Our in-house claims experts play a fundamental role in guiding clients through the most sensitive stage of the insurance policy lifecycle. We caught up with Stuart Normand, Miller’s Credit & Political Risks claims leader to shed some light on the realities of the claims process.
Q: Stuart, tell us a bit about yourself and the Credit & Political Risks claims team.
I’ve been with Miller now for coming up to 22 years (since 2000)! I am a senior member of Miller’s overarching claims division and responsible for the Credit & Political Risks (CPRI) claims service delivered to our clients. We also have two other senior claims representatives focused on CPRI: Katie Rix and Richard Revell, who have 12 and 13 years’ experience respectively.
We work closely with our broking colleagues throughout the policy lifecycle, we are on hand to guide clients from the initial stages of a potential ‘problem’ right through to claim payment and hopefully, recovery.
Q: Tell us about the types of claims you typically assist with.
The majority of the claims we assist with relate to contract frustration and credit insurance as they are non-payment/non-delivery in nature and can involve commodities, products or services. Territorially, most claims tend to originate from activities in Africa and the Middle East.
Here’s an example of a typical claim: one of our clients had pre-financed USD50m of goods which was subsequently not honoured by the counterparty due to force majeure conditions. The obligor was neither able to deliver the product, nor repay owing pre-financed amounts. Miller supported the client throughout the claims process, which included notifying and presenting the claim, meeting with insurers and loss adjusters and negotiating release wordings. We collected USD40m in a timely manner to the satisfaction of the client and are now providing support through the recovery phase of the claim.
We also see political risk claims involving typical perils (e.g. confiscation, expropriation, nationalisation and deprivation of assets). Whilst political risk policies are different in terms of policy trigger, they are often placed with the same markets as contract frustration/credit insurance policies and therefore typically involve the same loss adjusters.
Q: What makes Miller’s claims offering stand out?
At Miller we have a “one team” ethos, meaning we work closely with our broking colleagues so that our clients benefit from a seamless experience, ensuring that claims support is informed by a deep and up-to-date understanding of their business. Unlike some of our competitors, our CPRI broking and claims colleagues are based in the same office so we offer an efficient and co-ordinated service, minimising any delays.
Our claims experts have in-depth knowledge of CPRI coverages, allowing us to provide technical guidance to those clients who may be unfamiliar with how claims procedures work in respect of CPRI risks. We also maintain strong relationships with insurers’ claims colleagues as well as with a range of third-party experts such as loss adjusters and recovery agents.
Credit & political risks
Q: Did Covid-19 affect how you were able to support clients?
Following the first lockdown in March 2020, Miller’s claims team seamlessly transitioned from a fully office-based service to an entirely remote working arrangement. Already equipped with laptops and embedded electronic processes, the only real change for us was how we interacted with our clients and markets. Thanks to video technology and our unwavering dedication to service, we’re delighted to say that our clients experienced the same high levels of service we pride ourselves on.
Q: And finally, what advice would you give to clients about the claims process?
Speak to Miller as soon as you think there may be a problem. As well as handling the negotiation and settlement of claims, we’re also here to offer tailored advice and guidance at all stages of the policy lifecycle and have the experience and expertise to find the best solutions for you and your business.
Do get in touch with myself or any of the team should you wish to know more.