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01 Mar 18 12:32

In my view there has never been a more exciting time than now to be involved in the world of claims management.

I'd also say that providing a top flight claims service and responding to our clients' needs in the most effective way and through the most appropriate forum has never been so important.Of course, there are a number of topics that are getting more focus and challenges that exist and I'd like to mention the following:

1. Newer covers, such as cyber and intellectual property, are starting to generate claims, while losses in newer markets, such as in China, are coming to the fore. In addition, the modern business environment is becoming more complex. This means that claims are also becoming more complex and as claims professionals we are spending increasingly more time to understand losses and learn new lessons so that our businesses develop, our products improve and we innovate more.

2. We are watching with much interest the impact of the Insurance Act in the UK which was introduced last year. This is a very significant piece of legislation, which I expect will bring added comfort to some insurance buyers. But it will be interesting to see this develop across the market and its implications - not least in the international or subscription market.

3. There is also increased use of technology, data and analytics, a heightened focus on diversity, more collaboration and, at the same time, a focus on segmentation of services. So, this means that the skill sets required to be a top flight claims professional are seemingly changing. In our encouragement of developing new claims talent, I think it is important to acknowledge these transformations.

4. The continued M&A activity means that insurance carriers are becoming larger. In turn, this means that the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise is potentially more challenging.

There will be other challenges on the horizon in the short term that I have probably missed. However, for me, these changes and challenges are exciting, and an opportunity especially as I am convinced that the value of claims is significantly growing in importance and definitely going up the agenda. That, to my mind, is not surprising given that claims can provide true value and make a real difference to our clients.

However, what does providing top-flight claims service mean? Well, essentially to me, the main ethos of claims service is one that responds to our clients' needs and puts our customer's right at the heart of everything we do. This sounds simple, but this is so important to us at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, especially as we believe that our primary responsibility in claims is to help to our customers. We are extremely lucky to have an executive team who truly support the delivery of top quality claims service.

Our Claims Commitment has even been included in our updates to investors. In turn, we have built a culture that emphasises and engenders our Claims Commitment in and across our business. In fact, over the last 24 months, we've invested significant time and effort to train our teams, in close collaboration with our valued clients. Client feedback indicates that they are starting to see, and feel, a difference. However, we are seeking to do even more. In particular, we are developing on our future talent pool through mentoring programmes and we are also focussed on the building out of our claims global practice groups to share the industry and technical knowledge, expertise and guidance. We are also striving to spend more time listening to our clients, both on individual claims, and in a wider context as well, so that we better understand the bespoke nature of their business, get a clearer picture of how we are performing and understand what top flight claims service means to them.

We are also working on an initiative which puts claims more to the fore and in the limelight with our clients from a relationship point of view, building trust, confidence and closer ties, ideally before any problems might have occurred. This is another reason that I feel tremendously enthused about the future of claims!Our feedback through working with our clients thus far strongly suggests that providing a bespoke and flexible service which is tailored to their specific needs is what's most important. But it must be underpinned by a number of core principles in terms of what our clients can expect from us. How accessible are we, how responsive are we, using technology and portals as appropriate to support this, and how we do we avoid surprises. In fact that's why we created our Corporate Solutions Claims Commitment .

Our set of commitments defines the claims service culture we are striving to deliver, but the commitments are also heavily directed to our behaviours and how we do things in delivering that service. So for example...in the rare situation that policy coverage does not apply to part of a claim, clearly this is not necessarily a good news story for a client, but in our experience it is often how that message is delivered and the timing of it which is important. That is why we make sure we speak to our clients as early as we can in a professional way to make sure we have properly understood and to give an opportunity for client feedback and challenge.These commitments that we made were developed in direct liaison with some of our customers and I would like to think that this really shows the importance we place around hearing from our clients. That said, in my mind the word flexible is also paramount. To me the days of working hard between 9am and 5pm behind a computer is no longer the benchmark in our markets of a good service. I think we need to be flexible, responsive and proactive if we want to be truly service orientated. If that means being visible, or if it means liaising with a client in an emergency out of hours situation, or participating in scenario planning events, then we'll of course do this and indeed encourage it. What's more important is that we have claims professionals who communicate effectively with our clients, who provide excellent advice and find ways to resolve potentially complex and dynamic situations. This is a real skill in itself and we're spending a lot of time developing our teams in these areas to become truly world class. We think this is really starting to pay dividends.

In conclusion, I would say that there is a huge amount of change taking place in the world of claims at the moment. I think that if a carrier can remain agile, adapt to the changing environment and provide true top flight claims service then there are significant opportunities arising and a chance to provide real differentiation as a result. That is certainly what we are committed to delivering at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.


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