I absolutely agree with Malcolm Harvey's comments (27 March, Insurance Times). I would however, add that the three major players in the claims market, specifically acting on behalf of the insured, my own company, Thomson & Bryant and the Harris Claims Group, have also for many years been championing this cause of regulation in our industry.

Regulation should be extended to ensure other issues that perhaps Mr Harvey does not consider important. Those issues are:

  • The correct level of professional indemnity. There are certain one-man-band, ex-loss adjusters in our industry who either have no PI cover or very limited cover; not enough, for instance, to handle claims over £250,000

  • Correct level of qualified staff to be able to offer the client an equivalent service to that being offered by the traditional loss adjusters to the insurance company. In simple terms, this is having in-house quantity surveyors, forensic accountants and valuers and not having to sub-contract these services.

    Many years ago I highlighted all these issues and pointed out that in the US public adjusters, as our industry is known, can offer those services to the insured after being registered to the state they operate in, and have rigorous examinations to pass before they can practise.

    All these issues are extremely important to make sure that the public receives the very best quality service at a time when they need it most.

    From the brokers' perspective it is equally important that, when they recommend a loss assessing company or loss adjuster to their clients to handle claims on their behalf, they should check the professional indemnity issue very carefully.

    It would sadden me to see an insured suing his broker because the one-man-band assessing company that has advised the insured badly has no PI cover.

    Nicholas Balcombe
    Chief executive
    Balcombe Group

    Send letters to Insurance Times, 30 Cannon Street, London EC4M 6YJ or email
    letters@instimes.co.uk or fax 0207618 3499

  • Topics