Doing it right before things go wrong

Doing it right before things go wrong | Insurance Business Canada

Doing it right before things go wrong

Brian Lowes can only chuckle when asked how the pandemic has changed his office habits.

“I work remotely,” he said. “My work is project-based, so even before COVID I was working remotely.”

It makes sense that Lowes’ work takes him on the road a lot, since the road is something that’s always at the forefront of his thoughts. If a client uses vehicles to carry out their business, then chances are his risk management initiatives are involved in one way or another.

As fleet risk specialist with Lloyd Sadd, a Navacord broker partner, he works with all fleet types providing risk management solutions to reduce the potential of loss and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

“I do everything from carry out a profile analysis to conduct collision investigations, we put on training presentations, essentially I’m a resource for both our clients and internally,” he said. “It’s very much hands-on.”

For example, when a new client comes on board, he conducts a full fleet loss control survey in part to compile data for the risk advisors to negotiate with the markets. “But I’m also looking at potential risk exposures and their compliance levels with respect to what they must have in place to satisfy compliance requirements,” he said.

That’s important, because if a client ends up subject to a regulatory compliance audit – or worse, ends up in a lawsuit over one of their vehicles being involved in a collision – then there could be serious consequences for not doing that kind of survey work ahead of time. 

“From an insurance perspective, that can impact their insurance eligibility and/or premiums because quite often - and increasingly - insurance companies are sending out loss control specialists to conduct surveys themselves,” Lowes said. “If we can get in there in advance, we know what they need to have in place so that we are able to help them satisfy these requirements before the insurer comes in.” 

When asked what carriers can do to avoid costly legal fees, Lowes is a firm believer in kicking the tires, metaphorically speaking, before a court case even begins. Each time he takes on a new client, Lowes does an initial loss control survey. Part of that is to see if anything relative to policy or process could potentially be used against that client in court if they were involved in a collision with someone that he was representing. The idea is to look for those risk exposures so that he can resolve them or, at the very least, mitigate them.

Lowes also has good relationships with the loss control insurance reps across different insurers. “One of my closest associates is with a key fleet insurer, and he said that ultimately it comes down to defensibility. How defensible are you in court?” 

That’s a question that fleet operators who want to do things right often ask themselves, but sometimes it can be hard for them to find answers in a heavily regulated industry where it can feel like the rules are often changing and with insurers being much more critical. Because of this, his clients often reach out to Lowes to help them better understand their risks.

“I have clients that will phone me just to bounce ideas off me, or for clarification on a regulation,” he said. “They want to understand it, they want to do it right. They know the potential implications and consequences of not doing it right.”