This is the first part in our series of “Why use a Loss Assessor? – Introducing the players”
Ray Truman of Truman Associates says “The first thing to appreciate is that whenever a disaster strikes and an insurance claim has to be made, all parties – including the policyholder – have their own objectives and no parties’ ideal outcome is necessarily the same as for any other. Only the Loss Assessor and the Claimant have the same objective in mind – to maximise (I prefer to seek to optimise) the settlement”.
Introducing the Insurance Company:
Insurance is a business and the objective is to maximise incomes and minimise outlays. The motives are profit and to satisfy shareholders. In a competitive market, where each insurer competes to offer the cheapest premium, they rely on ways to reduce – or even reject pay-outs altogether. They do this by employing Loss Adjusters to deal with the claim – more of this later. Other techniques involve bringing in their own Surveyors, Builders and other trades to quantify and do the work. Or they turn to direct suppliers who have negotiated reduced scales, rates or discounts with them in advance. This ensures that costs are kept down, which is to the advantage of the insurer and, on the face of it, of ultimate benefit to the policyholder, as reduced pay-outs may be reflected in cheaper premiums for everyone. However, this will also mean that trades, services and suppliers, who have had to adopt special rates, will report directly to the insurer; not to the policyholder, who is literally dictated to and is left with no say in how, in what form and by what means they are compensated for their losses. Whilst this favours the Insurance Company, the claimant is left powerless and unable to influence what is done in their own home or with respect to their lost possessions. This goes for commercial claims too.