I have been involved in the claims side of the insurance industry for over 33 years, employed for all but three of these years as a broker in the London Market. During this time I have witnessed many changes for the good in the way the market handles the many claims made across the non-marine side of the business.
But the way insurers have treated the loss adjusting profession in recent years has in my view been almost disgraceful. Many loss adjusting firms, it seems, have simply disappeared from the face of the earth.
The number of qualified loss adjusters and the expertise that they possessed has been lost, unlikely to be replaced and at what cost to the good of the industry?
I would be interested to know how many people joined the loss adjusting profession between say 2000 and 2002 compared to between 1990 and1992.
It seems to be a shrinking profession with perhaps little long term career prospects available for the young person who might have contemplated seeking a worthwhile career in the adjusting profession.
If our climate continues to change in the next 20 years, as it has in the last few years, then we will face the possibility of very serious floods and storm damage throughout the country. The quantum of such incidents will likely be in the billions of pounds should power supplies be damaged, factories destroyed and homes ruined. Such serious claims cannot be handled through the completion of a claim form.
What will the insurance industry do in such circumstances. Look to the loss adjusting profession to deal with matters as they have in the past?
I suggest they may look, but will not find. I suppose the insurance industry could learn a lesson from the NHS and the nursing shortage by importing adjusters from overseas.
I strongly recommend that all major insurers should consider getting together to review their long term policy of supporting the adjusting profession before it is too late. This may seem a way out proposal, but for once let's be radical.
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