Jim Crawford, an insurance claims manager, founded Crawford & Company in 1941 with the idea that an independent claims adjusting firm could provide insurers with a cost effective and efficient alternative to in-house adjusters.
This concept came to Jim Crawford from watching different milk trucks make their morning rounds near his home. He thought, "What if an independent company carried the milk for multiple dairies in one truck? Wouldn't that be more efficient and less costly?" While the dairy companies failed to see his vision, Jim realized this concept could be applied to the claims adjusting process within the insurance industry.
On May 27, 1941, he opened the first Crawford office in the Murrah Building in Columbus, Georgia. He founded his company on three principles:
Honesty and Integrity Above All
Hard Work Pays
Knowledge and Creativity is Power
With his company expanding rapidly, Jim Crawford also put emphasis on the continual training and development of his associates. In early 1946, he began an internal training program for his associates. The program, now called Crawford Educational Services, set the standard in education and training of claims adjustment in the insurance industry. This training allowed Crawford & Company to become the industry leader in claims administration within the United States.
As Crawford expanded its operations, Jim Crawford released what is known as "General Memorandum No. 1" which established Crawford's long running slogan of Top Quality, Promptly. This slogan illustrated his mission that any claim adjustment handled by Crawford & Company was done thoroughly and correctly.
Over the next two decades, Crawford continued to expand its operations across the United States. These offices handled casualty and workers' compensation claims for all major insurance carriers. In 1957, Crawford expanded its operations internationally with the opening of an office in London. This international expansion continued over the next decades. On its 25th anniversary in 1967, Crawford & Company had offices opening in Canada, Puerto Rico, England, and United States.
As an established leader in the marketplace, Crawford continued to expand its product offerings to the insurance industry. In 1968, Crawford became a publicly traded company. In 1971, a new 24/7 claims referral service called MAYDAY was introduced. This call center helped solidify Crawford 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. These services helped expand Crawford beyond just a property and casualty claims administration company.
From Jim Crawford's initial goal of providing timely, quality service to every client, Crawford has grown from a small regional operation to the world's largest independent provider of claims management and related solutions to the risk management and insurance industry, with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. Today, the Crawford System of Claims Solutions(SM) offers comprehensive, integrated claims services, business process outsourcing and consulting services for major product lines including property and casualty claims management, workers' compensation claims and medical management, and legal settlement administration. The Company's shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbols CRDA and CRD