Crawford leader lifts lid on “getting the balance right” in claims

Insurance Business Australia Awards will celebrate best claims line-up

Crawford leader lifts lid on “getting the balance right” in claims


By Daniel Wood

“The challenge is getting the balance right between leveraging technology to improve customer service while still maintaining the human touch,” said John Moon (pictured above).

Moon is one of Crawford & Company Australia’s most experienced insurance professionals with more than 40 years in the industry. He’s the claims management firm’s national technical head of global technical services and a national executive adjuster.

What’s the biggest claims challenge right now?

Insurance Business asked Moon about insurers and their claims processes. What’s the biggest challenge right now?

“I think one of the biggest challenges is rolling out useful technology enhancements quickly enough,” he said. “It’s one thing to have the tech capability, it’s another to get the humans within your organisation using it effectively and it’s another to get the tech embedded in the operational process.”

Moon said it’s a given that the use of tech can speed up the claims process. He said this is particularly important in the current era of frequently occurring major natural catastrophes like floods and fires.

“The severity and scale of weather events is a massive challenge in itself,” said Moon. “Weather events are unpredictable but when a catastrophic weather event unfolds, it’s all hands on deck and you’ve got all these policyholders that need attention at the same time.”

Claims and the human factor

The loss adjusting veteran said there are good mechanisms in place to prioritise urgent cases but there’s always the human factor to take into account.

“The reality is that when we are dealing with a loss, we have human emotion at play, it can be distressing, it can be an anxious time for insureds and everybody wants their case dealt with yesterday,” said Moon.

Empathy is “central to the claims process”

As a result, the ability of claims teams to show genuine empathy, he said, is very important.

“Empathy is totally central to the claims process and best practice claims management and no piece of tech can offer that,” said Moon.

This means loss adjusters and claims teams have a balancing act to perform between using tech and deploying their humanity.

“As loss adjusters, we are interacting with people on some of their worst days,” he said. “I am very fond of saying that, through the claims process, good adjusters will treat people how they would want to be treated.”

Conversations in the corridor

Moon joined Crawford in 1994. In a recent interview, he recalled his early years in the industry.

“When I was starting out, I distinctly recall learning so much from those around me who had far greater experience than me,” he said.

Moon said these “conversations in the corridor” were very valuable for learning about current claims handling challenges. He wants to provide the same learning opportunity for the current generation.

“I love what I do and, now at this point in my career, with all the knowledge I’ve built up over the many years, it is incredibly rewarding to support the younger talent progressing through the business,” he said.

Compared to when he started, technology and also new regulations have transformed the industry in some ways. However, Moon says his profession is fundamentally unchanged.

“Actually, the fundamentals of loss adjusting remain the same,” he said. “Your advice must be sound, backed up by reasoning, you must explain that reasoning in plain English and you must do all that within a reasonable timeframe.”

Insurance Business Awards 2024 are two weeks away

The Insurance Business Awards in Sydney will provide an opportunity to network with experienced industry colleagues. The awards are taking place on May 3 at The Fullerton Hotel in Sydney.

The black-tie gala dinner includes an awards ceremony and live entertainment and will recognise the hard work of insurance professionals across a total of 21 prestigious categories.

This year’s event includes new awards: Excellence in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Philanthropy & Community Service – CSR; Woman of Distinction; and, CEO of the Year.

Photos anyone?

Crawford is sponsoring the photobooth on the night and encourages old and young insurance professionals to take a few fun snaps to commemorate their evening of celebration.


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