Our services for insurers

An early and accurate assessment of the potential quantum of claims can help you decide whether to settle or defend. Armstrong Watson’s forensic accounting team has extensive experience in assisting insurance companies and their solicitors at all stages - from the early strategic assessment of the claim, consideration of the claimant’s financial evidence and giving informal advice, the provision of a robust expert witness report through to giving evidence to the Court.

Whether the claim arises from personal injury / fatal accident, clinical or professional negligence, or business interruption, our assistance will usually proceed as follows:

  1. We will review the papers and provide basic advice and guidance. We can help you to focus on the main issues that have an impact upon the value of the claim and assist you with what information and documentation to request to better understand and evaluate quantum.
  2. Once a little more is known about a claim, the next step is to agree with you a recommended action plan, so you know what we are doing and why. We will discuss and agree with you the best timing for our involvement. Where possible, the plan will be costed - so you know what fees to expect.
  3. Having worked through the agreed action plan we will report our findings to you. How we report will be agreed with you in advance. Whether you need a formal expert report or a file note to assist you in settling the claim, we have no pre-conceived format or product. All our work is tailored to the specific matter and your requirements. This way we can ensure that our work, and our fee, is proportionate to the case.

Armstrong Watson is committed to helping insurers fully understand and evaluate the claims they are facing, ensuring that these are dealt with efficiently and properly. We can add our vast experience of dealing with claims of all different types to help you decide the best strategy for resolution. Sometimes it’s about achieving a speedy settlement. Other times, it’s about persistently ensuring that the appropriate corroborative evidence is provided to enable you to properly consider the claim.

Our insurance services are headed up by Matthew Geale, who has over 25 years’ experience of dealing with these matters.

If you would like to find out more about how we are able to assist you, please get in touch.

Contact our Forensic accounting team on 0808 144 5575 to discuss how we can help you.

Case Studies

Here are some examples of how we have worked with insurers and their solicitors to assess the reasonableness of the claims presented to them.

   Claim for excessive losses

We were instructed in a matter that concerned a dentist who was injured in a road traffic accident. A claim was presented by his accountants amounting to millions of pounds on the basis that he had been forced to curtail a developing specialism in implant surgery. The Claimant was unable to verify his increasing fee income from this specialist field as he hadn’t separately kept this information before the accident, and so this assertion was based solely on his witness evidence. We used our document scanning and conversion software to analyse his income records and trace high value items back to medical records to build up an earnings profile. This showed that implant work was ad hoc at best and there was no evidence to show this was increasing prior to the accident. Our work resulted directly in this matter settling at significantly less than the amount claimed.

   A fictitious claim

We were instructed very early by insurers to help them consider a claim brought by a quantity surveyor, who had injured himself whilst training at his gym. He claimed that, but for his accident, he was about to be awarded a lucrative new contract in addition to the one he was already performing, and a claim was presented by his accountants in excess of £1m. Working with the insurer and the solicitors, we showed that the potential new contract was fictitious, the Claimant was actually at the gym when he claimed to have been working and his existing contract with a large construction company was due to be terminated shortly after the accident in any event. The Claimant ultimately dropped the case and the Court subsequently ordered a repayment of interim payments made by the insurer.

   Only half the story?

We were asked to consider a claim that a shop fitting company had suffered a diminution in income following an accident sustained by the sales director. The claim involved the projection of increasing future sales revenue based on the pre accident trend in turnover. As part of our work, we performed a detailed analysis of the contract income shown in the accounts. We established that the pre accident growth in sales was as a result of one particular contract, which had finished shortly before the accident. This contract however, the largest ever undertaken by the company, had resulted in it significantly over-extending its resources. This led to complaints regarding the quality of work and resulted in credit notes being issued post accident - which ultimately meant that no real overall profit was achieved from it. As the main driver of the projected claim had been the premise of increasing turnover, we showed that when the credit notes were taken into consideration, the pattern of trading before the accident was entirely consistent with that post accident and it was difficult to discern a loss, other than some additional wage costs immediately following the accident. The claim settled shortly after the joint statement had been prepared.

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