Crawford to break mould for legal services

New UK division integrates legal component into claims offering

Crawford UK is to launch an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) to seamlessly integrate legal support services into the firm’s claims offering. The first global TPA provider to expand its capabilities to include legal support, the development is a significant step in Crawford’s ongoing efforts to broaden its service scope.

Commenting on the new offering, Jason Spencer said: “The claims world is changing. The claims supply chain has traditionally being viewed as a series of individual and disjointed parts, including stages such as risk management, intervention, triage, claims processing and legal support – an approach which does not deliver maximum value to the client. Increasingly, however, these parts
are being integrated into a single model and through the ABS we are facilitating that process.”

The move is a direct response to market demand for a more comprehensive service offering. “I have spoken to a number of brokers, insurers and corporate clients over the years,” says Spencer, “who have been calling for their TPA provider to be able to offer a more expansive claims solution which encompasses legal support at the appropriate stage.

Clients often want either automated, instant claims outputs or at the other end of the spectrum highly technical decision making – they want to create a much leaner claims process. Through
the ABS we aim to design processes to avoid unnecessary legal costs and litigation, as well as providing the full range of legal support services for complex claims.”

As well as enabling Crawford to initially provide an end-to end solution for motor, casualty and property claims, it will also support those clients wishing to benefit from the ABS model itself.
“We will also be seeking opportunities to work with those organisations which are keen to set up or strengthen their own in-house legal teams. We can provide the support and expertise to help
them along this process,” says Spencer.
From a commercial perspective, he also sees the opportunity to help clients avoid the often significant legal costs that can be incurred under the hourly rate-based fee model. “Through the ABS, we
want to offer clients a more appropriate and flexible fee structure which factors in the specific nature of the wider relationship and helps deliver value.”

June 2016