Claims Awards Asia-Pacific Winner's Interview: Lifetime Achievement

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Post interviews Marsh's Graham Purdon - the winner of the Claims Awards Asia-Pacific 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Singapore-based Graham Purdon, senior vice president head of claims, Singapore and Asia, Marsh Global Claims Practice, has had a distinguished career with over 30 years of claims handling experience as a loss adjuster and working at several global brokers.

Post: What has been the highlight of your career Graham?
Purdon, pictured: Aside from the successful resolution of challenging claims, the highlight for me has been the opportunity to experience business and people in so many countries of the world - especially across Asia.

Working and living in different countries has enabled me to appreciate and respect their cultures and practices; travel is such a fantastic way to learn about the world.

Post: What is the greatest challenge facing claims' professionals in Asia at the moment?
Purdon: Claims practitioners are struggling to demonstrate their value.

The loss adjusting profession has come under greater scrutiny in recent years, especially during the 'soft' market. Downward pressure on adjusters’ fees - resulting in reduced margins - has meant reduced investment in resources. In some cases, service quality has suffered - diminishing the market’s trust and respect for loss adjusters.

The international brokers face the challenge of convincing their clients that they have the technical expertise and market relationships to assist with claim issues – and that this support is not always “included” in the remuneration brokers receive for their coverage and placement advice.

Insurers need to remember it is their customer at the time of a claim and that the insured has paid a premium for the protection they seek at that critical time.

Do insurers remind the loss adjusters they appoint that they are required to act impartially? Do insurers always give their customer the benefit of the doubt? When it comes to a claim, does the industry really treat their policyholders fairly?

Post: How do you think claims-handling in Asia has changed over the last 10 years?
Purdon: In relation to high volume, consumer lines - many insurers have entrusted the claims process to off-shore call centres with varying degrees of success.

Commercial claims require a different approach. Sometimes they are straightforward but today’s consumers are more demanding and more aware of their rights. Not all insurers are equipped to deal with these challenges; all of us in claims need to embrace a culture of customer service.

Post: What is Marsh's approach?
Purdon: Marsh believes very strongly in providing our clients with a fantastic claims service. We continue to try very hard, making key appointments, particularly in relation to our claims advocacy offering. This involves high-level claims management in the hands of experienced advocates, all working on behalf of our clients to resolve difficult claims in the shortest possible time.

Post: What is your favourite part of the job?
Purdon: At Marsh we have a simple objective: to delight clients with our claims service. It’s a great feeling when we do this - especially when the client tells us so.

To achieve final settlement of a very challenging claim, to the entire satisfaction of our client, always gives me great satisfaction. Often claim settlements are hard-earned and it’s very good when you realise that your knowledge and experience have contributed to a successful conclusion.

Post: What does it mean to you to win the Lifetime Achievement Award?
Purdon: In short - a great deal.

My initial reaction was "oh, that makes me feel ancient". One of my friends in the London market (trying to make me feel better) said that the definition of "ancient" included the words "wisdom and experience".

The award is recognition by the insurance industry - which continues to produce interesting challenges every single day.

For more information about the Claims Awards Asia-Pacific, see here.

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