The Mansfield Awards celebrates claims excellence in the insurance industry. As voted by you, FM Global was a proud recipient of the Corporate Property and Casualty Insurance award in 2019.
With the 2020 Mansfield Awards coming up, we spoke to FM Global to find out more about its claims process.
The FM Global difference
FM Global is a specialist, niche insurer with a dedicated team of policy and claims experts.
With a strong focus on commercial property insurance, FM Global provides excellence in the area, rather than trying to be all things to all people. FM Global partners with clients who are interested in risk management and who value an individual approach. As a competing force in the insurance sector, it also has its own loss adjusters in-house. Such capabilities are a real differentiator in the current climate, improving the quality of service FM Global is able to provide.
Approach to claims management
FM Global recognises that, when going through the process of making a claim, individuals are often experiencing a particularly difficult and challenging time.
FM Global seeks to provide clients not only with the help and support they need to recover from a loss, but to ensure that they come out the other side with a stronger relationship. It does so through open communication, making sure clients have a clear understanding of their policy, including written confirmation of their coverage and a clear and transparent roadmap for settling claims.
Impact of the current climate on claims
Over the past 12 months, FM Global has had one of the most eventful years in insurance since 9/11.
Australians endured the worst bushfires in a generation, which affected several of FM Global’s clients, though, fortunately, resulted in only a couple of large losses. Andrea Garske, FM Global’s Vice President and Operations Claims Manager, stated that this was largely due to the pre-event plans clients had in place, which really paid dividends in terms of avoiding more significant losses.
Without much of a breather, FM Global was then thrust straight into managing the impact of COVID-19. Over the past months, FM Global’s team members have spent a great deal of time with brokers and clients, explaining their policies and the coverage they have.
While Australians have been largely spared the worst of coronavirus, FM Global’s offices in the United States are currently dealing with an incredibly high volume of COVID-19 notifications. Thus, in managing this, FM Global’s Australian team members are assisting their international counterparts, helping them manage this influx in claims.
Achieving continued claims excellence
At the heart of FM Global’s ability to deliver continued claims excellence is, of course, its people.
FM Global’s in-house loss adjusters are highly focused on their relationship with clients. As a mutual they are directly answerable to the owners of the company and policy holders in a claim situation. Their satisfaction is the primary focus. The KPIs set for the claims team are around providing excellent service and expediting claims payments to clients.
FM Global’s loss adjusters go through market leading training to ensure they have the skill and knowledge to handle large and complex losses, whilst delivering service excellence. The training is incredibly extensive and intensive, partly delivered through mentoring here in Australia but also via residential classes in the US. Their willingness to invest in employees through such extensive training leads to a high level of engagement within the team and negligible staff turnover. This stability helps FM Global to provide a consistent service and supports building long terms relationships with clients.
Initiatives for continual claims improvement
FM Global conducts loss scenario workshops for its clients, which it finds improves the overall claims process. The objective of these sessions is to help its clients or prospects understand what would be covered before a loss happens. Those involved in these sessions include the Global Client Service Team, the broker, and the client; typically the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), risk manager and perhaps the operations and production manager.
These sessions are run as an open dialogue on the coverage that either a client has or a prospect is looking for. FM Global goes through what’s covered under the policy and what’s not, so that they have clear expectations. It encourages its clients and prospects to throw loss scenarios at it. Clients can talk FM Global’s team member/s through what’s keeping them awake at night – any loss scenarios that they’ve been wondering about – and find out if it would be covered. In most instances, they find that they do have all the coverage they need.
FM Global runs these sessions with prospective customers and those it’s onboarding, as well as clients who’ve been with it for years. It finds it’s particularly helpful when there’s been a personnel change within their organisation, changes made to the policy or new exposures that need to be better understood.
Openness and collaboration in advance of a loss really contributes to a smoother and less stressful outcome in the event of the client needing to call on FM Global’s services after a loss happens.
Being a mutual company, FM Global has found that the high level of trust and integrity it has in its relationships with clients has made the claims process a lot smoother than it might be otherwise, as has its comfort with handling larger losses in the commercial property insurance segment.