A claims consultant said companies don’t have the resources to cope with large volumes of complex claims

Risk managers need more resources to successfully handle large claims, warned a claims consultant.

Echelon Claims Consultants said, following discussions with risk managers at the AIRMIC conference in Bournemouth, that most risk managers would not have sufficient resources and specialist skills in house to handle large or complex claims.

Candy Holland, managing director, Echelon, said: ‘We spoke to a number of risk managers during the conference and the message was the same across industries and different size companies. Most risk managers readily acknowledge that they would need to seek additional specialist assistance in the event of a large and complex loss as it would put a strain on their time and the in house resources available to them.’

During a recession insurance claims tend to increase. Total claims have risen by 10% since last year and the value of open claims in the market has increased by some 35%, according to reports. New categories of claims, such as financial fraud, are also emerging in the wake of the sub-prime crisis.

Holland added: ‘Claims service has been a particular area of focus for AIRMIC in the past year. Risk Managers don't want surprises and must have confidence that, in the event of a major loss, their insurance product will respond promptly and as expected. The process of evidencing and settling a large claim is inevitably very time consuming and complex. Risk Managers can struggle to fit this additional workload into their normal day job. It is the responsibility of the insurance industry to recognise their clients' needs in this area and help them engage with the necessary expert support.’