A claims Q&A with…

Darren Stewart

Job title: Claims Underwriter – Marine & Energy


How long have you worked at Hiscox?

I started in October 2015.

Tells us about an unusual claim you’ve dealt with?

I am currently handling a car accident allegedly caused by an employee of our insured. This is unusual in that I am used to being involved in collisions between ships or marine property but not between two cars on the road! It’s not your typical marine or energy loss and it has been interesting handling and working on a claim that is outside my comfort zone.

What skills do you think are essential for working in claims?

I think you have to be analytical in nature and have the ability to assess complex sets of facts and information. I also think it is essential to think outside of the world of insurance and show some empathy for the policyholder. Most insureds are experts in their relative fields or industry and are not insurance professionals. I think it’s important to stand back from a claim and recognise the assistance they may need rather than create obstacles in what might already be a difficult matter for them and their business.

What’s the best part of your job?

I would say the variety – no two claims are ever the same and the different types, scale and complexity of losses that can arise within my class of business are always interesting.

What should the London Market do to set itself apart from the competition when it comes to claims?

When the market continues to soften and new capacity increases the number of competitors, I think the key differentiator is the claims service that you can provide. There will always be the policyholders, along with their respective brokers, making insurance decisions on the basis of price. However, if an insurer delivers a consistent and quality claims service and can show a track record of providing proper assistance and added value in an insured’s time of need, then this is certainly a factor in choosing that insurer over another.

Do you welcome the increased automation of London Market claims or do you miss the face-to-face process?

I welcome the increased automation if it is used as a tool to make the claims process more efficient. Unfortunately, many claims brokers -- and adjusters for that matter -- have used it to hide behind, and, in doing so, have diluted the face-to-face process. I came from a broker that actively encouraged its staff to contact and discuss their claims with insurers regardless of them having the ability to just load the information into the centralised system. I think the problem is with the attitude towards the automation rather than the automation itself.

If you weren’t working in claims, what would you have been?

Before entering the London insurance market I was a golf professional desperately chasing the pipe dream of one day competing on the main stage. If I hadn’t embarked on such a drastic career change to get a proper job I think I would still be the deluded hopeful chasing the dream!

Tags: Claims

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