Enjoying Lancashire and Cumbria’s beautiful countryside – that’s what you’ll most likely find Chartered insurer Kath Mainon (pictured) doing when she doesn’t have her hands full in her capacity as chief operating officer of claims solutions at Davies Group.
The firm, which recently made a swoop for digital business and consultancy Ember Group, welcomed Mainon when it snapped up Managed Fleet Services Ltd a few years ago. Insurance Business caught up with the claims expert, whose experience includes time spent at DAC Beachcroft and Endsleigh’s TCS Claims.
What brought you to the world of claims management?
I got into claims by accident – it was the job I fell into when I left college. I loved claims from day one. The combination of technical complexity, talking to people all day long, and working as part of a team really works for me. I soon realised that I could see better ways of doing things, and had an urge to share my ideas and make things better. The first step on that part of my journey was running a claims team at Endsleigh Insurance, and I thrived on the opportunity to influence people and drive change and improvement. From there I worked my way up the ladder of claims management positions.
In your three decades in the claims sector, what would you say have been the most significant changes or trends?
I was part of the generation that moved claims handling from paper files into digital systems. At the time we thought the computerised process was the revolution. We soon realised that the real revolution was the data and insights those systems gave us. Use of data to enlighten our decision making and inform our clients is still key to successful claims operations, and continued investment in intelligent data analysis is central to our claims operation today.
I am really excited about the potential for technology to take friction out of the claims process, like using video streaming to assess damage, apps to make it easier for customers to interact with us, and automated damage assessments to speed up the claims process.
In terms of challenges, what have been the biggest for you?
I think the biggest challenge is the one just around the corner. I’ve been in my current role for six months now and our claims divisions have been working hard to make sure we are in the right shape to respond to our market and customers. Our business will continue to grow, in breadth and complexity as well as size, and we will be integrating more technology and improved systems into our service delivery.
Our challenge as a claims leadership team is to keep on getting the fundamentals right – investment in our people and our service delivery – as we grow organically, as we welcome claims teams into the Davies Group through M&A, and as we continually improve our processes to make best use of technology.
As chief operating officer of claims solutions at the Davies Group, what goals or priorities have you set for yourself and for the unit?
The single most important thing that will ensure our success is great service. For me that means having excellent people who love doing claims as much as I do, supported by the systems and tech that make life easier for claims people and for clients. So we have a really strong focus on making sure that Davies is a great place to work, and also a place where people stay and develop their careers. Giving great service, getting good feedback from customers, even resolving tricky problems to the point where a customer is satisfied – these are really enjoyable ways to spend your time at work.
We have loads of great examples of people who have worked their way up through several career steps in Davies. One way of expressing our goal is that everyone who wants to progress can see opportunities and knows what they need to do to make them real, and that we have a talent pool in Davies for every opportunity that arises.
If you were to leave insurance for another industry, which one would it be and why?
I always quite liked the idea of being a Maths teacher. The bit that appeals to me is the idea of trying to get ideas across to people in a way they understand, and trying to inspire and motivate them. So I think I’d find the classroom fun, but I don’t fancy long hours of marking homework.
Name one thing your peers probably don’t know about you.
I enjoy cruising on the back of big motorbikes through the beautiful countryside of Lancashire and Cumbria.