Their involvement can help insureds to better understand the wordings


Loss adjusters should be part of the policy renewal process so that they can help to negotiate policy wordings, said Klaus Braukmann, Bereichsleiter Versicherung bei Continental. He believes this will help insureds to better understand the policy wording and thus avoid misinterpretation, which currently happens in the vast majority of losses.

In the case of a claim however, insurers, brokers and risk managers need to work together towards their shared goal: to minimise the loss and keep business interruption to a minimum, Braukmann told StrategicRISK ahead of yesterday’s session on Schadenmanagement.

“To achieve this, insurers and risk managers have to act like ‘diplomats’. I know from experience that, after a major incident, there are a lot of emotions on the side of the insured, since the organisation which suffered the loss is in a stress situation, which it (usually) has never experienced before. But they have to understand that the insurer and its experts are there to help and are not the ‘enemies’.”

When it comes to handling a claim, the broker should act as a consultant to the risk manager, he added. “The broker usually has a lot of experience with claims handling, especially within the specific legal environment in which the claim needs to be handled. They also have access to a valuable local network of experts in different fields.”

Despite every claim being different, Braukmann outlined a few common steps companies should follow in case of a major loss.

Firstly, all relevant parties involved need to be brought together as quickly as possible. This could include the manager and CFO of the company, loss adjusters, a recovery and restauration company, a business interruption expert, lawyers and so on.

In the first meeting following the loss, these parties need to decide unanimously on who is in charge of managing the claim, alongside one of the company’s managers. Furthermore, they need to quickly define a project schedule, set priorities and define everyone’s responsibilities.

Most importantly however, corporates should remain calm and make decisions in a timely manner. “It is better to make the wrong decisions that can be fixed or adjusted in due course, than to delay making decisions,” Braukmann said.