Frank Risk chief has a suggestion for insurers

CEO talks about a particular challenge he might have a solution to

Frank Risk chief has a suggestion for insurers


By Terry Gangcuangco

‘Have a fixer’, or someone who will get things sorted, is essentially what Frank Risk Management chief executive Andrew Newman (pictured) is suggesting insurers do, at a time when climate claims numbers might be proving too much for limited rosters.

“All insurers are stretched, and that’s just the reality of the matter, and you kind of expect that,” Newman told Insurance Business. “But what makes the difference between insurers is that if something does need extra attention, that you’ve actually got a great relationship with somebody or a good line of communication into the insurer to actually say, ‘Hey, look, this needs some attention’, because it might not be going down the right track.

“What happens is that you deal with longer time delays; you deal with expectations not being fulfilled. And I think that just actually having a good communication line into the insurer makes the difference – having that relationship and them having that person set up to basically be their ‘fixer’ to sort things out. It just makes life a lot easier.”

As of April 1, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa, the combined claims for the Auckland Anniversary floods and Cyclone Gabrielle stood at 96,586, with an estimated value of $2.47 billion. At the time, 15% of the claims had been paid.

For Newman, who regards claims with the utmost importance, there is a particular pain point in the claims process that he finds the most challenging.

“I think that both brokers and insurers are grappling with reduced capacity and an increase in claims,” he said. “That’s the truth of the matter. One of the things that is probably the most difficult to deal with is basically the numbers with insurance companies now when you compare to the numbers that they used to employ.

“So, a major event means that there are fewer people dealing with a pretty major undertaking. And that is a point of pain because our shop window is claims. That’s why we’re here, and we’re wanting to make sure that our clients get what they’re entitled to and the best outcome we can get them.

“But when you’re dealing with under-resourced claims proposition from insurers, because they’re being put under stress from a major event, it’s frustrating. We’re doing the best that we can, but we can only move as fast as the insurers.”

What do you think about having a ‘fixer’ at insurers for claims in need of extra attention? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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