Pen's Perspective On….. Handling the hazardous
Published On : 02 Dec 2020
Expect the unexpected.
That's our team's mantra for the everyday.
Because when your role is to manage and mitigate losses literally flowing from the transportation or storage of hazardous goods, it's easy to see why.
From having to call in the archaeologists when you uncover a skeleton at a large domestic oil spill in digging down to remediate the ground – to discovering harmless-looking milk is actually the UK's most common environmentally destructive liquid alongside sewage sludge – being ready to deal with the random, rare or remarkable is par for the course.
Some days it really does feel like we've seen it all.
And after more than 30 years of looking after clients operating at the non-standard end of the non-standard spectrum of risks, that's to be expected. At the end of the day, our role is to help keep some of the UK and Ireland's most vital goods moving – whether that's fuels, chemicals or essential food substances like the already mentioned, more-damaging-than-you'd-think, milk.
The everyday reality we face is that even our clients with the most actively and well managed risks can suffer sizeable losses when accidents strike. Clean up costs and consequences can be big – which is why early intervention has always been crucial to the hazardous goods and tanker sector, as well as the capacity for 24/7 emergency remediation. 18,000-plus environmental claims handled and not a single client prosecution tells its own story about the importance of first response expertise. And these incidents are always much more likely to happen at 2am on a Sunday morning than in the cold light of day during the working week.
DATA - ASSESS, ANTICIPATE, AVOID
As an underwriting business our primary role will always be to assess risk based on information provided, so quality and timely data are our lifeblood as well as the biggest driver behind our ability to offer our brokers and clients the most appropriate protection at the most competitive price.
Increasingly our focus, therefore, is not just on expecting the unexpected and jumping into action accordingly. Instead, we're aiming to gather and use data in all its forms to help our clients better anticipate and avoid the types of losses that quality, timely and consistently captured information can pinpoint and prompt a risk management response that effectively addresses the underlying issues.
The feedback loop between claims, risk management and underwriting has never been stronger, or more important. And it's essential to keep improving and strengthening this loop if we're to proactively help our clients improve their risk profile and avoid the avoidable losses.
But we absolutely recognise this is a two-way street. Data is everywhere, and can be overwhelming as a result. So what we're not doing is calling for data for data's sake. We'll soon be providing our brokers with even greater detail on exactly what type and format of data to include in risk submissions to make a tangible difference to their clients.
We want to make it as easy as possible for brokers to share relevant and valuable client data; data that will in turn enable us to intervene at the most appropriate time and help address issues as they arise – not just at renewal.
So our own investment in this area will also be focused on that feedback loop, carefully considered to enhance our offering and services in a way that could ultimately make a material difference to each client's loss experience. After all, if we're going to demand more data from brokers, it's for us as specialist underwriters to make sure we utilise that data to intervene and assist in improving a client's risk wherever and whenever possible.
To watch the video discussion we recently had on this topic with InsTech London, visit https://lnkd.in/dV_cGKm