The people behind Davies: Interview with Andy Dakin, Director, Strategic Accounts

5th January 2023

Can you tell us about your role and how you got to where you are today?


I joined the business in January 2021 as the Director of Strategic Accounts for Property. I was interested in Davies due to the breadth of the solutions available under one roof, and the continual investment in smart technology. In my hybrid role, I look after our property account management team, and have personnel management responsibilities, as I am the strategic lead of our key client relationships and contracts.

One of my main priorities is supporting the sales function of the business, in terms of driving new business and promoting organic growth with clients.

After a brief stint in the NHS following university, I’ve spent the last 13 years in the property claims market. During this time, I represented three businesses and specialised in the handling of low value non-complex property claims. Then in 2016, I helped launch a subsidiary business to the market, acting as strategic lead to promote growth and managed group wide responsibilities.

Outside of work, I was keen to give some of my time back to the industry. So, for the last five years, I have volunteered with my local Insurance Institute, and between 2020 and 2022, I was elected as President of the Insurance Institute of Bolton.


It sounds like you really enjoy working in property claims, but what makes it so great?


  • Technology – I think we are on the precipice of great advancements in technology for our industry. Businesses that adopt technology are already seeing great advantage in the market and will continue to do so. I also think that the way claims are dealt with today will be very different in 5 to 10 years’ time and I am keen to be part of that evolution.
  • The unpredictability – No two days are the same. As an industry, we are always affected by external factors. Right now, the economy is having a multitude of effects on the industry. Last year, we had back-to-back, well publicised storm events that had a massive impact on our clients’ businesses. I am however, consistently impressed with how the industry holds up during surge events.
  • The inner workings – What interests me the most about the industry is the work that is not apparent to the outside world. It’s really complex, and competitive, so unless you work in it, you would simply have no idea.
What have been the biggest challenges within the industry across the UK and Ireland within the last year?


It has been an incredibly challenging period over the last 12 months or so, with global events significantly impacting the industry. The Suez Canal blockage in 2021 resulted in specific material shortages for property and contents claims. Then, the subsequent follow-on effects, such as delays, and supply and demand issues all filtered into how we support our clients and customers.

To add to that, we are still in a state of global recovery from the pandemic, which challenged us individually, and impacted how our business operates. There was a massive shift in workers’ preferences on how to work and cost implications have occurred from that.

And equally, cost of living increases has made the cost of running a business rise alongside claims costs, and that is a very difficult equilibrium to manage. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also greatly affected commodity prices, as the war impeded the flow of goods internationally, creating dramatic cost increases, and product shortages which greatly impacted claims. Equally, energy and fuel prices have influenced the transportation of goods, and the number of people available to handle claims.


How would you say we have handled these challenges?


We benefit greatly from our size and scale when challenges arise, from a resource perspective, we can mobilise very quickly and effectively to support other areas of the business as and when we require it. In a market that is challenged by labour shortages, it is a real benefit to be a partner of or working within Davies because of the way we can mobilise resources.

The investment in technology is very apparent and assists in easing the number of challenges we are presented with. With our levels of automation, APIs, analytics, straight through processing and more, we can reduce a number of resource burdens that some businesses couldn’t do.

Our vast amount of data allows us to plan and predict very effectively, but also tailor solutions for clients and their customers. Ultimately, I was drawn to the business because of the truly end-to-end service within the property arena, including all the fund management pieces and policy validation, whilst remaining inclusive of a multitude of different solutions that can support different customers depending on their need.

Our data is beneficial for us in terms of assisting our insurer and MGA clients whilst they’re going through these challenging periods. With our technology and data, we can assure clients that their customers are being provided with a market lead service, against the backdrop of the difficulties that we as an industry face.


What do you see as the biggest long-term challenges for property claims in the next year, and how can insurers prepare?


  • Climate change – In claims, the severity of surges caused by the weather is something we need to monitor. We have recently seen one of the driest and warmest summers since records began, which impacts us enormously in the claims market, and increases costs exponentially, with increased subsidence claims and wide scale flooding once the rain does arrive. This challenge will remain prevalent and impact the availability of labour, as professionals will leave the industry in search of consistent workloads causing a real inter-dependency of challenges.

Insurers can prepare for this by creating a surge plan by using data smartly. We can now triage claims differently and create factual data and well-documented flexible collaborative triage routes. This can then be switched on and off depending on the pressures we see from weather-related events.

Also, through data technology, automate as much administrative work as possible to allow employees to support customers and focus on complex cases rather than mundane tasks.

  • Skills shortage – This shortage is challenging because we often rely on several traditional working methods, such as specialist trades in relation to the fulfilment of property claims.

We are doing this without a consistent input of new claims handlers, which is a supply and demand issue in the market and drives up the cost of labour, so apprenticeships are really important to attract people to our market.

As part of the voluntary work I do with my local insurance institute, I believe that it is crucial to popularise and market careers in our industry. At Davies, I have noticed that training and retaining is one of the key ethos’ here, some examples are the ‘Go Further’ scheme, in partnership with Aon, and our Insurance Bootcamp. Both of these initiatives attracts and trains new talent whilst also investing in the development of current employees. There are also qualifications that the business will pay for to help employees develop their careers. This will all prove very beneficial in a challenging labour market.

  • Fraud – Outside variables are impacting customer behaviours. Our market is directly influenced and aligned to the individual pressures customers are under, so the average person is more money conscious than they were a few months ago. This direct impact increases opportunistic fraud, so as a business our impressive fraud detection tools help ensure we can manage our clients’ accounts safely.


If you would like to continue the conversation, or find out more about our property claims solutions, please contact Andy Dakin, Director, Strategic Accounts on


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