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VCA Digital

VCA Spotlight – Lee Picano – Founder and CTO

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“I want to be able to apply solutions for our clients/partners and see that we have made a difference…”

Meet Lee Picano, VCA’s founder and chief of technology. Actually, Lee’s experience and roles are, as he explains, “tightly woven into the fabric of VCA.”

Lee’s entrepreneurial and vital spirit was evident early in his life.

The insurance connection was a natural for Lee; his father had been an insurance adjuster, and Lee participated in conversations – and often activities – to help his father as he grew up. Lee describes how on many nights, he helped his dad review surveillance footage for insurance reports, affectionately calling it the family ‘popcorn and video’ night.

Lee’s father instilled in him a strong work ethic, as well as a substantial knowledge base of the insurance industry, and Lee worked with his dad for over 3 years as an insurance adjuster. Yet, he was eager to break out on his own, independently, and make a mark.

Lee saw almost immediately how technology could be an answer for many of the issues that insurance companies struggled with in the 2000s. He recognized how the industry was mired in old practices, lagging behind other industries eager to embrace new solutions. After working with insurance carriers and observing where their pain points were, Lee recognized how IT could play an important role. Lee immersed himself in learning software design and development, graduating at the top of his class from the Canadian Institute of Computer Technology. He then further expanded his experiences, becoming lead developer and then team lead at two tech companies, including Toronto’s ProServeIT for over a decade.

The merging of Lee’s insurance experiences, with the deep knowledge of how technology can help provide business solutions, became the fertile ground upon which Virtual Claims Adjuster would grow.  Lee placed his efforts, energy and intrinsic knowledge of the industry and its pain points into the birth of VCA Software. When an insurance industry magazine did a piece on the growing company and its work with insurance companies, it sparked enough interest that Lee realized the tremendous value that technology would have for the future of insurance. This was 2002.

Software-as-a-Service did not exist. Yet Lee’s instinct was that if he could convince insurance companies to trust that data can be stored in the cloud, insurers would see great benefits. The upsides for the risk-averse insurance industry were not having to worry about issues like uptime, data storage, backups and liabilities. Lee would market his technology solutions as a new business model specifically for the insurance industry.

“Many companies are focused on revenue. At VCA, we stay focused on client experiences and opportunities that can help their growth.”

Fast-forward to today. As Lee looks back, he sees the dramatic changes: what took an average of 16 days to work through Lloyd’s Bordereau requirements, now takes minutes. What took adjusters 4-5 months to finish after Hurricane Katrina hit, is now 3-6 weeks. And today, with VCA, what used to take claims handlers 4 days, is automatically and instantly assigned through VCA software.

Throughout the development of VCA, the main mission that remained ingrained in everything Lee set forth to do was seeing the client not as a source of revenue, but as a partner. The focus for Lee and his team is client experience. Maintaining communication, empowering support personnel to developing relationships with clients so problems are solved quickly, and offering speedy resolutions to problems, remains a big differentiator between VCA and other insuretech providers.

What about the future? What will the 2020’s hold? Simple. Making clients’ lives easier and more productive. “We are focused on opportunities that help our clients grow. We will continue to expand features and functionalities and innovations to increase their efficiencies – and billing hours.“

On a personal note, Lee and his wife just celebrated 25 years of marriage and have three children. The family likes to be active, which has been challenging during Covid. Hiking nearby with their two Australian shepherds is top of their list, and the family plans to travel, another passion, as soon as circumstances allow. Lee is also a big car aficionado and often takes his favorite car to local car shows.

Year-end message from the CEO

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For insurers in the US and across the Americas – and for all of us – 2020 has been a very challenging time.

My primary thoughts always turn towards people – the people who are our customers, and those who are under my care as employees. We seek first to take care of those as best as we can, and VCA is no exception. We have attempted to understand the moment we were in, help those in our life manage that moment, and discern how to move forward. As the pandemic continues to unfold, people remain our first concern.

Awakening to digital solutions

With those thoughts in mind, the light inherent in 2020 has been how dramatically we have pivoted towards new business solutions, and how those solutions have increasingly been digital. Covid-19 has forced the industry to rapidly accelerate plans to reduce reliance on sub-optimal processes, many of which the insurance industry has relied upon for decades. Our industry seems to be on the verge of a paradigm shift, as insurers see the benefits of using insurtech to streamline their operations across the ecosystem.

Redefining the insurer-insuretech provider relationship

New digital insurance technologies are being incorporated into claims management. Smart devices, IoT technology, digital home mapping and even drones are allowing insurers to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and create a consistent experience across all points of contact. VCA will continue to re-define and reimagine the insurance claims process.

New partnerships, new innovations
Virtual Claims Adjuster continues to take advantage of emerging technologies to build innovative claims management solutions. We are dedicated to improving core metrics in ways previously unavailable or unexplored. To that end, we seek technology partners in this digital transformation that will enhance insurers’ experiences with more capabilities and faster solutions. One way is our exploring of new technologies that could assess damage rapidly, and with accurate data, when claims staff are unable to get on-site.

Create a foundation for growth
Our goal at VCA is to continue to improve the metrics of great service, the speed of claims resolution, and the simplicity of processes. As 2021 comes into view for us, our biggest goal is to empower our customers to meet the challenges the next year will bring.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday season,

John Varghese

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5 tips to simplify your claims assigning process

By Blog, Claims Management, Insurance Trends, Uncategorized, Workflow No Comments

Insurance claims adjusting is increasingly moving to innovative software that can help them process and assign claims more quickly, especially in this exceptionally busy season, and amidst the pandemic.

It’s the year of COVID and natural disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a problem we are all grappling with, however it has expedited innovative and technological solutions to error-prone manual processes that over 50% of insurance providers are still entrenched in. COVID has forced many claims processors to look at how automation can make their claims assignment process more agile, productive and efficient. 

Secondly, this year offered one of the most volatile weather and natural event seasons in history. With the increased volume of claims in a record 2020 storm year, you need a claims management system that can handle them, while also adjusting to seasonal challenges – without increasing wait times or affecting quality. Systems with automated claims assignment features can provide the keys to achieving customer satisfaction and lower claims costs. 

How to move more quickly through claims assignment

Are you still stuck in the decades-long mentality of complex, time-consuming, manual claims processing and assignment processes? These outdated, error-prone and time-eating tasks lead to bottlenecks, inefficiencies and disappointed clients at a time when customers are demanding convenience, visibility and communication. Streamlined claims assignment through software automation is increasingly the answer.

Look for a software provider with tools that are: 1) easy and intuitive to use; 2) move the user quickly from initial input to completion; and 3) provide a reservoir of information they can tap into with a click. 

VCA’s simplified screens allow the user to navigate through the assigning process in just a few clicks. Users have access to information pertinent to the claim: which adjusters and teams are closest to the loss, star ratings and open claims, utilizations, and more. Want to assign a loss to an adjuster who currently has a lower claim count? Want to be sure you are assigning a loss to the correct team? VCA shows you who is out there, where they are on the map, how busy they are and who would be the most efficient choice. 

Visual makes it fast – map-based claims tools for claims assignment

Let’s face it. Most of us are more visual than mathematical. A map, and icons on a map, are immediately understood. With VCA’s map-based tool, a user clicks on the map, sees where the loss is located, and sees where adjusters and teams are in relation to that loss. 

A mapping feature saves time: A user can click on the loss icon and obtain all the info on that loss. It also plots where adjusters are, and lists their information, on the map. To process, just click on the name of the adjuster you want to manage the loss and click ‘assign.’ Done. Our innovative software uses easy-to-recognize symbols (like a map) to compel immediate understanding – making claims assignment intuitive and fast!

Know whether adjusters can handle more claims, or are too busy for you

Does your software allow you to see real-time stats on individual adjusters or teams that you are sending your claims to? Are you still using email, or the phone, to get them? If you send out your claims, do you know whether that adjuster can handle his/her own claim count – plus yours?  

VCA speeds up claims assignment time by giving you info on each adjuster’s or team’s status including: how many claims are assigned to him/her, open claims, and total claims. You can even limit the amount of claims you send. When assigning to teams, you can see all the members within the teams, at a glance. Armed with that knowledge, you can confidently assign claims.

Automated features take out the extra (costly) touches

Want to go one step further? Automate the entire assignment process. VCA’s Automatic Claims Distribution removes the last bits of manual process in claims assignment. Our system will automatically assign claims to the closest adjuster who not only has the capacity to handle the volume, but also has a high ranking in productivity and output.

New losses can be set up with criteria to properly assign a claim including: star rating, utilization, or distance from the loss. It’s simple: Access the system administration and set up the criteria most important to you in assigning a claim. In this way, you can triage thousands of claims in minutes. Once claims have been assigned, your email that lets clients know who their claims adjuster is, gets sent automatically.

Using automation, you are freed from performing manual and repetitive tasks. You have more time for decision-making. And, you can go the extra mile to create memorable customer experiences.

See VCA’s Visual Mapping Assignment Tool in action 

To help, we have been offering free, customer-exclusive webinars throughout the pandemic crisis – so you can discover new ways to streamline your claims management process.

In this 20 minute webinar on-demand, take a deep dive into VCA’s Visual Mapping Assignment Tool. 

Join Matt Barrett, Senior Claims Specialist and learn about:

☑ Traditional claims assignment

☑ Visual direct assignment

☑ Visual team queue assignment

☑ Automated claims distribution

Watch: Claims Assignment Tools for CAT Season Relief

CEO Update

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Change has come, and we’ve entered a new normal for the insurance market.

The pandemic has been our industry’s opportunity to quietly step up during a crisis and pivot to meet the needs of carriers. Climate change has created a new reality for the industry as well – with events in greater numbers and intensity.

Weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, freakish storms and fires has made this a sobering year in so many ways.
Yet, in spite of these challenges, VCA and the insurance industry continue to be dedicated to finding the best ways to help clients negotiate through tragedy. In recent years, more and more insurers have been making the shift to digital claims management. That progress has been accelerated due to the pandemic.

Business-as-usual is no longer an option. As claims management vendors, we need to be adaptable so that we can offer our customers the best product with the best service. During these last two quarters, in spite of the pandemic, we at VCA have demonstrated to our clients that our service level and responsiveness remained top-notch. VCA continues to ride this wave of change and innovation by adding new product enhancements, completing bi-directional integrations with Hover and Encircle, and enhancing others, like Quickbooks.

Without a doubt, we’ve entered a new norm and there is no turning back. VCA re-dedicates itself to provide our clients with the tools to serve customers and maintain operations in this new environment. As we head into the final stretch of 2020 and face more of mother nature’s wrath, we’re here to help every step of the way.

Lastly, I am always encouraged when people reach out to me to share their ideas. I would like to encourage you to reach out with your questions, concerns and comments—ideas on how we can better serve our industry.

Please, send me an email, reach out through my page on LinkedIn and message me! Let’s talk.

VCA partners with Encircle to help adjusters resolve claims quickly, safely and securely – amidst a global pandemic

By Press Room No Comments

Intelligent automation solution reduces the need for on-site visits; liberates adjusters to focus more on decision-making and less on administration

TORONTO, April 30, 2020 – Virtual Claims Adjuster Inc. (“VCA”), a provider of intelligent insurance claims automation, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Encircle Inc., a leading provider of real-time claims documentation and productivity tools for the insurance and restoration industries. The partnership is the result of VCA’s initiative to help adjusters manage personal property claims files with greater speed, consistency, and accuracy.

“At Virtual Claims Adjuster, we recognize the recent battle with COVID-19 has impacted how we go about daily activities,” states John Varghese, CEO, Virtual Claims Adjuster. “In an effort to assist with flattening the curve during these unprecedented times, VCA has teamed with Encircle to provide an integration that will reduce the need for on-site visits by inviting the homeowner to instantly submit images of the claim damage with a single click.”

Virtual Claims Adjuster Encircle Partnership

The VCA Encircle integration allows the adjuster to send a secure link to the insured where they can quickly and easily capture, upload and save claim images. This unique link also makes it possible to sign documents remotely and share them back to the claim. This integration promotes the well-being of all parties involved, as the homeowner can continue filing their claim, while the adjuster focuses on making timely business decisions. Encircle connects all parties involved in the claims process, including policy holders, insurance companies, and restoration contractors, on one easy-to-use platform, that simplifies the process by taking previously tedious paper-based tasks and replacing them with intuitive digital tools.

“With Encircle, we’re securely automating and accelerating the visual input phase of the claim to increase productivity without compromising your health or security of the data,” said Varghese. “Our software is SOC II Compliant and automatically encrypts all your data.”

VCA’s intuitive system enables new users to start resolving claims in less than an hour of training. All features are accessible with a mouse-over and customer service calls are addressed in less than 30 minutes.

“Setting up the integration between Encircle and VCA was seamless,” said Antony Vachell-James, Managing Director of Mac Marine, a VCA customer. “Obtaining the relevant account-specific information from Encircle and entering this information was a simple and straight-forward process; the two systems were immediately able to communicate with each other. This is a game-changer for VCA and is sure to help enhance the claims journey for all involved.”

As part of Virtual Claim Adjuster’s COVID-19 relief offerings, the company is waiving transactional fees for Encircle claims submissions. VCA will introduce bi-directional integration with Encircle by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

“Despite the current health crisis, adjusters still need to do their jobs safely and efficiently,” added Paul Donald, CEO, Encircle Inc. “We are proud to join forces with Virtual Claims adjuster to help maintain business continuity during the global pandemic crisis.”

About VCA

Virtual Claims Adjuster is reimagining the insurance claims process with intelligent automation to help resolve claims faster. It cuts file handling costs by as much as 30% and its intelligent assignment engine can triage mass claim volumes and smart-distribute them to adjusters based on location, workload capacity and past productivity scores. This automation frees up claims adjusters to focus on what matters most, resolving claims faster through decision-making. The system fundamentally improves the claims flow process with insights into the lifecycle of an individual claim, and into the productivity of the entire team. It was the first software provider to comply with Lloyd’s of London Bordereau specifications back in 2016 and is SOC II Compliant. More than 180 customers in 25 countries rely on Virtual Claims Adjuster to help resolve millions of insurance claims each year. VCA is a privately owned North American company founded in 1998 with offices in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For additional information, visit

About Encircle Inc.

Connecting the claims process from first notice of loss to claim closed, Encircle helps insurance companies, IAs, TPAs, and restoration contractors work collaboratively on one easy-to-use platform. Insurers, TPAs, restorers, and policyholders alike can instantly share pictures, videos, reports, sketches, and more, thereby improving communication and customer satisfaction. Discover how Encircle makes managing claims easy at


Press Contact:

Virtual Claims Adjuster

Joanne Gore

+1 416 543 7951


Stephanie Matteson

+1 226-989-7867


I’ve just experimented the integration of Encircle with Virtual Claims Adjuster and was sincerely amazed at the seamless integration and effectiveness.

It truly exceeded my expectations.

Feedback from my staff, including those with limited software skills, was eloquent testimony to just how easy the roll-out was.

As IT manager for my firm, this says a lot about the planning and implementation of this integration.

Taken separately, both VCA and Encircle are first class products that deliver exactly as they promise.

Combined, they bring an added value I can offer my clients and their customers, and provide yet a more effective service.

Well done VCA & Encircle teams!

Signed: a happy and proud customer

Robert Plante, President
Third Party Administrator for Lloyds
Expert en sinistres / Claims adjuster
RPMXPERT – Cabinet de gestion et d’expertise en règlement des sinistres /
RPMXPERT – Claims Management and Adjusting Firm

Business man making a presentation at office. Business executive delivering a presentation to his colleagues during meeting or in-house business training, explaining business plans to his employees.

VCA has a new Senior Claims Specialist

By Press Room No Comments

We’re excited to announce that Matthew Barrett has joined us in the role of Senior Claims Specialist. As a product specialist, he is helping clients make informed decisions about claims management options.

Matt is a Michigan-based professional who comes to us from FileTrac, where he spent the last 13 years as their Training Manager and Insurance Content Specialist. Prior to that, Matt had 28 years of experience working with Insurance Carriers and Independent Adjusting Companies.

“We’re in a period when customers need help and support more than ever”, says Matt. “I’m proud to join a company whose promise it is to add value to the insurance industry and who stands by their customer’s side.”

VCA’s intuitive system enables you to start resolving claims in less than an hour of training. All features are accessible with a mouse-over and our customer service calls are addressed in less than 30 minutes.

“Matt can quickly establish good rapport with people and understand what program best fits their needs”, shares John Varghese, CEO, Virtual Claims Adjuster. “His overall knowledge of the industry, and willingness to listen to the client’s needs, will provide invaluable insights to further reduce claim resolutions and cut file handling costs.”

Matt has been married to his wife Kristina for 36 years. They have two daughters and three Grandchildren. Matt enjoys golfing and spending time with his family, especially when he can combine them into vacations.


About VCA

Virtual Claims Adjuster is shaking up the insurance claims process with intelligent automation to help resolve claims faster. It cuts file handling costs by as much as 30% and its intelligent assignment engine can triage mass claim volumes and smart-distribute them to adjusters based on location, workload capacity and past productivity scores. This automation frees up claims adjusters to focus on what matters most, resolving claims faster through decision-making. The system fundamentally improves the claims flow process with insights into the lifecycle of an individual claim, and into the productivity of the entire team. It was the first software provider to comply with Lloyd’s of London Bordereau specifications back in 2016 and is SOC II Compliant. More than 180 customers in 25 countries rely on Virtual Claims Adjuster to help resolve millions of insurance claims each year.  VCA is a privately owned North American company founded in 1998 with offices in Canada, USA and the United Kingdom.