New General Insurance Product Class introduced on LMI RiskCoach

Hazard Index from LMI RiskCoach showing all 13 classes of general insurance including Corporate Travel for the insurance broking as the occupation.

I am pleased to advise that the team at LMI Group have now added Corporate Travel as the 13th class of general insurance on which we provide risk and insurance information to our subscribers through LMI RiskCoach.

Besides a wealth of general information about this important class of insurance we have included Corporate Travel in the Hazard Index and Risk Specific questions and points to consider for over 5,000 occupations.

The idea behind introducing Corporate Travel to LMI RiskCoach is to assist insurance brokers and advisers to introduce this class of insurance into the conversation with their clients and use this as an aid to selling, an education piece and as a protector of their professional indemnity program.

The reason we chose Corporate Travel is due to the amount of travel people in Australia and New Zealand undertake and the sheer volume of claims that arise in this class.

We already have Corporate Travel up on LMI PolicyComparison.com and LMI ClaimsComparison.com in Australia and while we have leisure travel up as well on LMI ClaimsComparison.com we are working on this as a complete new class on LMI PolicyComparison. I will post an article when this massive piece of work is completed.

Regular users of the popular site will see that we have changed the name of “Machinery and Electronic Breakdown” to simply Equipment Breakdown in line with current market practice.

RiskCoach on the Go is also being updated with these changes and we will advise when the changes, which have to go through the relevant app stores, are completed.

The team at LMI and I would like to thank the invaluable assistance we received from the team at TravelCard Real Time Travel Insurance in developing this entire new product class on LMI RiskCoach.

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RIMS 2018

LMI at RIMS 2018. Left to right, Steve Manning, Director; Murray Rowley, Head of LMI Mining; self; and Shirley Shi, LMI Forensics Division.

Four of us from LMI Group have traveled to San Antonio in the US for the 68th annual RIMS (Risk Management Society) Conference.

Several of us have been going for a number of years to stay up to date with our learnings and to gather ideas on ways we can provide a better service to our customers.

While I have been privileged to present at the conference, this is our first year having an LMI booth in the Market Place.  Today was the first day of the conference proper and we are heartened by the reaction we have generated.

Very early on, a broker said that the best thing she will take away from the conference is our new book on Business Interruption tailored to the US style wordings. Then to finish the day, we had a company spend over 1.5 hours at our stand understanding our on line products of BIcalculator.com, PolicyComparison.com, RiskCoach and ContinuityCoach.com. The CEO of the firm ended with the words, “these products have made the conference for me”. What a wonderful way to end day 1 of the trade show.

Others during the day constantly commented that they had never seen such a great suite of services to support insurance brokers.

We took turns on the stand so we could attend sessions and a couple of us also helped pack care packages helping the Soldiers’ Angels group.

Tonight, we have been invited out by Gallaghers when they heard we were free. What a kind gesture on their part.

All in all, while day 1 is far from over, it has been a promising start for our push into the massive US market.

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Looking for experienced policy drafters

Every part of LMI is growing and we are always on the look out for good people with technical skills in claims, underwriting and risk management.

One part of the organisation that continues to grow is our policy drafting area.  We have approached on a great many projects already this year.

The experts we are after include those with the skill and experience to draft wordings and or who are experts who can sign off on legal and compliance.

If you have the expertise and are looking for either project, part time or full time employment please send your CV through to me. Please advise the classes you are comfortable in and the time you are happy to commit to.

From our side, the existing team work in a collaborate supportive team environment added by the PolicyComparison, LMI Legal and LMI Claims teams.

My email is allan.manning@lmigroup.com. All applications will be treated with complete confidentiality.

 

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What legacy are we leaving for the next generation

At least once a week, sometimes more than once a day, I am referred a matter where clients aren’t being given the right advice or being unfairly messed around during a claim. I know that many brokers and retired insurance professionals are helping with the same.

I thought I would share a note I received from an old mate showing how wide spread this is:

Hi Al,

Retired I may be, but immune from insurance related questions I am not.

I’ve had three thrown my way in the last few weeks, all related to Private Motor.

First one relates to the claim process at [name withheld] Insurance. (name of parent withheld).

My bike mechanic had a T/L [total loss] a few weeks ago and was telling me about it last night.

When he rang to make the claim he was instructed to obtain a driver record from Transport QLD for he and his wife. (She was driving at the time of the accident). I understand of course that the insurer has the right to satisfy itself about these matters, but I have never heard of this before. (Client and Mrs are in their 50’s so not a high risk profile). [As we understand it there was nothing to prompt this but it is standard procedure on all such claims].

FWIIW [For what it is worth], the rest of the claims process was just crap. Apart from its being drawn out, they were told the payout would be X but then that was revised by about 10% (downwards, naturally) without explanation or apology. Then when the settlement was agreed, they were told it would take another 7 to 10 days for the EFT to hit their account. Another person disgruntled with the industry. [At no time was the client offered any complaints procedure].

The other two queries, remarkably enough, were about cover for vehicles in transit.

One was my son in law moving from Townsville to Darwin and the other was someone in Perth, moving to Mt. Gambier.

Both rang to ask me for an insurer that would cover the transit risk (by truck and train respectively) as their comprehensive insurers had told them their policies don’t cover transit, even though one of them has a General Average provision in their wording.

One was [name withheld] through [name withheld] Leasing and other was [name withheld] through [name withheld]. In both cases, I told them to ask whoever they were talking to to show them where it’s excluded in their policy (after I had read them and could not find any such exclusion).

Admittedly, in both cases, they were dealing with AR’s of the insurer rather than the underwriter, but it still took some convincing to extract an admission that they were covered. In fact, [name withheld] maintained for a while that although the transit would be covered, the loading and unloading wouldn’t be. (I finally got this sorted as well).

I find it quite distressing that there appears to be such a lamentable lack of product knowledge on the part of staff [remember this is a basic high volume product]. What happens when punters don’t have someone to ask? Both of these people would have just bought cover they didn’t need.

I am more convinced than ever that the prime focus with regard to training is around compliance rather than product.

I’m not sure if any of this is any use to you but you’re in a better position than most to ventilate these sorts of issues.

Thanks for listening,

Peter [surname and email provided]


 

Like many in the industry, I share Peter’s concerns. This thing called ‘insurance’ seems to be forgotten and many Insureds feel like they move from being a customer to a criminal when they have a claim and then to a cost center when they prove they are not a criminal and simply want the protection they paid for.

With the two Insureds that had received wrong advice on their motor policy, what do they think of not only their insurer but insurance as a brand. What trust has been developed in these interactions.  Will they stay with the insurers knowing that if it is this hard and they are wrongly treated before a claim what can they expect should they need to make a claim.

As the world moves more and more to the experience of customers, many insurers and the agents, assessors, builders etc they use are doing their best to destroy trust and relationships.

Thankfully there are still people like Peter out their doing his best to project our profession /industry image and give people meaningful advice. He wishes he was involved earlier in the claim situation.

Just thinking about this, if this chap is mentioning this to Peter and before the conversation as I understand it, he did not know Peter had been in insurance, how many others is he complaining about his experience to. How much of the TV ads are wasted as a result for as we know we trust people we know more than TV and big corporations.

Is it any wonder that Lemonade and others who are focusing on the customer experience are getting so much attention.

While this is a treat, it also creates opportunities for brokers, claims preparers, lawyers and others who are there to provide meaningful advice either before or after the loss.

Of course this sort of behavior only leads to more regulation (clearly needed in some areas) and opens the door for genuine disruptors.

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LMI Mining attending claims due to Cyclone Debbie

There has been a good deal of news regarding the effect of Cyclone Debbie on the supply of coal to the world. We at LMI have been keeping a close eye on this and assisting many mining clients to calculate their business interruption losses as a result of the damage.

What many readers do not know, is that LMI have a specialist mining division that specialises in mining claims, risk assessment, policy and endorsement drafting and review.

Headed by Murray Rowley, with 50 years experience in mining losses, and backed by a team of on staff qualified mining engineers and accountants, the team are handling several losses arising from the closure of the rail lines in Queensland due to damage that occurred during Cyclone Debbie.

I myself, am proud to be part of this team, having handled mining losses since the mid 1980’s including some of the world’s largest claims. My MBA Thesis was on the Closure of the Bougainville Mine. My experience, however, is far outweighed by Murray’s.

Mining, perhaps more than any 0ther industry, requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. There is often a great deal of money at stake and it is certainly not an area for the generalist or amateur. While Murray and his team are based in Queensland, he and his team have and continue to handle losses all around the world due to their extensive expertise in this industry.

LMI Mining is just one of the specialist divisions we have at LMI that provide expertise for specific industries such as tourism, packaging, manufacturing, energy risks, motor trade, crop, retail, and property management.

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46 years on: a lot has changed, some good, some not so good.

46 years ago, today, I started as a claims officer at the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation in Brisbane straight from high school.

In that first year I assisted in handing claims from Cyclone Ada which hit the Whitsundays in 1970 and later in 1971, it was Cyclone Althea that hit Townsville.

Fast forward 46 years and we are back handling claims not only in the Whitsundays but throughout Queensland, New South Wales and in New Zealand.

Thinking back to those cyclones from the early 1970’s the thing that I recall most was the really high level of under insurance. We were getting quotes in for the replacement of roofs which exceeded the sum insured on the entire house or commercial building, claim after claim after claim. It was heartbreaking to me as a teenager to think of the financial burden this placed on home and business owners.

Free “under insurance penalty calculator” App from LMI Group

While under and non insurance are not quite that bad it is still a major issue facing the insurance industry and our communities. I think products like the BIcalculator program and the Under Insurance Calculator app that I thought up at different times while in the shower have been of assistance to reduce it but we still have a long way to go.

It was great to see the response to the RiskCoach On The Go app this week that Steve Manning who like me is concerned on the over emphasis on price in insurance, developed and launched last Thursday which highlights the exposures for 7,000 industries across 12 classes of insurance.

As an industry we generally provide much broader cover today than in 1971 with flood insurance being much more widely available today.

A couple of things I think have changed perhaps not for the better. One is the willingness in some adjusting houses and claims departments to make immediate progress payments to assist with emergency repairs. This causes clients great distress and distrust of our industry. One client was in tears when they received the infamous document request list when they did not even have power to turn on their computer. The lack of funds and the requirement by the insured to comply with this will only blow out the business interruption claim but I suppose it got the claim off the adjuster’s desk.

I know something, that as a claims officer if any loss adjuster left my company’s insured in tears they would not work for us again.

As I type this I just received advice that the Broker, Insurer and LMI worked together to obtain a $100,000 progress payment for the client who is now over the moon and is already getting on and mitigating their loss and disruption.

The second thing is that most insurers always tried to use local builders and contractors as we knew they would do the right thing as they lived in the community. Now we have to deal with panel builders and I am personally convinced that in most cases the perceived savings are illusionary at the expense of the premium paying customer experience. Sometimes there was a demand surge but we would remind them not to cook the goose that laid the golden egg and be reasonable. Most followed this advice and if they did not we soon worked them out and black balled them.

The third thing is that I do not recall the industry criticism in the media that we have now often even before we get a chance to make a mistake.

While we are certainly doing some things better and have better technology to help us such as drones, digital photography, geopolitical technology and satellite phones (even mobile phones for that matter) customer empathy, the time to do the job properly and common sense are still very much required.

This is not lost on everyone in the insurance industry and many insurers, insurance brokers, claims personnel, loss adjusters, claims repairers, builders and suppliers are working tirelessly and doing a first rate job. It would be nice to get a few of those stories out there.

The things I love the most about the profession are that we are providing genuine assistance to people when they are in need. That is enormously satisfying and gives you a great sense of purpose. Secondly you never stop learning. I am still a student of insurance and always will be.

Already I have updated LMI’s Emergency Response plan so that we can deliver better and faster service on future claims we are entrusted with on this catastrophe event and for the next ones.

In the last 46 years we have moved from community rating to risk rating. If you are in a high hazard area, a flood zone, a cyclone or bush fire zone insurance premiums will reflect this. What the damage and disruption following Cyclone Debbie has clearly shown as is, if you think insurance is expensive, look at what it costs if you do not have the right full cover.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment to me is the lack of flood mitigation work that has been done to safeguard our communities. A relatively small investment here will pay dividends for generations and yet our governments pay the issue lip service.

Finally, and most importantly is that besides being introduced to the profession I am so proud to be a part of, today also marks the anniversary of the day I first met my wonderful and loving wife of nearly 43 years who I met on my first day at General Accident. No wonder, 5th April is such a red letter day for me.

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ANNOUNCING: LMI RiskCoach OnTheGo

LMIGroup are pleased to announce the next evolution in its award-winning system LMIRiskCoach with RiskCoach OnTheGo. RiskCoach OnTheGo brings industry specific risk information from over 7000 industries and puts it in the palm of your hand.

The system allows users to research industry specific risks across 12 classes of insurance, look up significant exposures and explore risk checklists like never before. Go one step further and within seconds you can generate and send a co-branded tailored report with your company logo and business name right from the app.

The best part is that RiskCoach OnTheGo is available to all existing LMIRiskCoach users as part of their subscription.

To get started simply download the RiskCoach OnTheGo App from the Apple App Store or Android Play store! Or to learn more, contact LMIGroup via customerrelations@lmigroup.com

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/lmi-riskcoach-onthego/id1184053199?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=lmigroup.riskcoachonthego
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US Patents and Trademark Office grant LMI a Trade Mark

LMI Granted Trade Mark in the US

This year is rushing along and we at LMI are certainly not standing still. On top of launching LMI BASIC in the UK last month we are working to launch a new app later this week, an updated version of three of our major products in Australia, New Zealand and the UK AND launch US versions of  LMI BIcalculator.com and LMI RiskCoach next month.

As the US do things slightly different to the rest of the English speaking world when it comes to insurance, the development of the US versions has meant a great deal of work for the IT and LMI Forensic teams.

Before launching it was important for us to protect our logo and intellectual property and after working on it for nearly a year, I was pleased to receive the Trade Mark certificate today from the US Patents and Trademark Office.

LMI ran with the project after initial advice from lawyers specialising in Intellectual Property (“IP”) protection in the US and Australia. The process did get slowed down when one of the major US insurers, or their lawyers to be technically correct, put up an objection on the very last day of the objection period. We nevertheless worked through their concerns explaining a) we were not competing with them in any shape or form and in fact were assisting them in educating customers and getting the sums insured right which would only be to their advantage and b) our logo looked absolutely nothing like theirs!

At the end of the day, reason won out and the all important trade mark has been granted. After all that we went through, we certainly will be having a little celebration tonight!

We already have the logo and several of our products trademarked in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Protecting your intellectual property is something that all businesses need to consider and obtaining the trademark was seen as a key step for us in doing so.

While LMI Legal did a great job for us, their expertise is in insurance and I would recommend Millens in Melbourne who have an expert in IP in their team and who helped us with the unexpected objection and gave us advice that we followed and that worked in getting our certificate.

We continue now with innovation patents where appropriate.

 

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Thanks Team

img_6525With a spate of fires and storms across Australia the Claims Division of LMI Group did not get much of a break as they were attending claims for both our National Account clients as well as brokers and their clients who needed assistance across the festive period.

The last thing anyone wants is a fire or storm damage but it is particularly stressful over holiday periods when trades and even some insurers may not be readily available.

Everyone got stuck in and even those from other divisions helped out on the phones etc and I just wanted to place on record my sincere thanks to the entire LMI team and to our regular contractors for helping out as they did.

Our aim is to now get everyone back in business, property repaired and make 2017 great for all concerned.

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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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