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2019 US Insurance Awards: Willis Towers Watson, Insurance Consulting Team of the Year

Joe Picone

A commitment to invest in talent and data analytics propelled Willis Towers Watson PLC’s integrated casualty consulting team to develop cutting-edge claim and risk control tools.

When the practice started in 2014, “we realized that to differentiate between being just a regular brokerage and a true consulting practice we had to up our game, so we invested heavily in analytics,” said Joe Picone, the brokerage’s claim consulting practice leader in Richmond, Virginia.

With the addition of key claim and risk executives from other brokerages, the Willis Towers Watson consulting team was able to take a fresh approach to reducing a client’s total cost of risk — listening to clients’ needs and coming up with innovative solutions.

For example, the team created a web-based tool for companies to select a third-party administrator, known as TPA Market Match. The idea is to match a company’s specific needs and business profile to appropriate TPA candidates.

“It’s sort of like a way to pick a TPA,” said Mr. Picone.

The team also developed an outcomes-based audit, which looks at the whole claims process, not just how the adjuster performed, he said.

“This audit will tell you the claims adjuster scored a 94 or a 95 (percent against best practices), but the employee was a 42, and the way your supervisor handled it in this situation was a 62. The return-to-work program that you have in place is ineffective — it’s an 80, there’s some improvement needed. It’s a whole different way of looking at things,” Mr. Picone said.

The team is also developing a new tool for medical cost containment solutions, which will “decipher the costs of medical” in the workers compensation space, he said.

The consulting team’s work has also generated some cross-selling opportunities with Willis Towers Watson’s commercial broking business. “Very often we don’t have a brokerage relationship with clients, and once we do the services, we’re able to become their broker afterwards,” he said.

Since its first full year in 2015 when it had 24 clients, the consulting practice grew to 220 clients in 2017 and is projecting over 300 accounts in 2019, he said.

“We’re doing things with technology that nobody else is doing right now. When you are backed by leadership, innovation and data analytics, it’s a great environment,” Mr. Picone said.


• Aon PLC — The Aon Inpoint consulting team delivers 100 strategic projects annually for insurers covering all regions, segments and lines of business, using data analytics to offer targeted and granular insights.

• KCIC LLC — KCIC deployed the Ligado Platform’s database to help its client understand the insurance assets available to defend lawsuits and to fund settlements, including for long-tail environmental, product-related injuries and sexual abuse claims.

• ReSource Pro LLC — ReSource Pro’s operational advisory team developed an industry standard contact center and service request processing metrics to deliver efficiencies for a national program administrator.

• Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. — Zurich’s team developed targeted risk review for construction site assessments that evaluates the risks present during different phases of construction.

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