ILC Industry Leader Interview: Stuart Markham, Managing Director, Motor Claims, Claims Consortium Group
2nd August 2022Tweet
Which areas of business do you think offer the greatest opportunities right now, and how are you capitalising on them?
Our clients are constantly challenging the market to be more efficient and reduce overall claims spend. The best opportunities are available to those suppliers who can look at the big picture and offer solutions that go further than their core offering. Suppliers who offer a good product but then also complement this by reducing friction in the wider claims process will ‘stand out’ from the crowd and see their market share grow. This will be especially relevant as we move into a more turbulent economic environment.
Our focus is very much on breaking down barriers between insurers for their mutual benefit. The industry still operates in archaic and confrontational ways. Those insurers who can move away from the norm and look strategically at their whole cost base will gain a significant competitive advantage in the long run.
How have you added resilience and adaptability to your business over the past few years?
The pandemic has had a significant influence on how we operate strategically. The existing agility of our business meant we could adapt extremely quickly, and we had all our teams working from home in a matter of days. We have built on this further and like many, we have now moved to a more flexible, hybrid working model. In addition to other benefits, being able to source staff nationally has certainly improved our overall skill set.
We have created resilience through growth of market share but also in developing our products so that we are always offering something new to our clients. We operate in highly competitive market and standing still for too long means you just get overtaken by competitors and we work hard to ensure that is never the case. When motor accident frequency rates were 70% down during the national lockdowns in 2020 – 2021 we used the opportunity to review our products and market position so that we would be in the best position once things returned to normal.
How has your business philosophy evolved since you began in the industry?
It’s all about the people – you need good people and a high performing team to make a real difference. I used to believe that a manager should be able to see and control everything that’s going on but now I know, that’s not how it works in the most successful businesses. It’s about having a great and engaged team and empowering and upskilling those people to make the right decisions.
The other area is in having integrity in your market area, which has always been important, but as my career has progressed, I have gained an even deeper understanding of how this contributes to running a sustainable business. I’m still surprised sometimes when I hear over promises of commitments that cannot be achieved due to lack of skills or resources because in my view nothing is worth risking your integrity for – once lost it’s not something that can easily be returned.
What is the greatest myth about the insurance industry, and what is the fact?
It’s an old one; the misconception that insurers or loss adjusters are all out to rip people off.
You still hear it all the time and it’s just not true. The whole industry is built on having precise information so that risk can be measured as accurately as possible. The last thing insurers want is for claims to be under or over paid because it strikes at the very heart of their business models and pricing. How to provide the best possible customer service is at the forefront of the industry’s agenda because we exist to protect and help customers when they need it most.
Consumer attitudes are changing – how is the insurance industry evolving to meet their demands?
Customers want flexible and hassle-free transactions with insurance companies. Whether that be at point of sale or when a claim is made. People’s lives are more complex than ever, and their expectations of insurers will be that they adapt around the customer rather than just stick to old ways of doing things.
Usage based insurance has plenty of growth to achieve in the motor market. That’s a great example of flexibility being offered to customers and potentially reducing the cost of insurance for people.
The insurer who genuinely manages to achieve real time interaction with customers by offering them service and pricing related to constantly changing demand will surely be a market leader in the future.Tweet
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