Charles Taylor Adjusting eyes US growth opportunities

Company succeeding against strong competition

Charles Taylor Adjusting eyes US growth opportunities

Insurance News

By Bethan Moorcraft

International loss adjustment firm Charles Taylor Adjusting (CTA) has its sights set on growth in the US market. Its growth initiative started in January 2017 with the appointment of seasoned claims expert, Vince Cole, as chief executive officer of US operations. Under Cole’s leadership, CTA has enjoyed significant organic growth, doubling its revenues and earnings every quarter for the last nine quarters, and the firm has no intentions of slowing down.

“The US insurance market is the largest insurance market in the world by a long shot, so if you’re not punching above your weight in the US, you’re probably not a serious player,” said Cole. “CTA came to that realization just over a decade ago and started investing in the US operations. We really became strategic about our growth and our commitment to the market in 2017.”

It hasn’t been an easy journey for CTA in the US. The firm is relatively small in comparison to the global loss adjusting giants like Crawford & Company, Sedgwick and McLarens, all of whom have a strong and stable presence in the US market. When Cole took the reins in 2017, he had some tidying up to do. CTA had taken on some pretty significant financial losses in the years prior, making Cole’s first job a difficult one – to stem the bleeding.

After that, Cole’s objective was to work out what CTA did well in around the world and what could be applied to the US market in order to extend the CTA brand. The loss adjustment firm is known worldwide for its expertise in energy, marine, aviation, and highly technical property & casualty (P&C) risks. Demand from US clientele has revolved primarily around onshore energy, product recall, cyber, large commercial property, and complex casualty risks.

“The awareness of potential claims activity when people write these types of business – large power plants, turbines, renewable energy manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, and so on – is definitely growing,” Cole told Insurance Business. “There’s a greater amount of data and information management around those risks and the lifecycle of those risks, which means people are able to plan better for them. That planning includes claims management, which is where we come into play.”

Despite striving for growth, CTA is “not trying to be all things to all people,” Cole explained. The firm is not interested in a volume play – for example, taking on catastrophic property accounts – but rather remains focused on the more bespoke and complex claims.

Cole described the claims management environment as like a pyramid that can be divided into three sections. The bottom part of the pyramid is made up of low complexity claims that can be solved with business rules and artificial intelligence (AI). The middle section, which is worth about 70%, contains moderate complexity claims that can be solved with data and risk management services, which are enhanced with human expertise. The top 10-20% contain the large complex claims.

“That’s where we play – at the top of the pyramid,” said Cole. “The claims are so complex and unique every single time that this space isn’t really impacted too heavily by technology. It’s all about a person’s ability to say: ‘I know this risk. I’ve seen this before. Here’s how we can apply forensic accounting practices to solve this problem, and so on.’ To succeed in this space, and achieve the growth that we have done, we make sure to only hire the best of the best.”

So far, CTA’s growth in the US has been 100% organic, but the loss adjustment firm is now looking very closely at inorganic growth opportunities via mergers and acquisitions. Cole hinted that there might be some exciting announcements being made not too far down the road. He commented: “There’s just so much opportunity in the US adjusting business. We’ve got a full pipeline of inorganic growth opportunities that we’re evaluating and negotiating.”


Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!