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Nick Herford, Managing Director & CEO, Hello Claims
A panel beater by trade, Nick went on to work with AAMI Insurance before taking over the family insurance business. After noticing a gap in the market, Nick and his business partners developed Hello Claims, revolutionising the way motor vehicle claims are handled through digital claim.
What solutions does your business provide for the industry?
Hello Claims was founded about four years ago. I essentially saw a gap in the market, where there was a traditional assessing model by the incumbents who had been operating in Australia for an extended period. I believed that there was a huge opportunity to inject technology into the process. The traditional accident management/assessing process was very clunky. If a customer were to have an accident, they would fill out a claim form, send it to an insurer, the insurer would appoint an independent assessing company, they would take one or two weeks to complete the assessment, and then return it in a word document with hand-written adjustments on a PDF quote. The whole process would take two, three or four weeks. I wanted to enhance the timeliness and the customer involvement aspect, so I worked with my business partners in relation to designing a digital claim system to be very user-friendly. From this, we developed a platform that allowed us to deliver very competitive average repair costs, the very quick turn-around time for the assessment, repairs and reduced claim life.
Where will you be focusing your spending on in the next 24 months?
We’ll be focusing our spending on re-investing in the business. There’s always room for improvement and with the evolution of technology, there is always new technology coming into the market that we need to be in front of. So, I believe in the next twelve to twenty-four months we really need to be working heavily in the Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality space. And we’re also looking into expanding into other countries.
What are the key business challenges and risks facing the insurance industry in the short to medium term?
I believe that in the next twenty-four months, we’re going to see an uprising of the middle-sized and small-sized insurers, that are going to be competing with the Tier 1 insurers through our digital claim platform. We partner quite closely with a lot of Tier 2 insurers. We’re delivering them competitive repair costs and market-leading turnaround times to enable them to adjust their premiums accordingly to attack the Tier 1 insurers in that space. The more traditional Tier 1 insurers being so large, do take a lot of time to adjust their technology and processes.
How important is technology to insurers to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market?
It’s essential. As I mentioned earlier, technology is being made redundant weekly these days – there’s always a new piece of technology hitting the market, being from manufacture or piece of repair equipment. You also may think that a piece of technology is absolutely state-of-the-art and the best it could ever be, but until you’ve talked to the people who are using it every single day, you don’t really know how it’s going, that’s why we hold weekly meetings with all team members and get this constant feedback to evolve our technology, which in turn compliments our services business.
To hear more from Nick now, watch the video interview below.