After working with the European Federation of Loss Adjusting Experts for a number of years, Malcolm Hyde has been appointed president.
Hyde was previously honorary secretary of FUEDI for two years and worked alongside its executive team for six. The federation includes member associations from 15 European countries.
Hyde will take on the role alongside his existing position as executive director of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters; he will be representing CILA as president in his new role. Hyde spoke to Post about what he hopes to achieve during his year-long presidency.
What are your main objectives during your presidency?
The presidency lasts one year. I will be representing both the UK and Ireland. This is particularly important when you consider what the federation is aiming to do. My role is to ensure that the members keep to the strategy of FUEDI , which is about consumer protection and furthering the objectives of loss adjusting throughout Europe. I’ll be looking at home at how members deal with catastrophes and highlighting this to the regulators in the European Union, and all the regulators from FUEDI’s member countries. We liaise frequently with the regulator to communicate what loss adjusting does and the benefits that it brings in terms of dealing with catastrophes. But the federation also aims to promote the relationship between loss adjusters and insurers.
Education and qualifications are a big talking point as we look towards Brexit, how will you be tackling this issue at FUEDI?
It is important to me that loss adjusting qualifications from the UK are recognised in the EU after Brexit and that levels of education are maintained across the industry. The CILA qualification meets the criteria of FUEDI, but what I don’t to happen is that another country gets the same qualification, and ours gets watered down. I will be using my role this year to push that level of education, so that FUEDI maintains its high standard. The reason for that is that when we talk to the regulator and the EU, we can say that we only have people who are qualified to a high standard in terms of loss adjusting and dealing with consumers.
One of my main aims is to make sure that we fulfil that quality of education across loss adjusting. My second main aim is to increase the visibility and the communication of FUEDI. We also want to provide a platform whereby CILA’s qualification, through FUEDI, gets greater recognition in the EU and promote the qualification easier via the FUEDI membership.
We don’t have masses of members in EU but we have members who are working in EU and use our CILA qualification as a license to do that. It would be an awful loss if that wasn’t maintained. The UK government has taken what we have to say on board and I am very much reassured by the officials, that we are talking to, that they are taking it serious.
How does your new role at FUEDI fit in with your existing role at CILA?
It works really well and now that Brexit is looming, it is quite timely by chance rather than design. My main aim is qualification based so it fits in well, it is really important that the UK and Ireland qualification meets the standard of the EU. Because we have Irish members that are reliant on the UK qualification, it is really important that we help them maintain their qualifications and membership. It would be illogical for Irish members to lose their qualifications because they are not leaving the EU.
What challenges do you think loss adjusters will face in the years to come?
The big issue that most will face is cross boarder co-operation when it comes to catastrophes. Traditionally the language has always been a problem, but a lot of the policies are effectively written in London or in London market style. In fact, the English tend to have a bit of an advantage in this respect – so making this more broad is a big challenge. Loss adjusters need to be able to deal with all kinds of weather catastrophes and being more integrated will help with that - so that is something we are aiming towards. Of course, Bexit will prove to be a challenge in terms of how we take that forward.
In light of Brexit, how has FUEDI’s relationship with CILA been?
We are luck in the sense that FUEDI is very empathetic and has shown great support towards CILA, so it is great news for us that we have got their backing; there’s absolutely no threat of our qualification being challenged by FUEDI at all.
You had a previous relationship with FUEDI before becoming president. Through the years, what have you observed about loss adjusting markets in other countries?
I was honorary secretary of FUEDI for the past two years and was involved with its executive for over six. The federation is not EU-based and allows relationships to be developed across the EU. Across the EU, loss adjusting varies in the way it works. Compared to the EU, the UK has a peculiar structure in the way that loss adjusting is done. For example loss adjusters in the UK will comment on policy liability and how much will be paid out. Whereas in the EU, loss adjusters tend to be experts in a particular field like building and engineering, so they will comment on damage on damage but not policy liabilities. Within FUEDI, describing what a loss adjuster does is quite difficult because in France and Germany for example, loss adjusters will do different things. But the similarity lies in what all members are focused on, which is being customer focused.
FUEDI will be holding a general assembly meeting in May 2019, what do you hope will come from it?
A lot depends on what has happened between the EU and UK by then; in theory by then we would have left the EU. The aim of the meeting will be to try to reinforce that UK and Ireland benefit from a relationship with the EU partners at FUEDI, and make sure that they understand that we still want to work with them and maintain the relationship.
Russia will be in attendance and we hope to invite the Czech Republic, so the meeting will have a broadened scope. Via FUEDI, CILA will still be able to enhance its reputation with the EU via the back door. Actually being a representative of both the UK and Ireland is quite helpful in that regard as we can use the Irish membership as an obvious key to the door.
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