Diary of an Insurer: Sedgwick’s Liza McNab

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Frozen pipes are a recurring theme for Lisa McNab, an investigator in Sedgwick’s major loss team, but she can relax by watching the new Luther movie and catching up on Love Island.

Liza McNab

Monday

My alarm goes off at 7 and I’m ready to start the week. I brew my mandatory morning coffee, and the Aldi cappuccino mix wakes me up before heading to the office.

As an investigator in Sedgwick’s major loss team, it’s my job to investigate claims of more than £100,000, and my first task of the day is a teams call with a customer.

Despite the rise of hybrid working in insurance, face-to-face interaction is still key in loss adjusting. In this case however we needed to work around the customer’s medical needs, so were happy to meet virtually.

The claim was for a burst pipe causing substantial water damage to the property. Even by the standards of a cold Scottish winter, there have been noticeably more of these than usual, driven by sudden falls in temperature.

I’d already visited the property, and everything looked in order, so I just needed to confirm some details before compiling the report for the customer’s insurer. After work I head to the swimming pool to do my 40 lengths, setting me up nicely for the week ahead.

Tuesday

buchanan-st-glasgow

Today my priority is an in-person meeting with a client, one of Glasgow’s largest insurers. It’s nice to get off Teams – there’s no substituting a face-to-face catchup to build a rapport and get to know clients, particularly if we don’t speak often.

Although I still do most of my investigations work in person, it’s great to visit the city centre.

Later I have a catch-up with the rest of the major loss investigations team. We’re a tight-knit team of five, and during a busy period it’s important to get visibility on the sorts of claims my colleagues are investigating to spot trends.

Frozen pipes are a recurring theme across the team, but as the weather improves we’re seeing them decrease.

Wednesday

Report research survey

Today was my first work from home day of the week, so I enjoy a little extra time in bed before logging on around 8am.

In loss adjusting you’re never sure what each day will bring, and today is a case in point. We review every major loss flagged by our counter fraud software and clients, and the burst pipe claim that comes across my desk seemed innocuous enough, until I spotted an issue.

As an investigator, you never want to leave a stone unturned.

Our key risk indicators include things like whether the policy was only recently taken out and a high claims history, alongside several other factors.

When I realised the claim triggered several of these, I knew I was in for a long session. What followed was six-hours of desk research, as I checked all the facts added up before sharing my findings with the insurer.

Afterwards I was keen for a quiet night in, so I unwound by watching the new Luther movie on Netflix. This might not have been the most relaxing idea, as although I’m a big fan of the series it reminded me more of a horror movie than a BBC crime drama in places.

Thursday

frozen-pipe3

After yesterday’s desk research I was back to the bread and butter of in-person investigative work, as I got in the car to Dumfries to visit a loss site. It was another frozen pipe that had caused significant flooding.

This has become all too common, and I feel terrible for people forced to leave their homes. I know from experience that these claimants are going through a stressful time, and often an investigator is the last person they want to see.

But I also know that most claims are legitimate, so it’s my job to get a resolution as fast as possible to get them back in their homes.

I began by interviewing the customer, who was living in temporary accommodation. I was glad to hear that everything sounded right and had no reasons for suspicion. My job is most rewarding when people have nothing to hide, as I can then focus on helping customers get the speediest resolution possible.

Afterwards, I drove to the address to speak to the neighbours. They confirmed the customer’s statement, which was invaluable in removing any remaining doubt.

The day had gone so quickly that when I checked the time, I realised it was already 4.30pm and I’d completely forgotten to eat lunch. I grabbed a meal deal and wrote up my findings in the car. The fast and unpredictable pace of loss adjusting means this sort of thing is something I’m quite used to.

Friday

Love Island 2023 cast
Vincent Dolman

Friday was an early start, as I dropped my partner off at the airport for a stag night in Tenerife. I didn’t mind getting up in the early hours, as I was keen to get the report sorted for the customer I interviewed yesterday before the weekend.

Having been satisfied that the claim wasn’t suspicious, I was going to pull out all the stops to get the report sorted and put the ball back in the insurer’s court to process the claim. I got it sorted just before 5pm and was pleased to hear from the insurer that it was received.

After finishing up some end of the week admin I logged off and got ready for a weekend of self-care that will include catching up on Love Island and going to yoga. A relaxing weekend was just what I needed after a busy but rewarding week.

Liza McNab is major loss investigator for Sedgwick Scotland

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