Time to really focus on claims

The very reason why insurance is purchased by individuals and businesses is to ensure that they are ‘covered’, at least financially, when a nasty or unexpected event occurs.

The efficient management and payment of claims is therefore the most important service that insurers and their partners in the market, such as brokers, loss adjusters and lawyers, can offer their customers.

Sadly, all too often the focus of the discussion in this market has been on price, and to a lesser extent emerging risks and product innovation, during the last 20 years or so.

This is of course now changing, with the arrival of the hard market and all the complications brought by the pandemic.

The market began to harden before the arrival of the pandemic, of course.

But no one can argue with the fact that Covid-19 has radically altered long-term risk trends while, at the same time, exposing unsolved problems that really should have been dealt with following previous ‘catastrophes’ during the last 20 years.

The pandemic has once again clearly shown the limitations of existing business interruption (BI) coverage for intangible and systemic risks, not least supply chain exposures.

Claims and class actions brought against insurers to try and trigger BI policies have led to high-profile legal cases in the UK, the US, Australia and South Africa, which will have far-reaching implications for the demand for, and supply of, BI cover.

And don’t forget that, as this is happening, the EU and national governments across Europe are busy introducing a raft of new reporting rules and regulations, particularly around ESG and supply chains, which will potentially significantly raise the liability exposure of corporations and their senior managers at a time when class actions are being made easier to across the EU.

More broadly, new ways of working, changes in travel habits, altered supply chain networks and increased reputational risks bring new exposures and increases in claims patterns.

Businesses will rely more heavily on technology and remote working – adding further cyber risks and exposure to GDPR and data breaches.

New property exposures have already begun to emerge with restart operations. Meanwhile, an increase in insolvencies within the corporate sector as a result of the pandemic will trigger further litigation against companies and their directors and officers, at a scale perhaps never seen before in Europe.

For all these reasons, Commercial Risk is sharpening its focus on the critical world of claims to make sure that Europe’s risk and insurance management community is made aware of the latest trends and developments – legal, regulatory and market – that directly impact their daily work and how they are judged by their bosses. Hence, this specialist claims newsletter.

We have also worked with a number of European risk management associations to bring together a group of experts in a virtual conference on 27-29 April, to discuss how best to adapt to these emerging long-term risk trends and explore the type of claims patterns that these new exposures are generating.

The event will also focus on the importance of collaboration and transparency as insurers and insureds work together to find solutions to the new and constantly evolving claims landscape.

Please do sign up as a delegate for this high-level, practical conference. Click here to secure your seat.

Enjoy the read and I look forward to ‘seeing’ you at the conference.

Adrian Ladbury
Head of content, Commercial Risk

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