What is your role and what are your responsibilities?
I am a Major & Complex Claims Technical Lead, predominantly focusing on public sector and housing liability claims at Protector Insurance. My role involves the handling of liability claims, with a focus on more complicated or unusual claims.
In addition, I provide technical support for the Claims Team and work in unison with my risk engineer and underwriting colleagues, delivering a 'one team' service to our insureds and brokers. Like my colleagues, I am a hybrid worker. Our UK claims are all handled by our Claims Team based in Manchester, and I work in the office two days a week.
What is your expertise, specialism or main area of interest?
I have worked in insurance since 1985 and for much of my working life I was an insurance claims investigator, investigating liability claims with a significant focus on public sector claims. This put me in good stead for my current role. I have a great affinity with the services provided by the public sector and the people who work in it. I have a particular interest in highway claims and there is nothing more satisfying than being able to gather evidence to defend a claim, particularly when the claimant's solicitors initially believe they have a strong case.
Is there a particular aspect of your work you are interested in or passionate about?
Moving from the field to a desk, I realise my knowledge of public sector claims is a valuable resource. I aim to pass on my experience to colleagues, and I particularly enjoy training new team members. It always gives me a great thrill to see a colleague successfully deny liability based in part on information that I have shared.
Since joining Protector in 2016, I have watched the Claims Team with pride as we have developed into an efficient and skilled unit, receiving significantly positive feedback, particularly from brokers.
What are you currently working on?
Building unique relationships with public sector and housing clients is vital to delivering a best-in-class claims service. I want to re-engage in person with brokers and insureds after years of lockdowns. This year I will undertake many more face-to-face meetings. Some people have been clients for two years, so I have only seen them virtually until now. It will also be great to reconnect with some long-standing relationships.
What topics and trends are emerging?
Following the coroner's comments surrounding the tragic death of two-year old Awaab Ishak from 'extensive' mould in a social housing property, the spotlight is on the sector. This sad death was described by the coroner as a 'defining moment' for social housing. We have already seen the case referenced in new claims received, and this is likely to be a growth area for claims. As well as managing new claims trends, improving performance will be a top priority for the sector.
We also expect to see an increase in tree root subsidence following the extremely dry conditions in 2022. We fully appreciate the challenge for our clients, when faced with a request to remove a tree, to balance the need to remove something that may be causing more damage, with the desire to retain something that is often extremely well liked in the local community. There is also a balance to meet targets and requirements for increasing tree planting, protecting nature and green spaces, under new Environment Act preservation and conservation duties.