21 January 2021

Why I Joined a Specialist Insurance Consultancy

BY: Ollie Newick | IN: Articles


CCi and I both have the same passion and share a common view that the landscape for insurance claims is changing, particularly for property risks which are becoming ever more complex and technical in nature. Insurers, Brokers, and their respective clients are continually seeking a value-added approach to the claims’ experience, meanwhile the total cost of servicing claims comes under ever increasing scrutiny. Finding a balance between the two is crucial – the right response to the right client at the right time, will successfully differentiate leading insurers through this period of change.

In my experience, Insurers cannot achieve this alone and will need their vendors/service providers to share the vision. A large complex/technical loss requires an equal response, as does an uncomplicated attritional claim – yet invariably they are treated no differently. The type and level of technical assistance necessary to assist a chemical company, with in-house technical expertise, will be different to the level of support provided to a large fashion retailer that has seen their flagship store burn down.

There have been occasions when Insurers receive criticism for second guessing or playing Monday morning quarter back to decisions that were made by their clients when reinstating damaged property. I have first-hand experience of this, even to the point of litigation with significant sums of money involved. Commonly, this stems from poor communication at the time a vital decision was made but I can certainly understand frustrations when facts are analysed with the benefit of hindsight, ignoring the dynamics that prevailed when the critical decision was taken. The timing when Insurers engage consultants is crucial. The right experts need to be embedded early into the process, working alongside the adjuster, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Client to understand and assist in key decisions, in real time. With Insurers now also placing more focus than ever on the accurate and timely posting of reserves, the earlier the right experts are engaged the faster potential exposures can be realised. As we know, inaccurate or late reserving can create many issues for Insurers and will always be challenging when coverage is at issue, but there is no doubt we can improve the process when it comes to the ground up assessment…definitely more science than art!

Whether it be assessing the scope of damage, loss mitigation, project managing reinstatement activities or quantum/delay forecasting, to truly deliver both efficiencies and added value requires a joined-up relationship between time, quantum, and technical expertise. I was attracted by the benefits of working within a specialist team of experts at CCi that enables them to bring multiple disciplines together in collaboration to deliver a truly integrated solution.

Many people know of CCi as delay specialists within the world of insurance, but what many may not be aware of is that they also have cost and engineering consultants in-house and that a large part of the organisation work outside of the world of insurance, providing consultancy services in Dispute Resolution, Advisory, Claim Management and as Expert Witnesses. This was really appealing. I like the fact that many of the professionals at CCi come from and still work in, dare I say, the real worlds of Construction and Engineering. Whether they are working on site, submitting expert reports into court, assisting clients in contractual disputes etc. maintaining that day-to-day contact within their respective industries ensures the advice they provide is current, relevant and above all else independent. They intrinsically understand how time, cost and engineering fit together – each discipline naturally feeding off the other two. The transferable skills, experience, and live industry relevance of this unique blend of experts can not only support Insurers in providing accurate and timely damage and quantum assessments, but also support their Clients with sophisticated insights on loss mitigation, technological advancements, use of sustainable materials etc. working with them to anticipate and prepare for challenges they may encounter with thoughtful, innovative solutions.