Claims Business: ATI Restoration, Sedgwick, Clara Analytics, AqualisBraemer

December 4, 2020
ATI Restoration Announces First Acquisition

ATI Restoration has acquired Mark 1 Restoration Services in Morristown, N.J., a regional restoration firm with three branch offices on the East Coast.

ATI, based in Anaheim, Calif., bills itself as “the nation’s largest family-owned and operated disaster recovery firm.” The company initiated an accelerated growth plan after receiving its first external capital infusion in August from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners.

“Mark 1’s reputation in the industry is one that we are proud to align ourselves with,” stated Jeff Moore, president of ATI. “They are a powerhouse in their regions, which will only strengthen ATI’s geographic footprint so that we can better serve our national accounts.”

Mark 1 will continue to operate under its name in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the management team will remain on staff in their current roles, ATI said.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ATI was established in 1989 by Gary Moore. The company operates out of 20 branch offices nationwide with about 1,200 employees.

Sedgwick Acquires Stericycle

Sedgwick has acquired Stericycle Expert Solutions, a global recall, remediation and retention solutions business that operates in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Sedgwick, a third-party administrator based in Memphis, Tenn., said Stericycle helps companies protect their consumers and brand reputations by managing a wide range of in-market business and product risks.

The transaction brings to Sedgwick expertise and specialization in end-to-end product recall, remediation and retention. Sedgwick said it has a long tradition of helping clients with product liability claims. The acquisition of Stericyle adds a comprehensive solution for managing global risk, recall and remediation, the company said in a press release.

As part of the transaction, Sedgwick gains more than 300 new employees in the US, Canada and Europe. Stericycle’s US headquarters is in Indianapolis, Ind.

Clara Analytics Expands to Commercial Auto

Clara Analytics has expanded its litigation-prediction product, originally designed for workers’ compensation, to the commercial auto line.

The new commercial auto product uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify claims at the risk of attorney involvement and litigation. This enables claims teams to focus their efforts on mitigating the factors that cause claims to escalate.

Clara, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said the new product addresses the substantial and growing loss ratios in the commercial auto space. According to a recent National Council of Insurance Commissioners report, carriers paid out $29 billion in losses for the line — $11.6 billion of which were directly attributable to legal costs. These excessive costs are the result of high legal involvement rates in commercial auto as compared to other property and casualty lines. Additional costs are being driven by social inflation stemming from nuclear verdicts and by bad faith suits filed by attorneys, Clara said.

Clara Litigation for Commercial Auto uses natural language processing and deep learning techniques to analyze hundreds of data points from structured claim data, unstructured adjuster notes, police reports, and other data sources to identify claims at the risk of attorney involvement or litigation that a claims examiner should focus on, the company said.

The litigation module determines risk of litigation and attorney involvement by actively monitoring several key indicators around the nature of the claim, claimant rapport using sentiment analysis, and a risk to a settlement based on claimant expectation.

“Avoiding litigation is a very impactful way to improve profitability across this line of business,” said Laurie Pierman, vice president of claim operations and shared services at Amerisure Insurance. “After working with CLARA for the past year and a half on the workers’ comp side, Amerisure is confident that Clara’s technology will help transform commercial auto as well.”

AqualisBraemer Buys LOC Group

AqualisBraemer has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of LOC Group, creating a global independent offshore energy and marine consulting firm with 880 employees in 85 offices in 39 countries.

“We have for a long time strengthened our offering within marine warranty, pre- and post-risk attendances and loss adjusting and our ability to service the insurance market,” stated David Wells, chief executive officer of AqualisBraemar, which is based in Oslo, Norway. “LOC Group, with its complementary footprint within the same industry, is a sound fit for this strategy.”

AqualisBraemar’s marine and loss adjusting teams specialize in the provision of marine warranty services and resolution of insurance claims and commercial disputes within the energy power, mining, and maritime industries.

LOC Group, founded in 1979 and headquartered in London, is an international marine and engineering consulting firm that operates under four brand names: LOC, Innosea, Longitude and JLA (John LeBourhis). The company LOC provides loss prevention and loss management services to the shipping, oil and gas, and renewables sectors.

“Our complementary geographical footprint reiterates how this acquisition will allow us to provide the insurance sector with even better local expertise and swifter response times regardless of where in the world they are,” Wells said.

AqualisBraemer said the two companies have complementary market positions. Within the energy insurance sector, AqualisBraemar provides marine warranty services to the rig moving and marine operations arena, while LOC is a leading player within project marine warranty to the oil and gas and renewables markets. In the marine insurance sector AqualisBraemar holds a strong position within hull and machinery surveys, while LOC Group is specializes in protection and indemnity.

Wells said key managers have decided to continue with the combined group. LOC Group’s Chief Executive Officer R. V. Ahilan, will continue in the joint company in a newly created role as chief energy transition officer, supporting the group’s ambition of 50% of revenues coming from renewables and other sustainability and carbon-reducing activities by 2025. He will also join the combined group’s executive management team.

AqualisBraemar said it has agreed to pay $20.2 million to purchase all of the shares in Neptune Midco 1 Limited from the ultimate parent company of the LOC Group, which is LOC Group Holdings Ltd. Shareholders include investment group Bridgepoint and key employees of LOC. Closing of the acquisition is expected on or around Dec. 21. The transaction is subject to approval of an equity issue by an extraordinary general meeting in AqualisBraemar, to be held Dec. 14.

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