Dear Member,

I have just finished attending the 6th Asian Claims Convention, held this year in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It was an excellent conference with 127 attendees from 15 countries. The venue was stunning, the hotel staff was friendly and efficient, and the food was excellent – if there was one criticism it was that there was too much food – 13 courses is a long meal!

A conference can’t be held without a lot of effort from those who organised it – Tony Libke, Michael Collins, Jaye Kumar, Budi Maharesi, Dan de Silva and especially Dominic Tran who provided on-the-ground logistical support leading up to the conference. But the undoubted star in the background over the three days was Gemma Daniel from AICLA Brisbane. Everyone noticed her boundless energy and precision, so that every step of the conference was on the right track.

We had a variety of speakers: from sea piracy to cyber piracy; from property damage to business interruption to marine. It takes a lot of work to put together an interesting group of speakers, to cater for a wide variety of disciplines, whilst still keeping it relevant and educational. If anyone has a suggestion for a speaker or topic for next year’s conference, we would be pleased to hear it (email me or the admin office).

It is not particularly fair to single out one speaker, but I want to share my personal reflection on something that was said that really struck me. Graham Purdon (Head of Claims – Asia, at Marsh) said:

“Every person in this room, every single person, is paid by money that comes from the policy holder”.

It is almost a self-evident truism. Insurers, brokers, adjusters and experts are all paid out of premium income and all premium income comes from insureds.

I think that all too often we, I, fall into the trap of thinking that the claim is a process. The insurer is our customer and the broker is an important influencer to be kept happy. In the large corporate end of the market the adjuster is often nominated and has to keep onside with the risk manager. But most claims are one-off fires, floods and other perils that affect an insured we have never met before and never will again. The meeting of KPIs and the finishing of the claim are the measures of success and the insured can often just be a cog in the process.

Graham also said that his manager liked to use the phrase “tell me how you are going to delight the insured”. I think that can be an interesting challenge, to think on each claim, how will we delight the insured – the person that in fact the whole industry is based on.

Whether it is the surprise of delivering a promised action earlier, making an unexpected progress payment, or achieving something the insured thought was unlikely; in your next claim can you find a way to “delight the insured”?