Insurance Times editor Katie Scott explains why this year, celebrating claims excellence is all the more pertinent 

Last week, sister publication Insurance Times hosted its annual Claims Excellence Awards. The industry adage that claims acts as the shop window for the insurance market has never been more true or more prominently discussed as during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have been highs, as organisations have creatively sought out digital means of completing loss assessing and adjusting, as well as conducting repairs while being mindful of social distancing.

And as for the lows: we are all pretty well versed now on the tumultuous business interruption insurance claims debate, which saw the industry placed front and centre at the Supreme Court.

The innovation and sheer hard work within the claims sector to not only respond to the pandemic operationally, but also sensitively for customers experiencing financial or health difficulties was most definitely worthy of recognition at this year’s award event.

We even had a new award on our roster for this purpose: Claims Team of the Year – Covid Response. Here, London market insurer Beazley achieved highly commended, while claims service provider Gallagher Bassett took the win.

And let’s not forget our 2021 Claims Champion, Claims Consortium Group’s director Claire Lashbrook. She assumed the presidency of the Exeter Chartered Insurance Institute during the pandemic, so she swiftly reacted by transferring the body’s events programme to be held digitally, as well as hosting one of the first online AGMs.

She also delivered a virtual programme for the JCT’s Young Professionals Group, providing practical tips and support for those who might be struggling in lockdown.

The claims shop window may not have consistently been at Selfridge’s standards over the course of the last year, however there is no doubt that the sector should be immensely proud of its achievements. A warm congratulations to all of our finalists and winners.