The International Programs Group (IPG) has been operating as an independent third-party administrator since 2008. Under Managing Director Patrick Scott’s leadership, the organization has grown from a handful of dedicated individuals to some 90 employees working out of three national offices.
IPG’s knowledge, experience and infrastructure were designed and developed to provide claims services for the Lloyd’s market and domestic insurers which makes it a logical choice for SWG. According to Scott, “IPG is SWG’s claims department.”
Senior Vice President Blue Schindler agrees, and goes on to describe IPG’s role and relationship with South Western Insurance Group Limited in more detail. “We are basically responsible for gathering, aggregating, and reviewing all of SWG’s claims information to get the statistics and numbers they need. But we not only collect relevant financial data and maintain those records for SWG, in the majority of cases we also have delegated authority from the carriers involved to handle claims on their behalf.”
As far as the claims handling process goes, Schindler says that IPG makes use of established system milestones to ensure brokers and clients receive the best service possible. “When we open a claim, we set certain expectations for our examiners to remind them exactly what they should be doing, and when they should be doing it. This helps to prevent things from slipping through the cracks, which can happen if you do not guard against it.”
The company is also pleased to be able to provide Emergency Claims Services in the form of 24-hour availability and emergency response. After-hours claims, Scott explains, are handled through IPG’s sister company, ClaimsPro. “Ours is a 24-hour, bilingual claims service. When a caller needs to speak with an adjuster right away, we can patch them through directly to one in their immediate area. If they need emergency attendance, we can send someone out to handle their claim personally. And because IPG gets notified of all after-hours activity first thing the following morning, we can take immediate action in terms of providing additional instructions for guiding the claims process.”
One of the great things about IPG’s emergency service, Schindler adds, is that it is not based out of a giant call centre where one size fits all. “Bespoke instructions are created and clients like SWG have the opportunity to provide specific direction for handling calls that come in after hours. The process is very customizable.”
All of which feeds into and helps support the wonderful relationship she says IPG has with South Western Insurance Group Limited’s brokers. “We make a point of engaging SWG’s brokers whenever we can. If we see something that is an underwriting concern, for example – even if it has nothing to do with the claim or the loss at hand – our examiners are instructed to bring it to the broker’s attention. We essentially consider ourselves an extension of SWG and a vital part of their team.”