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PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON

But the burgeoning insurtech space brings with it opportunities for incumbents to form new partnerships. Muress highlights Crawford’s foray into the ‘gig economy’ through its $36 million acquisition of a majority stake in WeGoLook, a business focused on making it easier for consumers to verify information so they can more easily make important decisions. “WeGoLook [is] an online and mobile platform that deploys thousands of people called ‘lookers’ from a nationwide network to inspect and verify information, helping clients make real-time decisions,” Muress explains. “We are

“The industry could choose an entrenched position, given that it faces something of an existential threat once vehicles learn to drive for themselves,” he says, “but where there is change, there is opportunity, and it is pleasing to see insurers put their best foot forward.” Muress believes it is incumbent upon the industry as a whole to embrace advances in technology. “Disruption is happening now, and even if you don’t belong to the millennial age group, you can still be part of the future. Either you want to be part of disruption or you might want to collaborate, but to not work with

“The forward-thinking insurance business should embrace skills like analytics, coding and applied mathematics because these are the types of backgrounds that will drive innovation and allow them to think beyond today’s methodologies” looking to bring the WeGoLook model to the UK, Australia and Canada in 2017. The model is very portable, in that the technology and business architecture readily lends itself to a ‘lift and shift’ model. It’s good to go. We are very ambitious about how quickly we can push this out into the international businesses, and we’re working on a very successful, established model coming out of the US. It is our belief that the demands of both insurers and customers can be met quickly and easily with applications such as this.”

Embracing change Muress says he’s been pleased to see organizations such as the Association of British Insurers taking a positive role in developing the framework for liability insurance, particularly around driverless cars, allowing change in the industry to occur.

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change is not an option.” Illustrating the point, he recalls events that kicked off at Crawford & Co. back in 2009. “We saw the need for more complex skill sets to meet the claims needs of the future, so we developed our complex claims offering, Crawford Global Technical Services,” he says. “It became increasingly clear that dualqualified adjusters were an essential piece of our solution. We needed engineers, forensic accountants, surveyors, cyber experts, all of whom would also be adjusters.” Muress says the days of fixed roles in underwriting, claims or distribution are long gone. “The forward-thinking insurance business should embrace skills like analytics, coding and applied mathematics,” he says, “because these are the types of backgrounds that will drive innovation and allow them to think beyond today’s methodologies.”

CRAWFORD & COMPANY BY THE NUMBERS

1941

Year Crawford & Co. was founded by Jim Crawford, an insurance claims manager

2002

Year Ian Muress joined Crawford & Co. as CEO for UK and Ireland

150

Number of countries where Crawford & Co. serves clients and handles claims

$1.2 billion

Crawford & Co.’s global revenue in 2015

1.6 million

Number of global claims handled by Crawford & Co. in 2015

www.ibamag.com

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17/02/2017 6:52:12 AM

Insurance Business America issue 5.02  

The magazine for America’s insurance broking and advice community.

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