There’s always two sides to a coin, they say. In the world of insurance, while insurers and policyholders aren’t necessarily adversaries, the claims process can at times feel like a constant back and forth. For Phil Morgan (pictured), founder and chair of loss assessor Morgan Clark, the goal is to provide claimants “the very best prospect” of a successful claim.
Insurance Business caught up with the seasoned businessman and found out what led him to the realm of cover almost 20 years ago, how his firm sits across the negotiating table from insurance providers, and what value they bring to brokers.
What drove you to establish Morgan Clark nearly two decades ago?
I started my first business when I was 27 years old. Following the recession in 1992, I closed the business and learnt a lot about how I wanted to run my next business. I hadn’t worked in the insurance industry before and I came across the idea of a loss assessing business during my research process. I had spent my entire career negotiating contracts and this is at the heart of what it takes to be a successful loss assessor. Following further research into the market I knew how I could make this business work. For the first six months I ran the business entirely on my own, before approaching Tony Clark, who became the managing director and we have developed the business together ever since.
What have been the biggest challenges for the loss assessing firm?
The two biggest challenges for us would be ensuring consistent recruitment of high-quality staff and becoming a well-respected company in an industry historically known for its confrontational approach.
Staff are at the core of any business. Without the best recruitment, you won’t have a good business. I am personally involved in all recruitment from the ground up, to ensure we have the finest staff to grow our business. We now have a team of approximately 50 staff with the crucial training and experience needed to offer policyholders the very best prospect of a successful insurance claim.
Over the years brokers, adjusters, and insurers have developed a confidence in our company’s philosophy – they understand that as a company we do not believe in a confrontational style, but rather a realistic, logical approach to negotiations. This has proven to facilitate far smoother running of our client’s claims and a professional working relationship with brokers, adjusters, and insurers.
As Morgan Clark chair, what goals or priorities have you set for yourself and the company?
My goal is to make Morgan Clark the most well-respected national firm of loss assessors in the industry and to be even more proud of the company that I have helped to develop. In order to do this, we need to continue to offer our clients the very best service and further develop our relationships with adjusters, insurers, and brokers to improve the general understanding and perception of the loss assessing industry.
Being on the other side of the claims process, how is your relationship with insurers and loss adjusters?
Over the years, Morgan Clark has worked with the vast majority of UK insurers and loss adjusters. It has taken time and perseverance and we are very proud of the reputation we’ve earned in the insurance industry. Morgan Clark has developed a mutual respect with most insurers and adjusters, but there is always work to be done to develop relationships further. We strongly believe there is no reason why we can’t work side by side with loss adjusters and insurers. Most insurers and adjusters appreciate the benefits of having a professional loss assessor preparing claims for their policyholders.
How about with insurance brokers?
We have a strong relationship with the brokers we work with. The level of our involvement in cases that involve a broker varies in each instance – we offer a bespoke service and take the lead from the broker as to where they need our assistance. I believe we are able to develop such strong relationships with brokers because we become an addition to their service, enhancing what they offer their clients. We give them the opportunity to offer their clients a 360-degree approach to their insurance, with both the knowledge to secure the optimal insurance for the client and a professional to manage a claim when the need arises. We work with the broker to reach the shared goal of running a smooth and stress-free insurance claim for their clients.
What do you envision for the insurance claims landscape?
I look forward to the day when it becomes the ‘norm’ for a policyholder to engage the services of a loss assessor at the outset of a claim. I feel that we are slowly reaching that point, as it is becoming more commonplace for insurance companies, brokers, and loss adjusters themselves to recommend Morgan Clark to their clients when they feel their client needs support to prepare their claim.