The following article is supplied by Matthew Harrington (pictured top left) and Chris Murray (pictured top right), partners at Clyde & Co.
The insurance industry is changing as never before. Digitalisation, big data, the potential of artificial intelligence, fierce competition, pent-up pressure to achieve growth and new regulations are all increasing the need for insurers to adapt at speed while extracting every iota of value from the premiums they earn.
In the casualty market, that pressure translates into a laser-like focus on managing claims and any resulting disputes as effectively as possible, particularly with social claims inflation driving up costs. The challenge for service providers is not simply to help insurers achieve these aims, but to partner with them as they navigate this dynamic part of the market.
For Clyde & Co and BLM, two leading law firms in the insurance space, our response to insurers’ changing needs was an obvious one. By combining our casualty businesses, we have created a new foundation for casualty claims built on scale, expertise and a new vision for technology. With scale, comes the largest data set in casualty and the ability to invest in technology that fully unlocks its potential. Coupled with this, our newly merged casualty practice now covers the whole of the UK and Ireland, while benefitting from Clyde & Co’s unparalleled international presence.
In 2021, it became apparent that Clyde & Co and BLM shared more than a desire to grow in casualty. We were both focused on using new technology to radically re-engineer the claims management process; we had both grasped the potential for large-scale data analysis; were both committed to developing these areas while maintaining and enhancing the reputation for quality we had built with clients. Merging our businesses was like fitting together two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We complement each other, create synergies and, importantly, are intent on building scale.
Today, our newly merged business has the largest team in the UK casualty market. Combined, we offer wider and more potent coverage across the UK and Ireland and across all lines of business that clients require. But today, scale is also about data. We now possess the largest data set in the casualty space – and larger data sets mean both better performing algorithms, more complete answers and better management information. Large data sets will also increase our ability to detect claims fraud and help clients predict it. With so many data points, we can see the complex patterns of fraudulent activity and pinpoint hotspots and behaviours that raise warning flags. Our ability to identify trends and scan the data horizon will increase exponentially.
The other major benefit of such a large data set is that it allows AI and machine learning to function more effectively. We’ve been developing AI-powered tools that will automate much of the claims process, increasing both speed and efficiency. The delivery mechanism for much of this new offering will be the innovation platform launched by Clyde & Co last year, called Clyde & Co Newton. The platform will host an increasing number of digital tools and services and provide a seamless interface with the Ministry of Justice claims portal. Clyde & Co Newton helps digitalise key processes, gives easy access to our team’s considerable expertise, and provides a launch pad for future innovation. As we develop new tools for the casualty market, they will be made available to our clients through the platform, providing a fast and efficient way of enhancing our service on an ongoing basis.
Our extensive use of AI has the added benefit of freeing our partners and experts to focus on those areas in which they can add the most value – reducing our clients’ indemnity spend. But technology is just one part of our offering. Together we will build on our reputation for strong client relationships and maintaining and enhancing this will be at the centre of this combined firm. In addition, our ability to horizon scan gives clients early warning of legal and societal changes and emerging risks that could impact their business models.
A technology ‘platform’ combined with a physical, all-business-line ‘platform’ created by our combined practice, provides opportunities for investment in ideas and services. This is how we will achieve our vision to use technology and market-leading expertise to deliver the lowest overall indemnity spend to our casualty clients. By harnessing our combined organisation’s capital – both intellectual and financial – we have the capability and strength to achieve this vision.
Casualty insurance is changing. Clyde & Co’s casualty practice is changing. Together, we can unlock new possibilities.