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Claims Newsletter Thursday 2nd January 2023

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Claims News

A claimant who fell off a coffee table and tried to blame her injuries on a pothole has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community. Diane Evans was sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on 5 January 2023 following a private prosecution by Keoghs and AXA UK, after the initial civil claim was struck out due to a successful defence by AXA UK and Keoghs Fraud. Mark Stanger of the Keoghs Advocacy team conducted the private prosecution. (Mark Stranger, 17/1/2023, Keogh's, 'Claimant in a ‘hole’ lot of trouble as fabricated fall leads to 12 month suspended prison sentence')

Sedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, has introduced an expanded loss adjusting offering for the German market. Known in the German market for handling major and complex loss, the programme encompasses claims for all levels and types of Property and Liability damage, as well as specialty areas. (Sedgwick, 20/1/2023, Sedgwick, 'Sedgwick expands loss adjusting service in Germany')

The number of injury claims across all categories is falling sharply amid a continuing downwards trend, according to the latest data from the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU). The latest quarterly data from the CRU, obtained following a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), shows that Motor injury claims have reduced 44% since 2018, with the 84,247 claims submitted during the latest quarter (October to December 2022) the lowest figure on record. (Mark Dugdale, 30/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Injury claims continuing to fall, finds ACSO')

Zurich UK has launched what it claims is an industry-first bespoke concierge service for its personal lines customers. Following a five-month pilot, the insurer has recruited an 18-strong team from the Retail and Hospitality sectors to support claimants. Customers who choose Zurich suppliers or select its ‘vendor journey’ option will be allocated a single concierge contact at the point of claim to help smooth the process of repair or replacement of damaged property.(Mark Dugdale, 24/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Zurich launches concierge service for claimants')

Motor Repair Network has opened two new state-of the-art repair centres, delivering guaranteed capacity for its insurance customers. The centres, opened through sister-company Activate Accident Repair, represent an investment of more than £2 million in purpose-built vehicle repair facilities. Based in Mildenhall in the Southeast and Sunderland in the Northeast, the sites are equipped with the latest technology, including the ability to repair ADAS, plastic and aluminium on all types of vehicles, including EV and hybrid. (Mark Dugdale, 23/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Motor Repair Network boosts repair capacity for insurance customers')

The Court of Appeal has handed down its highly anticipated judgement in the whiplash mixed injury test cases, finding that the pain, suffering and loss of amenity aspect of compensation in non-tariff disputes must be assessed on common law principles. The Association Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) welcomed aspects of the decision, after intervening with the Motor Accidents Solicitors Society (MASS). The two expedited conjoined mixed injury appeals from Birkenhead County Court were heard last month. (Mark Dugdale, 20/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Court of Appeal issues ruling in mixed injury test cases')

Minster Law has struck an exclusive five-year partnership with the AA to provide Personal Injury and Motor Legal claims services to its customers. The new partnership, which commenced on 4 January, will see the Yorkshire-based specialist law firm provide legal support to around one million AA motor insurance policyholders and six million roadside members. (Mark Dugdale, 13/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Minster Law agrees five-year motor legal services partnership with the AA')

Specialist broker ECH Facilities and Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation (SAGIC) have launched a new Home insurance policy designed to tackle ‘premium poverty’. The policy, called Core Home, which was developed by ECH Facilities and is underwritten by SAGIC, provides £30,000 of contents and £10,000 alternative accommodation cover for just £4 per month.(Mark Dugdale, 17/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'ECH Facilities spearheads launch of new home contents cover')

Insurance broker Thomas Carroll has launched a new insurtech company to develop innovative technology solutions that will provide an improved purchasing experience for customers. TCi Futures will work independently to develop bespoke insurance technology for clients from various sectors, as well as some direct-to-consumer products. Among its core products at launch is an embedded insurance solution. This provides retailers with a way to offer their customers a more personalised experience when protecting their online purchases. (Mark Dugdale, 12/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Thomas Carroll launches TCi Futures')

The value of fraud that Allianz Commercial detected in 2022 increased 11.2% over the previous year to £70.7m. Allianz put its “fraud-busting success” in 2022 down to “excellent collaboration” across its own teams, suppliers and the wider insurance industry. Property and casualty (P&C) saw the greatest increase in fraud savings over the prior year. (Mark Dugdale, 11/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Allianz Commercial detects fraudulent activity worth £70.7m')

CNA Hardy has expanded its specialist technology product suite. The specialist commercial insurance provider said the new Technology Package+, which launched on 1 January, is an updated, comprehensive suite of coverages, including advanced Cyber cover tailored to the needs of technology businesses. It builds on CNA Hardy’s existing Technology Package product and has a more enhanced Cyber offering compared to what currently exists in the UK general insurance market. (Mark Dugdale, 3/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'CNA Hardy launches enhanced cover for tech')

Claims across all business lines are set to increase in frequency and severity over the next 12 months due to the coalescing forces of a number of macro factors, including but not restricted to recessionary pressures, and growing geopolitical instability. This is the view of law firm, Browne Jacobson, whose grim predictions of the key trends in insurance claims for the market forecast a number of noteworthy developments throughout the year. (CIR reporter, 27/1/2023, CIR, 'Commercial insurance claims frequency and severity anticipated to rise throughout 2023')

Insurance valuation specialist, Charterfields, says traditional approaches to updating declared values, including the use of the Consumer Price Index, are out of sync with how prices have changed for many assets. Its own analysis of commercial locations assessed over the last four years suggests that as many as 88% of them were underinsured – with 35% of those undervalued by at least 50%. During 2022, 82% of the commercial locations assessed were considered to be underinsured – with 33% of those undervalued by 50% or more.(Deborah Ritchie, 26/1/2023, CIR, 'Vast majority of commercial sites underinsured, Charterfields analysis suggests')

Food and beverages remain the most commonly stolen commodities, according to the British Standards Institution’s latest annual Supply Chain Risk Insights Report. Thefts from hijacking have fallen as a proportion of Cargo theft from 24.4% to 17.0%. These are now second to theft from facilities, which now account for more than a quarter of total thefts. The report shows that the proportion of automotive and fuel thefts is also rising, whereas the proportion of Electronics, Agriculture and Construction theft has fallen. (CIR reporter, 25/1/2023, CIR, 'Food and beverages most commonly stolen commodities')

Hiscox has partnered with Verisk Specialty Business Solutions to implement Sequel Claims. The new partnership will provide Hiscox London Market with an electronic claims file write-back enabled claims management solution. Richard Reggel, Chief Commercial Officer, Verisk Specialty Business Solutions, said: “We are proud to partner with Hiscox to deploy our flexible, scalable platform which will help consolidate its position as a market leader in the London and global insurance markets. Like all Verisk solutions, Sequel Claims simplifies the insurance process while offering powerful data-driven insights, making it an essential competitive tool for companies in the digital insurance age.” (CIR reporter, 24/1/2023, CIR, 'Hiscox and Verisk in Sequel partnership')

Cyber security and insurance provider, Coalition, is encouraging educational establishments to use a free online security scanning tool to check their internet security. According to the UK Government’sCyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, 41% of primary schools and 70% of secondary schools had suffered at least one cyber attack in 2021. Of the schools attacked, phishing was the most common form of incident, followed by impersonation attempts and viruses. The report noted that schools do not necessarily stand apart from the typical business in terms of the kinds of breaches and attacks they are reporting. (CIR reporter, 20/1/2023, CIR, 'Schools urged to check internet security')

An onslaught of well-documented risks are weighing on confidence amongst UK businesses, with economic concerns topping the list of boardroom woes, according to Aviva’s third annual Risk Insights Report. Confidence in the UK economy has plummeted amongst the 1,200 participants in the study – despite which, respondents were more optimistic about their own prospects this year than they were last, with 49% saying they were “confident” about their future. Some 63% of respondents said they are worried about the impact of the cost of living on their business, while 29% said the crisis will have a serious impact on their business.(Deborah Ritchie, 20/1/2023, CIR, 'Half of UK businesses ‘likely to be underinsured'')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Davies, the leading specialist professional services and technology business, serving insurance and highly regulated markets, has announced the acquisition of MVP Advisory Group, LLC (“MVP”), the consulting business specialising in advisory & transformation projects for the Property & Casualty and Life & Health insurance markets.(Davies, 30/1/2023, Davies, 'Davies strengthens its global consulting and technology capability through the acquisition of US based insurance specialist consulting business, MVP Advisory Group')


​Womble Bond Dickinson has appointed Robert Holme as Head of Claims in their London office. Rob has over 30 years experience in the Lloyd's of London insurance market. (Womble Bond Dickinson, 25/1/2023, LinkedIn)

Allianz Commercial has merged the claims operations area with the supply and experts team, promoting Eibhlin Swan to the newly created role of Head of Claims Customer Delivery. Eibhlin joined Allianz in 2012 as part of the management trainee graduate scheme and has held a number of leadership roles since. As branch manager in Maidstone, she led the delivery of the SME distribution and technical strategy. In 2021, she joined the claims management committee when she became Head of Supply and Experts, with a focus on digitalisation and sustainability. (Allianz, 18/1/2023, Allianz, 'Allianz Commercial promotes Eibhlin Swan to newly created role of head of claims customer delivery')

In further news...Allianz has appointed Laurence Townley to the role of Chief Actuary for its UK business. Townley joins Allianz after 10 years at Direct Line as Director of Financial Risk. Prior to that, he held various roles at Zurich Insurance UK, including Chief Actuary. He is a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has chaired the prudential regulation committee at the Association of British Insurers, overseeing matters such as Solvency II and regulatory framework reviews. (Mark Dugdale, 10/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Allianz appoints new chief actuary')

Global Risk Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of a diverse range of P&C claims adjusting, complex/large loss, and environmental risk management solutions, has strengthened its Complex Claims Solutions USA division with the addition of Richard J. Booker as Senior Executive General Adjuster. Over 38 years, Booker has risen through the commercial P&C ranks, gaining comprehensive and proficient commercial technical knowledge.(Global Risk Solutions, 10/1/2023, Global Risk Solutions, 'GRS Strengthens Its US Complex Claims Team With Veteran Executive General Adjuster Richard J. Booker')

QBE Europe has appointed Scott Jacobs as Head of Core Claims for European operations. Jacobs joined QBE in 2011 and most recently was a Service Excellence Manager in core claims. He takes over from Nathan Fuller, who was recently appointed as Chief Operations Officer for QBE International. (Mark Dugdale, 31/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'QBE Europe makes core claims appointment')

Specialist loss adjuster, QuestGates, has announced the appointment of Chris Edwards to the newly created role of Motor Development Director. Chris is a well-respected figure in the insurance and financial services sector. His most recent role was Chief Operations Officer and Business Development Manager for Digilog. Prior to that, he spent 17 years working for Connexus Group as Business Operations Manager, Head of Claims. (QuestGates, 18/1/2023, QuestGates, 'QuestGates appoints new Motor Development Director')

Loss adjuster Woodgate & Clark has restructured to fully integrate its Quadra acquisition. Managing Director Phil Scarrett is leading a new four-strong C-suite that includes Quadra’s Dave Greenwood, Director, and Simon Jones, Client Services Director, as well as Operations Director Graeme Fitzpatrick. The new structure will create “added impetus” for Quadrato scale up its expertise in niche and specialist Personal Lines, and align it with Woodgate & Clark’s 40-year experience in commercial claims adjusting and resolution. (Mark Dugdale, 27/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Woodgate & Clark restructures to fully integrate Quadra')

Fletchers Group, the Medical Negligence and Personal Injury firm, has appointed Zoe Holland as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Holland is recognised for her expertise and success in helping legal and financial businesses scale, grow and innovate. In 2021, she was appointed to the board of Frenkel Topping Group as it embarked on an aggressive acquisition drive. Previously, Holland established niche business Zebra LC in 2013, a specialist Personal Injury/Clinical Negligence audit, due diligence consulting firm dedicated to helping legal practices and stakeholders embrace the changing legal landscape.(Mark Dugdale, 25/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Fletchers Group appoints new chief commercial officer')

The board of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has extended the tenure of chair Jonathan Evans for a further three years. Evans has a background in insurance law, which led to a number of insurance board positions. He served two decades as an MP and MEP and was formerly a Corporate Affairs Minister with responsibility for the insurance industry.(Mark Dugdale, 10/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'Jonathan Evans to continue as BIBA chair')

FMG Repair Services has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of two dedicated Operations Directors. Paul Wrigglesworth has had an impressive 35-year bodyshop career history joining from National Accident Repair Group,to lead the bodyshop teams and develop operational and financial performance and best practice to secure repair capacity for the future. Carl Manton, former Head of Motor Claims at Co-op Insurance and Head of Operations at Solus ARC, has joined as Operations Director for change and support services, to lead strategic planning for the future.(Mark Dugdale, 5/1/2023, Claims Mag, 'FMG Repair Services strengthens leadership team')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from LinkedIn, Claims Mag, Global Risk Solutions, Allianz, Davies, Sedgwick, Keogh's and CIR.