Mansfield Awards – the movie

The Mansfield Awards for Claims Excellence hosted on the 13th July 2017 were a great success. InsuranceNEWS and LMI Group as organisers and hosts were delighted with the support received about the concept, from sponsors and from attendees.

Here is a link to a highlights video to remind those that attended what happened on the night or if you did not make it, what you missed out on. Either way, I hope you enjoy it and look forward to seeing you at next year’s event.

Special thank you to the award sponsors, Steadfast and icare. Also to our Master of Ceremonies, Martin McAvenna and Mark Doepel for the Mansfield Oration.

Details of the winners can be found at www.claimscomparison.com

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Happy Birthday Blog

Today marks the 3rd birthday of this blog starting on 10th April 2014.

Since then, 950+ posts have been published and by sharing it on LMI and my own personal Linked In, Twitter and Facebook pages over 10,000 subscribe and over the total reads has been over 1,000,000.

The posts that get the most attention are when I have a rant but this cannot and should not be faked and so they do not come along too often.

Over half have been answering questions put to me and these have come from 6 continents and just under 50 countries. I do not post all the questions and answers for a variety of reasons but where appropriate I do.

The accountant in me records the time I spend on the posts as I soon realised that writing a blog post takes a lot more time than I thought. Checking today, I was staggered to see that if I were to charge for the time at my standard charge out rate the cost in writing the blog has been over $250,000 plus the cost of subscribing to Bigstock photos so that I do not breach copyright with any images.

The way I look at it is that each time someone reads a post the investment is around 0.25cents but more importantly if just one client is better protected, one Professional Indemnity claim is avoided, if the general insurance industry is better regarded and understood, then the investment is well worth while.

The blog is not a chore as I write on topics I love and the thought of helping people is extremely satisfying. I too learn from the experience as I do not always know the answer of a question off the top of my head and then I go and research it and so am better off for it as well.

For the budding blogger, please use a good system. Mine has had 96,410 malicious attacks and the worst bit until I put a spam filter on the site is that you get bombarded with spam comments. Since I put on the filter about 18 months ago, it has blocked 46,628 spam comments.

I do have to be careful to ensure that I know where the question comes from and that I have all the facts particularly where I sense it is a live claim. I do get frustrated when the person asking is just using me and claiming it as their own work or they have engaged an expert for a fee who has not been able to answer the question and then expects me to address some complex issue for free. I do expect to be treated fairly and not just used.

I am looking forward to posting my 1,000 post in a month or two, a milestone that has been reached a lot quicker than I thought and I have no plans to stop just yet as there are no doubt heaps more questions to answer and just as many issues that will pop into my head that I wish to share and debate.

So keep the questions coming.

PS, several people have contacted me saying that surely it has been more than 3 years. It turns out that the system I use only records the last 3 years. When I went back and looked at the first post, it was 4th October 2011 so it is really 5 1/2 years of blogging. Talk about time flying when you are having fun.

I double checked the other stats and except for the total number of posts and subscribers which are correct as reported above, the reads, attacks, spam comments etc are only for past three years. It is therefore more widely used that I realised.

Thanks to all that have contacted me via email etc to say how much you enjoy the articles.

 

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Latest book – The Great Fire of London – 1666 – The Birth of Modern Fire Insurance.

Front and back covers of The Great Fire of London – The Birth of Modern Fire Insurance

Following the wonderful reception that my book first photobook, Carter v Boehm celebrating the 250th anniversary of Utmost Good Faith received, I returned with Steve Manning’s assistance to my first love, that is, research and writing on insurance and have recently published a second book in the coffee table format/series. This time celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and how this in turn led to the development of modern fire insurance companies, lead by Nicholas Barbon.

For those of you interested in insurance and/or history, you will be intrigued to note that Barbon also invented the concept of town houses. He was truly a remarkable and innovative man, a medical doctor and politician as well as land developer and insurer.

One of the items in our insurance memorabilia/realia collection is a copy of a policy from 1698 signed by Dr Barbon. A photograph of this features naturally in the book.

The image accompanying this post is of the front and back covers of the book.

If you are attending either the upcoming Steadfast or AIMS conferences, call past the LMI Group booth and have a look at the book or the earlier one on the birth of Good Faith in insurance.

To order either book, please visit www.lmigroup.com/publications.

I am already working on the next revisiting Donoghue v Stevenson, the most important case in the 800 years of English Common Law and a non insurance related one on the Normandy Landings in World War II.

No doubt the major conference that I wrote about earlier this week on the history of marine and general insurance will be the source of a future book as well.

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New look to celebrate 5 years of blogging

thanksThis month sees the 5th anniversary of this blog with now over 850 articles published.

I would like to thank all the readers and particularly those that share the articles and/or pose questions and comments. It remains a privilege to share my thoughts, research and knowledge with such a wide and diverse audience.

Two things stand out.

  1. First is just how much I have learned myself by researching answers to questions put to me.
  2. Secondly just how wide the readership is now with people from at over 60 countries reading regularly. Only yesterday I was asked to allow many of the posts to be translated into Slovakian to assist the local industry educate the public on insurance. I naturally agreed immediately.

YouTubeThe blog has also encouraged my son to start becoming a vlogger or video blogger through his series on YouTube called Insurance Bites. He publishes a new video with the help of LMI Media’s Andrew Pitts each Wednesday. If you have not visited the site I encourage you to do so.

I do get a great number of requests for a guest post and while I do permit and encourage this, I do vet the content carefully to ensure it is not a product flog and that the topic is of relevance to the majority of readers in the countries where the bulk of the readership is.

The old site was looking a bit dated so the site www.allanmanning.com has had a refresh.

A very warm thank you to Ashleigh White, Executive Assistant for your work on this.

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Steven makes his own mark

As a father, it was quite pleasing to see my son, Steven, be named one of the fifty ‘young guns’ of the Insurance Industry by Insurance Business. As the article accompanying his photograph states, he is forging his own space and name within the insurance industry and is doing a great deal to educate new entrants and also the public on the importance of insurance and unraveling some of the jargon for which we are famous.

Well Done Steve.

Steve - Young Gun

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At last, some good news

The words Good News in a colorful burst of stars or fireworks toLast week I reported on a couple of attacks on LMI Group. One physically with the violent robbery and the second, a cyber attack.

While we are in the process of enhancing the video footage of our own robbery and have identified the perpetrators vehicle and are now working towards the number plate, we are pleased to report that the footage we had of a robbery to our neighbours not long before us, was sufficient to identify the vehicle involved in their robbery and this has led to the arrest of the alleged thief. We are yet to hear whether the property stolen has been recovered but hopefully we have got at least one off the street.

The loss adjuster involved in our robbery attended site Friday last week, appointed by our insurer, QBE. Delaying his attendance was nothing to do with either our insurer or his firm but rather the fact that Steven and I had been out of town for over a week and he attended our first day back. The whole process has been quite painless and the vast majority of the claim has been agreed. It does pay to keep in mind the claims service you receive from your Insurer when purchasing the insurance. As I have said many times, it certainly is not just about price, it is also the level of coverage and the speed and fairness of the claims service.

As both Steven and I have so much of our own personal property at work, being both avid collectors of Insurance, Fire Brigade and other memorabilia, we have both our names included in the definition of the named Insured, therefore avoiding any sub-limit for employees or directors property.

The lesson from all of this is that as the economy toughens, crime does increase and it is incumbent upon us all to protect our own property and keep an eye on our neighbours and local community by working together. This way we have a much greater chance of staying safe and keeping the baddies at bay.

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It will never happen to me – but it did

LMI Group have been in the Melbourne office since May 2000. During that time, we have slowly improved our security as we’re always worried about holding commercially sensitive information for our clients and housing our services and so, we have ensured that our windows that did not face the main street were all barred, we have a back to base alarm system and 10 cameras. We attempted to dead lock our front door, however the current building code of Australia does not allow this as it has to always remain as a fire exit.

Our own LMI Group front door which was used as the entry point for the thief

Our own LMI Group front door which was used as the entry point for the thief

 

On Saturday evening, 9th July 2016 at 10.30pm while there was a great deal of traffic going down the street, a large piece of concrete was thrown through the front door and a burglar instantly entered by putting his hand through the hole he made through the laminated glass and pulling the handle. Despite the alarm going off, he remained in the building for 15 minutes. It took that long for the back to base alarm company to telephone me, but fortunately I live close by and fearing that it was a robbery and not a false alarm because of all the others that have been occurring around us, I rushed over, getting there approximately 15 minutes from when the thief first entered.

On my way over, I learnt from our alarm company that the rear access door had been activated and so I headed for there. Meanwhile, the thief was preparing a getaway through the rear door and had opened the door just to test that it did open. This meant that someone had left out of our building Friday afternoon without deadlocking it against company policy.

I also contacted the police and advised them a robbery was underway and I was about to arrive. Against their sound advice, I entered the building through the rear door screaming and shouting with the police on the phone. Unbeknownst to me, the thief had picked up a dagger that had only been put on display the very day before in our office. Fortunately, he dropped most things other than the dagger and whatever he had in his pockets as he ran for his life out of the building, right across the street, fortunately or unfortunately depending on what mood I’m in, he avoided getting hit by all the cars on the busy street too. He ran past his own vehicle, hid in a lane way to compose himself and then calmly walked back to his car and drove off just as the police arrived.

 

The thief had targeted in the first instance laptops and our petty cash tin. He then went back around a second time, I learnt this from watching the CCTV footage the following day, to collect smaller items such as pens that my son and I had collected over the years, often given to me as a thank you from a particularly happy client or for speaking at a conference or the like.

With the robberies that had occurred around us, I had a false sense of security, although there is always a doubt in your mind, that we were secure because of the security precautions we had taken. When it was tested we did find a number of things. First, the neighbouring houses behind us did not react to the alarms. There was a function only 4 doors down the road at a premises that was recently broken into themselves and they did not hear the alarm nor did their security guard out the front. The fact that there was a security camera clearly visible from the footpath in front of our building and the traffic on a busy road still did not deter the thief.

On the positive side, no data was lost, no one was injured, although my feet did get some glass in them from walking over the broken glass door, and we were fully insured.

We are now working with our security company, locksmith and a company that supplies 3M glass for anti-shatter glass film suppliers to beef up our security further and will fast track the upgrading of our front fence which we already have council approval to do.

I do not believe I am becoming more paranoid but there certainly is an increase in the level of crime all around Australia with car jackings, burglaries etc and I would urge everyone to have a fresh look at the security on your own premises, whether it is your home or business, and to double check your insurance program.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a burglary, the advice I would give is to run a virus check on all computers left behind and make sure there is no physical device such as a key logger that has been inserted into any of the machines. Another thing to check is if any house, business or car keys have been stolen.

I would finally like to sincerely thank the police officers who attended on the night. It is a dangerous and difficult job they undertake on behalf of society and we all owe them a great deal of thanks. The follow up police, including the detectives have all been very proactive and acted with compassion and a genuine desire to assist and catch the criminal involved. I know they get their fair share of criticism but from where I sit, none is deserved on the way they responded and treated my staff and I since. From their side, I think the police are pleased that we had so much footage and done so many enquiries, assisting our neighbours before our own attack and following, including checking all the local rubbish bins, gardens and sending off photographs of the more distinctive items to the likes of cash converters who we have done claims for in the past and have a relationship through their very helpful insurance broker.

The police were also impressed that all the computers and laptops we have recorded the serial numbers and have them clearly marked for identification as well as data encryption.

One thing that I have been meaning to write about before this event, but which has brought home to me, is when comparing our CCTV footage to our neighbours. Often people do not record on their system in the best and highest quality as they are trying to keep the surveillance for as long as they can. A poor quality video recording that does not pick up the number plate of cars etc is valueless. Hardware storage is cheap and if you’re going to the trouble of putting in cameras, record at the highest possible level and keep your back up disks off site.

The other thing that we did that assisted us was that because of the robberies around us, it prompted my son to walk around and take some photographs of the more valuable items in the office. Even then, it was not until I reviewed the video tape that I realised the dagger had been stolen and only knew this when I saw him with it in the thief’s’ hand.

The event has also reinforced to all our claims team just how it feels to be a victim rather than going out and looking at claims and there is certainly an emotional stress that none of us should forget to the victims of loss or damage, particularly as a result of a violent robbery or fire.

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LMI Group appoints new director

Today marks a milestone for both LMI Group and the Manning family with the appointment of my son, Steven, as a director of the group’s Australian, New Zealand and Singapore operations.

Steven, who is a recent graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has shown great leadership in the organisation and has been instrumental in the successful launch of the group’s internet based knowledge eServices globally. In his role as head of eServices, Steven has been responsible for 40% of the revenue of the organisation.

Steven’s appointment is part of LMI Group’s overall succession plan, which allows Steven a number of years’ experience at board level before taking over as Managing Director in July 2021.

I’m sure all those that know Steven realise that he has worked hard for his new position and wish him every success.

allanhelensteveweb

Steve's daughter Audrey attended for part of the celebrations at LMI wearing her "Future CEO" socks.

Steve’s daughter Audrey attended for part of the celebrations at LMI wearing her “Future CEO” socks.

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“I wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever.” – Andy Warhol

New York City MOMA - New York City MOMA - Andy Warhol, Marilyn MI’m living proof that it is possible.

Forty five years ago I walked in and became a claims officer at General Accident Insurance in Brisbane, as my first full time  job. On that day I also met my now wife of 41 1/2 years.

All these years later I have an even greater love for this wonderful industry that continues to protect our insureds, communities and our economy but also for the great woman, Helen, that has supported me in my career, and still works with me in it, in what has proved to be the most interesting and challenging career I could have chosen.

One of the reasons I love insurance so much is that you never stop learning and every claim I am involved in I learn something new despite years or research and study. I encourage anyone that is thinking about joining the industry to get in and make the most of it. You will not be disappointed.

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Valerie Baker Memorial Award Nominations are closing..EXTENDED: Nominations open until 12 February 2016!

The Valerie Baker Memorial Award is an award that recognises excellence in professional practice in the General Insurance intermediary sector.  Applications open on 15th October and will close on the 20th December 2015 12th February 2016.

ValerieBaker

Valerie Baker

The Award memorialises the achievements Val Baker, a doyen of our industry in every sense of the word. She put in a lifetime of effort to improve the professionalism of the Insurance Broking and Underwriting Agency industries with her work continuing by encouraging high potential individuals with this award.  It is awarded nationally once every year and is sponsored by Gold Seal, the Steadfast Group and most recently this year the inclusion of sponsorship from AIMS.

The Award is open to all Australian Brokers and Underwriting Agents, not only to members of the Steadfast Group, AIMS Group or their equity-linked businesses. The winner will be announced at a function to be held at Lloyd’s Australia’s new premises in May 2016.

The winner will receive a career enhancing opportunity to see first-hand how the London Market operates.

The prize includes:

    • Expenses-paid trip to London – business class air fares and accommodation
    • Attendance at a Chartered Insurance Institute short course
    • Focused learning activities with key underwriters and brokers
    • Meet with senior managers at Lloyd’s of London
    • Mentoring opportunities from 2015 winner Julie Pernecker

The 2015 winner Julie Pernecker of All Parks Insurance summed up her experience saying;

“Leading up to my trip to London I was a bag of mixed emotions. Once exposed to the London Market the fears I had were soon replaced with excitement and thoughts of all the opportunities the London Market has to offer. I had been introduced to a whole new world and level of insurance.

 After having the opportunity to sit “on the box” with a few syndicates my mind was working overtime on the great opportunities this could mean for our business.

 The experience of all the people I was put in contact with thanks to the Valerie Baker Award has offered me a wealth of knowledge and opportunities. I cannot wait to see where this takes me in the future.”

If you are interested in nominating a person for the Award or in applying, please go to the link on the Gold Seal website http://www.goldseal.com.au/124/Valerie-Baker-Memorial-Award and follow the steps as outlined. Any nominees feeling a little daunted are cordially invited to give Sheila Baker from Gold Seal a call, and she will help all comers through the application process.

There are no age restrictions with the only criteria being that you work for a broking house or underwriting agency. If you fit this simple criteria, there are no excuses, just get in and nominate. So click on the link and nominate (And if you take this advice and win, remember this blog in your acceptance speech!).

Good luck! goldsealsteadfast
AIMS

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