TV

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Claims leader lifts the lid

Arch Insurance is one of the top performers in our 5 Star Claims 2024 report. Despite the industry’s current claims challenges, brokers ranked Arch among the leaders on criteria including policy clarity, customer service and turnaround times. Joseph Donovan, the firm’s claims manager, lifted the lid for Insurance Business TV.

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Danny Wood  00:00:08 Hello, and welcome to Insurance Business TV. I'm Danny Wood News Editor of Insurance Business Australia. Today we're taking a closer look at one of the top performers in our 5-Star Claims 2024 report. This survey ranks Australia's best claims providers based on interviews with brokers and other industry stakeholders. It looks at factors like policy, clarity and timeliness with responses and payments. Arch Insurance is among the leaders in this ranking. Joe Donovan is their Claims Manager and he's in Melbourne. Welcome, Joe, and congratulations. 

 

Joe Donovan  00:00:40 Thank you very much. 

 

Danny Wood  00:00:42 Yeah, good to have you on the show. But what do you see as some of your big challenges in the claim space right now? 

 

Joe Donovan  00:00:49 This is an incredibly broad question. And some of the challenges are across the board to the entire claims operation. And some of the challenges are particular to different lines of business. When we look at challenges as a business, as an industry, what we need to do is to continue to take proactive steps and identify what those challenges are both now tomorrow and beyond, and then continuing to confront those challenges head on so we can provide sustainable solutions for our clients. Whilst there are many challenges, I'll just take a look at, you know, a couple of the challenges that are very clear to me. One of those challenges are social inflation or inflationary pressures on claims, as well as a very active litigation environment. And these two forces are increasing claims costs, as well as the volume of claims that are coming through, really, in particular with respect to third party lines. This does have a flow on effect, of course, to the judicial environment and the courts ability to respond timely in actively managing litigation. And really, as a priority for us. We want to work closely. And we do work closely with our various stakeholders as well as our clients to develop mutually agreeable strategies on litigation strategy, so we can optimize claims outcomes. In looking at first party in particular property, certainly supply chain and procurement challenges are really which had been stemming for many years now. And certainly since COVID, the these challenges have created, again, increasing claims costs, but as well as time critical issues, which which can result in increased life, lifespan of a claim. But what we do the best we can is to ensure we have the right relationships in the right places. So we can continue to service those clients in a timely manner, and mitigate any cost and time delays. 

 

Danny Wood  00:02:48 Now, despite these challenges, as you as you went there, you're you're doing pretty well at this. And our survey shows that if I was in an elevator with you, what's a short elevator pitch that would tell me what you see as your, I guess, competitive advantage. 

 

Joe Donovan  00:03:03 It really stems from top down and what the vision is of our leaders, the leaders of Arch Australia, and arch International is really a vision of empowerment and a vision of continually doing better. And really looking at the challenges that our industry is faced with and confronting those challenges. And then, as I mentioned before, continuing to provide solutions. Notwithstanding those challenges, employees at all levels of the organization with this top down approach are really encouraged to bring forward ideas. learn from each other's experience and think outside the box. And it's this philosophy or inclusive philosophy and culture that really enables us to continue to do better, as we as we continue to, you know, identify what the challenges are and what our weaknesses are, and then provide those solutions. 

 

Danny Wood  00:03:56 So culture is a big focus for firms right now, is there a way you can talk about how that impacts your success in the claims area? 

 

Joe Donovan  00:04:06 Yeah, that the culture of the organization is really built on the foundations of the people that create it. And as I mentioned before, we're an organization with a senior management team that really has that has a forward thinking visionary approach. And this forward thinking visionary approach has a cascading effect downwards on the organization, which really creates an empowerment, both individually and collectively in the team environment to continue to do to do better. And this approach, in my view, and I know it's a view shared by the organization enables us to continually deliver optimal outcomes and improve outcome outcomes for our clients. What I very proud to comment on however, is really the people so the last two years, Archer Australia has been Rated five stars by insurance business in the diversity equity, equity and inclusion survey. And this are reflect this is really a reflection of how our how our employees feel in the organization. And really, this is this recognizes what I think is an international position with, with within art. That really Foster's a recognizes the power of difference, which enables us to reflect the different communities and clients that we serve.  

 

Danny Wood  00:05:26 In terms of what happens outside the firm, your your partnerships and collaborations are important, particularly with brokers, could you give an example of how you go about collaborating with brokers? 

 

Joe Donovan  00:05:37 So we work very closely with our brokers. And it's a key priority for us to work closely with our brokers to understand client expectations, client expectations, and how we can best help them in understanding what what it is that they need, from an information perspective, and this is where data is critical. So in this regard, whether it be, you know, a scheme or a key account risk or something else, what we do is we work closely with the brokers as well as the client to identify what information is ultimately going to help them make decisions going forward, whether that be decisions in terms of risk management, and risk mitigation, or whether it be other decisions in relation to the particular the particular risk profile, having the right people in the right seats, and the experienced technicians across all of our lines of business is also critical. And whilst you know, we pride ourselves on delivering an excellent claim service, we also pride ourselves on being an education platform and working closely with our brokers and other stakeholders to continually learn and develop across the various industry risks we underwrite and, and continue to, you know, adapt and be proactive in what is, you know, a consistently evolving complex and legal and regulatory environment.  

 

Danny Wood  00:07:02 What are your timeframe's like? And how do you keep those down? Because that can be a big issue for brokers and customers? 

 

Joe Donovan  00:07:10 Yes, timeframes are absolutely the reason why we received the feedback we have received. And you know, there's industry codes of conduct. And there's there's other industry expectations, but we really pride ourselves on doing better than what's expected. So we we do have very strict internal service level agreements across the board, in each line of business, at its ease service level requirements, as well as having the right people and experience to be able to deliver well really exceed in terms of what the expectations are in responsiveness. When we talk about responsiveness. We're talking about, you know, claim acknowledgments, we're talking about indemnity positions. And we're talking about communication, and the effectiveness of that that communication during the lifecycle of the claim and ultimately, the payment as well. 

 

Danny Wood  00:08:03 Your firm also talks about local claims autonomy, what does that mean, exactly? And why is that important? 

 

Joe Donovan  00:08:11 So arts, Australia, we're very privileged to be part of a very large international organization, and in particular, the insurance arm of that organization. And this has provided us with excellent access to advanced systems technology, other operational efficiencies, that allows us to continue to deliver on providing effective and timely solutions for our clients. What's in addition to this, however, it is that we have invested heavily as I mentioned before, in having the right people in the right seats, and with this investment comes the trust from the International Organization, and ultimately the empowerment for the local team here in Australia to be able to, to effectively be able to make decisions that are that are right at the time. So when we talk about what this means for our clients, and stakeholders, what this does mean is that our clients and stakeholders are know what to expect from us on each and every time that they deal with us. And I think the main the main reflection of this, and this is probably no doubt reflected in some of the industry feedback, get feedback as well, is we do make decisions in a timely and effective way. And, you know, there's no instances of a roadblock because of an international structure which may delay ultimate decisions even on complex and severity loss. And we really do understand the local industry market in which we're operating. 

 

Danny Wood  00:09:43 Well, Joe Donovan and congratulations again and keep up the good work. 

 

Joe Donovan  00:09:46 Thank you very much. 

 

Danny Wood  00:09:49 And Joe Donovan is Claims Manager for Arch Insurance. One of the top performers in our 5-Star Claims 2024 report. You're watching Insurance Business TV. Bye for now. 

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