The recent Insurance Times MGA Survey provided over 1300 Brokers with the opportunity to raise concerns they have about the market at present. The survey insights presented a recurring range of concerns including that of Claims Handling and Processing.
To have a strong Claims function is of paramount importance to any MGA and at Prestige Underwriting, we are not any different. We are hugely proud of the Claims handling and processing service we offer our Broking partners and strongly feel it is one of our biggest strengths.
This in-house service represents a uniquely tailored proposition which gives us standout from our peers in the industry. Furthermore, we are delighted to retain excellent levels of control over the claims management with many of our capacity partners.
Headquartered in Belfast, our claims team provides a diverse wealth of local and national knowledge across all types of property and motor claims, providing its service to the three regional markets - Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
Our specialist team of claims handlers are on hand to provide expert advice right from the beginning of the claim process, ensuring a smooth journey for your clients. Commitment to CPD is important across all divisions within Prestige Underwriting and we are very proud that the majority of our claims handlers have a range of CII and/or APA qualifications.
In our Property Team, we handle all types of claims for various risk types including thatched properties, landlord risks, single and multi-let properties as well as private dwelling homes.
We work closely with our capacity partners and offer specialist suppliers or contractors for a broad range of claim types, from jewellery, electronics, and pedal cycle specialists, to a network of building validation experts who can be on site quickly to assess the extent of a claim.
Across the three regions, Escape of Water claims have the highest frequency, followed by storm and accidental damage to buildings. As we approach the winter season, we expect to see a further increase in these claim types.
Here we have some advice and checks for burst and frozen pipes to help you prevent such disasters in the home.
• Insulation and lagging - check the water pipes and lagging are properly installed and lagged. You should pay particular attention to pipes that are exposed to the cold, outlet pipes and pipes hat run along outside walls in unheated rooms or in your loft
• Central heating – in a long cold spell, keep central heating on a low setting and open the loft hatch occasionally to let warm air circulate
• Draining systems – drain your entire system and switch off the water at the main if you plan on being away for a while
• Stop cock – know where your stop cap is so you can switch the water off in the event of a burst
• Radiator valve – check radiators regularly for leaks
• Overflow pipes and tanks – check overflow pipes, water tanks and central heating header tanks regularly. Check the ball cock values close and the ball sits correctly
• Washing appliances – check the fittings and working order of your appliances regularly
• Gutters – check and clear gutters regularly. Maintain and repair any damage to avoid the water penetrating your property
• Gradual leaks – damp patches, mildew and mould are indicators that there may be a gradual leak and it should be investigated.
In our Motor team, we handle claims for private cars, taxi, fleet, commercial vehicle and both standard and non-standard risks. We are proud to have a very experienced team of personal injury handlers, together with experts in fraud investigation and credit hire negotiation.
We have a network of approved repairers in all three geographical markets and if the policy permits, these repairers will provide customers with courtesy vehicles while theirs are being repaired. We also have the advantage of our own in house engineers, who will often carry out desktop inspections using the images sent by the repairer, speeding up the process for all involved. We know how important having a vehicle is to our network of Brokers’ clients and aim to turn around claims as quickly as possible, while still investigating potential fraud risks to ensure innocent parties are protected.
In 2020 and amidst the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, it has been interesting to track a change YOY to the nature of motor claims processed. During the first period of lockdown and severe restrictions, fewer private car motorists were on the road and therefore there was a reduction in the volume of claims from private car policies. This reduction was however offset by the increased traffic in commercial vehicle type vehicles making deliveries from fast food to on-line shopping. As we come into the winter months, morning frost and snow have a tendency to cause havoc on our roads and we expect to see an increase in volumes again.
Check out our useful tips for driving in winter.