Australia president on keeping processes moving

Australia president on keeping processes moving | Insurance Business

Australia president on keeping processes moving

The following piece is written by Tim Jarman (pictured), president, Crawford & Company Australia.

The re-introduction of restrictions across parts of Victoria, while clearly reflecting a setback in the recovery of the region, is a critical step in ongoing efforts to reduce any further spread of COVID-19 both within these areas and to other regions. At Crawford, we are monitoring these developments closely and all our employees remain vigilant to the continued threat posed by the coronavirus.

As a loss adjusting and claims management company, we are classed as an ‘essential service’ provider enabling us to travel in the performance of our duties even during lockdown periods. It also means that our offices in the Melbourne area remain open; however, all our employees are still encouraged to work remotely – and the majority are working remotely – if required to come to the office they are advised to avoid public transport, and when in the building to adhere to social-distancing requirements.

To ensure that we are able to provide loss-adjusting services during lockdown, we have continued to maintain numerous safety measures to ensure our employees are able to carry out their duties as essential service providers.

Where field visits are currently required, we are taking many steps to reduce potential exposure. These include risk assessment practices and first notification of loss protocols introduced as a result of the impact of COVID-19. For claims where onsite visits may be required, our adjusting teams now contact the policyholders by phone and email to ask coronavirus-related screening questions. This allows adjusters to evaluate risk levels and determine whether the policyholders can assist in the process through a self-service alternative.

Along with the pre-visit screening process, Crawford has trained its adjusters on preventative measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both employees and customers. Safety measures such as social distancing and frequent hand cleaning are required. We also provide face masks and gloves to all external facing adjusters.

We are also communicating to our clients the reasons for any actions we might take to reduce exposure. For example, if a decision is made not to attend a claims site, we advise the client immediately and inform them of the reasons for our decision. I would add that, in such instances, clients have been fully supportive of our reasons for not attending onsite if it is not deemed safe to do so.

Where necessary, we are currently handling claims remotely. Our teams across Australia have access to a range of new capabilities and processes they can use to facilitate remote processing. These capabilities have come into their own in the COVID-19 environment and are a central component of our ability to continue to operate effectively given current restrictions.

Our YouGoLook® self-service app is one of the most effective capabilities for non-complex claims. An assisted self-service application, it allows customers to report and document claims conditions via their smartphones. We are also capitalising on our AI capabilities and robotic automation process to support more effective claims triaging and automated claims resolution, while onsite technologies, such as our 3D virtual walk-through capabilities and live-stream facilities, are also proving extremely valuable.

Video collaboration systems are also vital as our adjusters can work directly with policyholders during lockdown in real time. These channels also help us put customers in contact with our managed repair service, Contractor Connection, so they can start to plan for any necessary repair, restoration or decontamination work when it is possible to carry it out.

 

At the company-wide level, our business preparedness plans continue to hold firm in the face of the pandemic. Our processes and procedures were well-tested in advance of this event, and while we have never before had to roll them out on such a scale, our operational activities, including claims handling functions, claims decision processes and payment facilities, have not been disrupted at any point since implementation and we continue to operate effectively following the reintroduction of restrictions across parts of Victoria.

These ongoing restrictions continue to put customers under considerable pressure. At Crawford, our aim is to ensure we are always there to help restore and enhance lives, business and communities, and, despite the challenges of these localised lockdowns, we remain 100% committed to that.