In a post-pandemic hard market, where economic uncertainty mounts and severe weather losses continue to soar, the value of fast, efficient claims service has never been more important.
“The frequency and ferocity of severe weather events will continue to increase and a hard property market is adding pressure on capacity,” says David Repinski, CEO of the CRU GROUP, a leading claims adjusting firm trusted by the Canadian property casualty industry for the past 20 years.
“With increased weather losses come a spike in premiums at a time of economic volatility – putting more emphasis on policyholder service than ever before,” Repinski adds.
Last year, Canada experienced two of the most costly CATs in insurance history – Hurricane Fiona in Atlantic Canada and the devastating derecho in Ontario and Quebec. Concern is also rising over the impact of other specific perils, including earthquake and wildfire, Repinski adds.
“Canada is susceptible to quake on both coasts and the impact on both insurers and insureds could prove financially devastating,” says Repinski. “Lessons learned from large wildfire events like Ft. McMurray in 2016 remind us how different these types of events can be. We also have to consider the combination of total losses and non-structural losses from smoke and soot.”
In addition, regulatory pressure and policyholder influence (often expressed through social media), continue to increase expectations around timeliness of claims service, Repinski adds – not just in times of big CAT events, but when it comes to servicing daily claims as well.
That is why CRU has evolved from the CAT-focused business originally founded by Gary Winston and his son Kyle in 2004, to offer a diverse range of loss adjusting services and support – from CATs to daily claims to high-end specialty claims across North America – while maintaining unmatched agility and responsiveness.
For the past two decades, CRU’s experienced, empathetic claims adjusters have been helping Canadian insurers deliver on their promise to be there for Canadians in times they need it most. Today, CRU also has a team of dedicated adjusters to help serve the industry’s traditional daily property casualty field claims (including trucking).
“Our parallel structure of a dedicated CAT team and dedicated daily team across Canada enables us to service both CAT and daily claims simultaneously, without skipping a beat,” Repinski says.
Throughout the years, the Winstons’ mission to exceed client expectations have remained behind CRU’s longstanding success.
But excellent service doesn’t end with a claim payout.
“Our dedicated CAT leadership and staff continue our off-season CAT planning and client reviews to ensure capacity and alignment,” Repinski adds.
CRU also offers expert Loss Control Services to help brokers and underwriters manage their clients’ risk and insurability. In addition, CRU – a member of the Context International Network which has member loss adjusting firms in 45 countries – launched its AIA training division to develop new adjusters to support its fast-growing business.
“Every claim we handle – from the big events to the daily mishaps – involves something unplanned and unfortunate happening to people’s homes, businesses, cars, trucks, cargo… This requires us to respond quickly, professionally and with empathy,” Repinski says. “We are the ‘second responders’, who come in after an incident or event to help restore people’s lives, so they can get back to normal as quick as possible.”
Delivering this superior service means putting the right number of the right adjusters on the claims CRU receives, Repinski says. “For CAT, we need to ensure we have the correct number of qualified adjusters both in the field and at the desk.”
Sometimes, this means leveraging the company’s scale to bring in adjusters from its U.S. based locations to ensure the process is sufficiently fast, fair and accurate.
“Ultimately, our aim is to help Canadian insurers be there for their policyholders in times they need it most – not just when big CATs happen, but every day.”