December 12, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
WeGoLook LLC has “discussions ongoing” with several Canadian insurance carriers, the Oklahoma City-based firm’s chief executive officer told Canadian Underwriter Monday.
WeGoLook provides “an array” of insurance services for automobiles, accident scenes, damaged property, document retrieval, salvage and courier services, the firm reports. WeGoLook retains “lookers,” who are contractors that have temporary and discrete work assignments.
“We are a mobile technology company” with a “crowdsourcing” service, CEO and co-founder Robin Smith said in an interview, adding some of its lookers are based in Canada.
“Let’s say you’re a carrier who is paying a field assignment employee $60,000 to $70,000 a year, driving a fleet vehicle,” Smith explained. “We are able to come in and for a large percentage, especially on claims and underwriting, we are able to go in and dispatch our lookers on demand to capture this data on any asset. Think photos, video measurements – we can video traffic light sequences, we can request police reports, we can notarize documents, we can pickup salvaged items and deliver them to a shipper.”
Crawford & Company announced December 6 it has agreed to acquire 85% of the membership interests of WeGoLook. The US$36-million deal “is expected to close in early January 2017,” stated Atlanta-based Crawford, which provides claims adjusting services worldwide including Canada, in a release.
“We work with several carriers in the United States,” Smith said of WeGoLook. “We are not working for any specific insurance carriers in Canada but we will be changing that soon.”
Of Canadian insurers, “we have discussions ongoing with several now,” Smith added.
A company like WeGoLook “gives us the mobility and manpower to serve as your feet on the street, delivering real-time efficient customized solutions needed to make informed decisions,” stated Ken Fraser, Crawford & Company’s executive vice president, chief strategy and development officer, in the Dec. 6 press release.
Fraser leads Crawford Innovative Ventures LLC, which was “formed to invest in strategic acquisitions and partnerships that will support the Crawford strategic plan,” Crawford chief executive officer Harsha Agadi stated in a release. “WeGoLook is the first such strategic acquisition.”
Agadi was appointed CEO in June, 2016. He was initially appointed interim CEO in August, 2015 after Jeffrey Bowman stepped down “after nearly eight intense and challenging years.”
Agadi, who is also on Crawford’s board of directors, is a former chief executive officer of Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC and former CEO of Church’s Chicken.
WeGoLook lets a user place an order for inspection, verification, or custom task via website or phone.
Auto inspection services include vehicle identification number verification, odometer readings and verification of makes and models. Other services include photos of exteriors of properties and address verification.
“We are able to help carriers with these on demand assignments,” Smith said. “We are kind of augmenting and supplementing a labour force.”
The tasks provided by lookers could include “photography services, real property inspection services, personal property inspection services, information gathering services, accident scene diagram and measurement services, document retrieval services, courier services, and others,” WeGoLook states on its website.
Crawford provides claims services in property, catastrophe, liability and auto.
Subsidiaries include Broadspire Services Inc., a third-party administrator for employers and insurance companies that offers services, in the U.S., in workers’ compensation, liability claims management, medical management, care management and disability management services.
Crawford also owns Garden City Group LLc, which provides legal administration services “related to securities, anti-trust, employment, product liability, and other class action settlements, as well as mass tort and bankruptcy.”
Crawford had nearly 9,000 employees at the end of 2015.