Claims Club monthly missive: Holy motors it's David Mairs


It has certainly been an interesting week at Post Towers, with the industry's finest rowing over customer services and an stimulating encounter with AMG founder David Mairs.

On 26 September I chaired Post's first Insurance Strategy conference, which saw Ageas chief executive Barry Smith and Zurich UK GI boss Stephen Lewis come to blows over the finer points of customer service, while Chartis managing director Nicolas Aubert, who kept referring to his firm as AIG, took a few anti-French jibes in good spirits.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday I met Ashworth Mairs founder David Mairs, who has broken his seven-year silence on AMG's £62m valuation, why big isn't necessarily beautiful in the loss adjusting space and why you, as the great and good of claims, may soon be taking his call to discuss business. All will be revealed in a future issue of Post.

On the topic of Merlin, and indeed the recent spate of downsizing at the UK's largest loss adjusters, I hope you will be able to join me for a riveting debate at the annual Claims Event.

Sure to be of interest is the Supply Chain Capacity in the Event of a Surge sesssion. Can the UK loss adjuster sector cope with another event of the magnitude of the 2007 floods? The session will feature the UK CEOs of Cunningham, Crawford and Davies: Phil McNeilage, Greg Gladwell and Charles Crawford respectively.

The issue was discussed at the last Claims Club advisory board meeting, so I hope the recently assembled panel will be able to shed some light on whether the closures of Rok and Merlin have had a knock-on effect on supply chain procurement.

They will also cover what insurers can do to help loss adjusters improve their margins to handle claims more robustly on their behalf in the event of a surge, and whether any lessons have been learned from previous surges, or whether the industry paid lip service to reports such as The Pitt Report.

This could not be more timely with the recent downpours, and I hope you will be able to join us on 10 October at The Claims Event. Remember this is free for members but spaces are limited so sign up today.

Looking further ahead I am pleased to say that we will do a session concentrating on the nurturing of claims talent in the first Claims Club meeting of 2013.

This will involve a welcome return of former advisory board member, Axa's director of underwriting David Williams, who will be pondering why claims professionals may be underpaid and underappreciated. It should certainly be interesting given his new found perspectives in his new role.

Meanwhile, Ricky Paugh, insurance sector leader and director at Mind Gym, plans to spotlight how claims managers can give staff the confidence to make a difference. If you haven't heard of Mind Gym, take a look at its website to get a flavour of what it does.

Before I sign out I just wanted to bring to your attention to three papers on Post's sister title Insurance Hound on the subject of fraud which has been grabbing the headlines recently.

No hiding place: Insurance fraud exposed

Fraud Intelligence Analysis: Identifying, investigating and disrupting fraud

Insurance fraud 2012: On the rise, opportunistic and online

All that is left to say is that this weekend looks to be one of the most interesting at the cinema for a long time. With the much acclaimed sci-fi film Looper going head-to-head with Holy Motors, which made a splash at Cannes earlier this year and has been described by one wag as "Kylie's first decent movie".

Given the weather I can't think of a better place I'd rather be this weekend than my regular movie haunt, The Brixton Ritzy.

Otherwise I will be catching up with series three of US sitcom Community or series four of Parks and Recreation, both of which I can highly recommend if you like off-the-wall humour.

Jonathan Swift, Claims Club chairman

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