Sedgwick has launched a third-party administration (TPA) marine hub based in Madrid, Spain, for marine market clients.
Carlos Mantecas Alonso, Director of Marine & Cargo, Sedgwick Iberia, said that the selection of Madrid as the hub was a response to several factors that included Brexit, proven advances in technology during the Covid crisis, and the needs of clients throughout Continental Europe.
Mantecas Alonso said that the UK no longer benefited from a number of rights which were established across the EU. The model Sedgwick used in regard to TPA in Europe has been centred around a UK-based hub which managed the accounts, with the claims handling conducted at a local level in the relevant countries, in local languages and in compliance with local legislation and regulations. However. the implementation of Brexit made it “the right time to launch a European hub for the marine business that follows a similar UK model, but benefitting for being within the EU”, said Mantecas Alonso.
This addresses the change in regulations regarding where information can be held on systems for cross-border accounts.
He said that because of Brexit the market had shifted; many UK financial services companies had now established operations in other EU territories. There were now various hotspots across Continental Europe where businesses had decided to relocate or set up a satellite hub. These included Amsterdam Brussels, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain.
Another key factor for the launch of the marine TPA hub was the new claims management approach that Sedgwick said it was now taking for this sector. “The traditional gap between TPA and loss adjusting has diminished. Higher retentions and the world becoming smaller mean that these traditional claims handling methods are growing closer to one another”, said Mantecas Alonso.
He said that Sedgwick had begun to re-engineer the work of traditional marine teams and to mirror the new needs of clients by learning lessons from the claims management process in other lines of business. “As a result, we are combining resources, technology and the expertise of our marine and TPA specialists, to offer clients a fully integrated, end-to-end service”, he said.
Essentially this meant that Sedgwick now handled the claims from first notice of loss; triaged the claims and provided a desktop assessment; and then appointed a qualified surveyor if appropriate, conduct a remote survey if feasible, or an on-site survey if required. “We then handle the claims settlement, any pursuit of third-party recoveries and then offer management information on the whole event”, Mantecas Alonso said, noting that these changes came from feedback Sedgwick had been receiving from clients in the marine sector, including those with larger more complex claims, asking for a broader more efficient solution, combining loss adjusting and TPA.
Finally, Mantecas Alonso said that the new hub would enable Sedgwick to expand its services to Latin America, thanks to a multilingual team and cultural proximity with Spain.
Sedgwick recently acquired Perigest, a Portugal-based loss adjusting and claims management company. The new hub in Spain will enable Sedgwick to expand further its offering to Portugal, Brazil, as well as countries in Africa which share strong cultural links with Portugal.