Crawford & Company, the world’s largest independent insurance adjuster, is based in Atlanta and as of 2007 retains a network of more than 700 offices in 63 countries. Affiliated companies include Broadspire, the Garden City Group, Inc. (legal services), and the Risk Sciences Group (risk management information and account service). Major areas of business include workers’ compensation, claims administration, health care management, property and casualty claims management, class-action services, and risk management information. Annual revenues total approximately $850 million.
In 1941 Jim Crawford, an insurance claims manager, founded Crawford & Company with the idea that an independent claims-adjusting firm could provide insurers with a cost-effective and efficient alternative to in-house adjusters. The concept occurred to Crawford while he was observing milk trucks making their morning rounds. Several companies delivered milk to different houses in the same neighborhood, essentially following the same route. He figured that an independent delivery firm could make all the deliveries for the various dairies and do so more quickly and economically. He then applied the same logic to his own field, realizing that an independent adjusting company could achieve the same efficiencies for the insurance industry. The first Crawford & Company office opened in May 1941 in Columbus.
As his company rapidly expanded, Crawford emphasized the continual training and development of his employees. In 1946 he began an internal training program for his associates. The program, now called Crawford University, set the industry standard in claims administration. Such training helped Crawford & Company become the industry leader in claims administration in the United States. The company’s motto, “Top Quality, Promptly,” reflected Jim Crawford’s mission to handle all claims adjustments thoroughly and in a timely manner.
In 1947 Crawford & Company moved its headquarters to Atlanta. The company expanded its operations across the country, and by 1974, with the opening of an office in Great Falls, Montana, Crawford had an office in every state. These offices handled casualty and workers’ compensation claims for all major insurance carriers. In 1957 Crawford began to expand its operations internationally with the opening of an office in London, England, and today the company has offices operating in sixty-three countries.
As an established leader in the marketplace, Crawford & Company increased its product offerings to the insurance industry. In 1971 a new claims referral service called MAYDAY was introduced. Open around the clock, this call center helped to solidify Crawford & Company as the innovator in the claims solutions market. Around the same time, Crawford introduced three new services: rehabilitation services, risk management services, and catastrophe services, which helped expand Crawford beyond just a property and casualty claims administration company. In recent years Crawford began offering financial settlement administration services, global marine and transportation services, and corporate multinational risk services.
Crawford & Company has grown from a small regional operation to the largest independent provider of claims management solutions. Numerous acquisitions have supported this growth, and Crawford now has three major divisions: Broadspire, Global Property & Casualty, and Legal Settlement Administration. As of 2006, the company employed about 9,000 people worldwide. The Crawford family retains a majority ownership in the business.