Carriers from across the market must elevate the claims process in the (re)insurance value chain, Tim Deardon, group head of claims at IGI has said.

Seaking to Re-Insurance ahead of this year’s Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous, Deardon said that C-suite executives at both carriers and brokers frequently besmirched the industry for not taking claims seriously, but rarely did companies act to allay the criticism.

“In the boardroom it is often said that claims is the most important part of what we do as an industry, but too often that gets forgotten the moment the meeting has finished,” Deardon said.

“The executives need to practise what they preach,” he added.

Deardon said that the claims function should be “frontline” at any carrier regardless of size or lines of business written – and this is something that IGI is striving to achieve.

He said that at the Dubai-headquartered carrier there is a culture of celebrating claims and taking pride in paying out as quickly as possible when a loss occurs.

“When I started at IGI our CEO Wasef Jabsheh told me he loves paying claims,” Deardon said. “That was music to my ears.”

Deardon acknowledged that the overall claims landscape for the market had improved from years gone by, however the speed of change was not quick enough.

“There is more emphasis on paying claims than in the past, but it’s like a tanker turning around – the change process is very slow,” he said.

“Claims is going up the agenda for insurers and how important they think it is,” Deardon added.

Deardon said that InsurTech is playing a role in modernising the claims function, but stressed that technology cannot fully replace the human element required in complex claims management.

“An insurer’s relationship with the buyer is very important,” Deardon said. “And not just with the underwriter – the relationship needs to be with the claims team too,” he went on.

Deardon pointed to the London Market Group’s Single Claims Agreement Party (SCAP) as an example of where the balance is being struck between making claims more efficient and maintaining customer service.

He explained that SCAP allows for a “smarter claims process” with the slip leaders decision binding following insurers on non-complex claims.

But Deardon said that such initiatives – which are being adopted by carriers market-wide – also require the participation of brokers in order to be successful.

“It will take the broking house fraternity to make this work,” he said.

“All market players need to be involved if the claims function is to improve,” Deardon add