in risk management and is a fellow of both the Institute of Risk Management and the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Earlier in June, Crawford appointed Caroline Pritchard and Tenesha Frazier-Levett as global relationship leaders within its client development team.
Pritchard and Frazier-Levett are responsible for developing strategic plans, building relationships at both the executive and c-suite level of carrier and broker clients, and demonstrating a full understanding of their business critical needs.
DAC Beachcroft has enhanced its breach response services with the launch of the DACB Situation Room, a secure, virtual crisis room that enables businesses that have suffered a cyber attack or a data breach to communicate and share information confidentially.
Developed in partnership with British technology firm Pushfor, the DACB Situation Room combines secure instant messaging and document sharing, within a confidential and privileged environment.
“Following a cyber incident, businesses often face the challenge of relying on the very systems that have been compromised or disrupted to coordinate and communicate their response,” explained Hans Allnutt, partner and head of cyber and data risk at DAC Beachcroft. “Using this innovative content-sharing platform, we can overcome this challenge by creating a highly secure, virtual crisis room for a client’s incident team that sits outside its compromised infrastructure.”
A key feature of the DACB Situation Room is that no information is actually sent but is projected onto a recipient’s device, so removing the risk of further data leakage. It also protects against screenshots and downloads.
The DACB Situation Room can also be used in other time-critical situations, such as dawn raids, where a secure communications environment is needed for the client to be protected by confidentiality.
“Having responded to hundreds of cyber incidents and data breaches, we’ve seen the challenges that our clients must overcome to prevent a crisis from becoming a disaster,” Allnutt added. “We know that a successful response hinges on effective internal communications and information sharing. The DACB Situation Room provides us with a state-of-the-art capability to protect our clients against further risk and reputational damage.”
The Court of Appeal has confirmed a High Court decision to extend compensation rights to people injured in car accidents on private land.
The court found that the Motor Insurers Bureau (MiB) was liable to pay out to Michael Lewis, who suffered severe spinal cord injuries when he was struck by a vehicle on private land.
Lewis was on foot when he was chased across private land by the land owner, who was driving a 4×4 Nissan Terrano. The incident left him a tetraplegic and in need of permanent ongoing care. As the driver was uninsured, the MiB acted as the defendant.
David Gauler (pictured) of Thompsons Solicitors, who is representing Lewis, said the Court of Appeal’s ruling “is a logical extension and opens the door to others injured in similar circumstances to claim compensation”.
The MiB had argued that its liability was limited because the Road Traffic Act of 1998 only requires compulsory insurance to cover collisions on a “road or other public place”.
Thompsons successfully challenged this in the High Court last year, relying on a European court decision of Damijan Vnuk v Zavarovalnica Triglav, which held that an EU directive required compulsory insurance on both public and private land.
Thompsons argued the EU directive should apply directly against the MiB as it is an “emanation of the state”, in accordance with the subsequent European court decision of Farrell v Whitty (No2).
The MiB appealed against the decision, arguing that while it is an emanation of the state, its role cannot extend to claims on private land, as this specific role hadn’t been delegated by the UK government.
Thompsons maintained that there was no distinction between this case and Farrell v Whitty (No2) and it followed that the MiB was responsible for paying compensation to Lewis and the Court of Appeal agreed.
Gauler commented: “Today’s ruling will mean that the MiB, which has a number of ways to exclude victims from compensation under both the uninsured and untraced agreements that wouldn’t apply if the claim were under normal insurance, will now face new claims that it can’t wriggle out of.”
“The MiB will still be able to exclude claimants under the untraced scheme if they deem that they have not fully cooperated with the police, and there are additional mandatory reporting requirements on victims which aren’t necessary in a standard insurance claim, but by this decision the Court of Appeal has shut off their rejecting claims from those injured on private land. It has also provided a potential legal mechanism to challenge those other exclusions, by relying on the EU directive to force the MiB to comply with their obligation to compensate the victims of motor accidents.”
“Given its reliance on EU law, this ruling could be lost if we leave the European Union. This positive change for victims will be under threat, along with other EU-led advancements in personal injury law, if Brexit happens.”
Mark Walsh, partner at Kennedys, said the Court of Appeal “has made clear what most in the motor claims arena have felt was the case for some time, that the requirements of the Road Traffic Act 1998 are not compatible with the UK’s wider obligations under EU law”.
“The court ruled that the MiB was an emanation of the state and, as such, an EU directive requiring compulsory car insurance on both public and private land applies. It followed that the MiB was liable to pay the damages awarded to a claimant arising out of an uninsured defendant’s use of a motor vehicle, despite the incident occurring on private land. We can expect the MiB to move swiftly to amend its rules to ensure that it can pass on such liabilities if there is an insurer that has issued a policy on the motor vehicle involved.”
Sedgwick, Square Mile Broking and the in-house transportation claims team at FirstGroup were among the big winners at the British Claims Awards last night.
Seventeen winners picked up 22 awards during the ceremony at the Leonardo Royal Hotel St Paul’s in London, where attendees celebrated claims as a service.
Claims management firm Sedgwick was the night’s big winner, securing Loss Adjuster of the Year and the Major Loss Award. Sedgwick’s customer care manager, Lauren Glover, also won the Rising Star Award.
Co-Op Insurance won the coveted Outstanding Services to the Policyholder award, for reengineering its escape of water claims service and creating a customer journey that was speedier and less disruptive.
London-based independent firm Square Mile Broking secured a brace of awards, picking up both Broker of the Year and Commercial Lines Broker of the Year.
Two disruptors beat the established competition to win Law Firm of the Year, the Counter Fraud Award and Outstanding Achievement of the Year.
Crawford & Company Legal Services, which was licensed as an alternative business structure in 2016, won Law Firm of the Year for its impact on the legal aspect of claims in such a short period of time.
The in-house claims team at FirstGroup, a leading provider of transport services in the UK and North America, won the Counter Fraud Award for its work to protect the safety of employees, passengers and financial assets.
Julie Randle, FirstGroup’s fraud prevention officer, also won Outstanding Achievement of the Year.
Elizabeth Fairburn, head of claims response at Direct Line Group, won Claims Director of the Year.
Mark Dugdale, editor of Claims Media, congratulated the winners and finalists. He said: “Claims, as a service, is the insurance industry’s shop window, but also its promise to policyholders and partners that when something bad happens, whether a flood or a prang, support and help will be on-hand. That’s the promise of insurance, and one the industry must strive to keep.”
“It’s with this in mind that we were thrilled to hold the British Claims Awards, where we could celebrate the sector’s achievements over the past year and look forward to the next 12 months.”
Jonathan Clark, president of the Chartered Insurance Institute and chair of the judging panel, described choosing the winners and finalists as “an ever more difficult task”.
He said: “This speaks well to the service that we as claim professionals can provide to our insurance customers who are really the judges of what we do. It is important that we should never forget the diversity of the customers we serve and treat them as individuals. That theme of truly serving our customers and helping build trust really shone through to the judging panel this year.”