During a recent meeting, we got into a discussion about how long specialist building repair networks have been in the mainstream of claims handling. We couldn’t quite agree exactly when they came to prominence but the general consensus of opinion was mid to late 1990s. Which, if true, means that they have been part of the claims handling process for around 20 plus years.
This caused us to then reflect upon just how successful they have been. Clearly, the reliance upon them by most claims departments indicates that they have become a genuinely valuable part of the claims handling process and perhaps the size and breadth of those supplying them, equally standing testament. But do they really deliver to their maximum advantage?
We see the measurements for this in some key parts.
Firstly, do they make the claims handling process better? I think it is fair to say that as they have evolved and as they have embraced available technologies, the speed of response by them and the accuracy of scoping and ability to pay monies has quickened, then yes it would seem they have added a good dimension to claims handling.
Do they provide a financial advantage to the industry? Again, by taking the old fashioned, get two estimates and send them in for us to agree, with all its inaccuracies in costing, scope and opportunities for betterment, then having something entirely empirical in its approach to scope and estimate must mean that financial claims leakage is minimised. 20 years of independent client audits and refining processes have served well to ensure that claims are now paid to a much-improved level of accuracy.
Do the services provide a better customer experience? Ultimately, it is here that the real acid test is taken. The insurance industry seems to have finally embraced the concept of building its service on a model of customer-first. This has been an aggregation of changes, driven by many factors. The role of external regulation and oversight; Ombudsmen, FCA and the like. The advent of consumer lobbies. The changing nature of customers, the so-called millennials, Generation X/Y/Z and now Generation C, digital savvy, demanding of good service and quick to complain, with ever-decreasing boredom thresholds. And the advent of social media, giving this new consumer the perfect platform to broadcast their dissatisfaction if things are not exactly as they want them. This is where we feel repair networks have grown into one thing and perhaps now begin to think about evolving into something else.
We feel it is fair to say that the levels of service actually delivered by them, compared to those advertised, do not always meet. The general infrastructure of building companies has always relied upon the use of contractors and sub-contractors with a variety of specialisms. This is fine if they all operate to a common level, but let’s be honest – they do not. As much as repair network systems have attempted to manage them centrally, there are still too many complaints, exposing the insurance providers and their brand reputations to risk of complaint.
We would never look to decry the efforts of others and each repair network provider is founded upon their own principles, but at Quadra, we are clear about what we feel is right for our clients. It is not about having a “volume” operation. As a specialist loss adjuster, we feel it is vital that we deliver our repair network, Quadrassist, in a manner that meets the needs of our clients. It has therefore been carefully grown and nurtured with strict rigour and entirely based upon the expertise of those delivering on the front line to customers. Ultimately to us, it is about building something of a scale that can meet the demands of our clients nationally, but in a way that is of a size that we can directly control the quality of contractors and their technical capability to carry out all repairs, general and as a specialist, given that we work a lot on heritage properties.
If you would like to learn more about our approach then click here to see what Quadrassist delivers or get in touch and we would be delighted to show you first-hand.