Synergy is a claims management workflow provider which forms part of the Claims Consortium Group. InsTech London’s Tara Allsopp was joined by Synergy's Director of Technology Tom Burroughs to discuss innovation in claims assessment and management within the insurance industry.
What is the history of Claims Consortium and Synergy?
Claims Consortium has been around for almost 27 years. Throughout that time we have grown as a claims handling platform supplier in the property claims industry. Supporting claims assessment through to claims management from small and simple claims up to complicated commercial property damage, theft and total restoration. Claims Consortium built its own claims handling platform, Synergy, to run its claims service business from. It has always been an aspiration to take Synergy into the market as a standalone offering. The combination of lockdown and collaboration with the AA allowed us to accelerate that aspiration hence Synergy is now a standalone business within the group.
Why has Claims Consortium partnered with the AA?
We were looking to accelerate our digital strategy and needed a partner to help us set direction. At the same time, the AA was in the process of looking for an outsourced model for their household claims service.
Tom, what led you to the insurance industry after working in the business travel sector?
I worked in the business travel sector for around 13 years across a variety of different companies including Capita. I wanted to move back into a smaller business environment where I could influence the agenda and be more impactful. When I talked with Jeremy, the Founder and CEO of Claims Consortium, I found an opportunity to achieve all of this in a company with a business ethos aligning with my own.
What problems is Synergy trying to solve?
Since the company was founded, Claims Consortium identified a lack of collaboration and communication across claims assessment and management within the industry. This was particularly evident in property as there are so many different siloed parties involved in getting a claim to completion. It can be hard for the customer at the centre to collaborate with different people effectively and the customer can end up project managing the claim themselves. We built a claims handling platform focused on enhancing the customer’s digital journey from claim registration all the way through to settlements and approvals.
What differentiates Synergy from other claims management technologies?
We offer a complete insurance claim lifecycle for insurers from receiving the claim to settlement. Additionally, insurers pick the individual modules they need from Synergy, with payment via a subscription model. This is delivered quickly as it is cloud-based, requiring minimal set up.
What are Claims Consortium's innovation focus areas for 2022?
Automation is a key area for us. Claims Consortium has existing claims handling systems and we are looking at what additional datasets, sources and intelligence we can build into to automate that flow. For example, Claims Consortium recently acquired WeatherNet and we are looking at how to incorporate weather data to automate storm claims and accelerate claims handling, especially during surge events. We are always focused on the customer’s digital experience. One example is how we are looking at integrating video calling to speed up the process.
Jeremy Hyams, CEO at Claims Consortium, discusses Weathernet and how it fits into Synergy in more detail on the InsTech podcast episode 166.
What technologies do you find most interesting in the remote claims space?
It is going to be interesting to see how much of the claims process starts to transfer over to digital and remote. The extent to which insurers will return to the traditional approach of visiting a site to assess claims remains to be seen.
As Jeremy mentioned in the podcast last year, there were up to 50% more claims being settled remotely over lockdown, but this seems to be reducing to around only 10% more now. People still seem to like having someone come round to assess the claim, so the case for remote claims assessment isn’t yet fully proven. As a result, I think the way in which the insurance industry uses video calls is going to change significantly in the next year or so. Claims Consortium is on a mission to make that change, we think there is space in the market for simpler solutions that are lower cost and easier to get up and running.
In the motor industry there are established systems that can ingest photos of a damaged car. The use of this technology is still relatively nascent when it comes to property claims. I am keen to get the practicalities of how these technologies can add value at a granular level to the property industry.
With insurance processes being forced to operate remotely during lockdown, do you think that insurers are becoming more comfortable with remote solutions like those offered by Claims Consortium?
There are claims cases where a remote evaluation solution is the right answer, but it will not be all the time. The focus should be on having the right tool for the job at the time and having a claims handling platform that will help you make the best decision. I think remote assessment is here to stay because there is an underlying cost and efficiency gain as well as reducing the environmental impact of the claim.
Why has Claims Consortium joined InsTech?
InsTech helps us find partners and opportunities to learn about what is happening in the industry generally. We want to immerse ourselves in the insurtech space and create an identity for ourselves that people in the market will know.
What types of companies are you looking to connect with?
We are interested in those who are aligned to our goals of enhancing the customer journey through a digital and straightforward process. Claims Consortium is also looking for new sources of data to increasingly automate the claims process.
For more information on Synergy Cloud, go to synergy-cloud.io