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17 December 2019

Staking a claim

No two phone calls are the same for Crombie Lockwood’s claims team. With experience gained from many years of dealing with all manner of scenarios, team members have the knowledge to advise clients of all their options in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner.

While every client case is different, five years’ experience working within the Crombie Lockwood claims team has taught Claims Lodgement Consultant, Yunene Dawson, that some basic commonalities still exist in many client situations.

“No one is just calling you for a chat, although many simply need some initial advice on whether they want to go through with a claim,” says Yunene.

“There are bigger cases where a claim is definitely required, but while we can’t make any decisions for clients, we can advise them of all the options.”

“Many clients might get a bit of a shock when it comes to what it costs to put motor vehicle damage right, especially with modern cars which feature all sorts of sensors and cameras in the front and rear of them.

“The idea that a scuff will ‘buff right out’ isn’t always the case, so it pays to get a good independent opinion on potential costs, because there might be more labour or parts costs involved than is initially apparent.”

Motor and material damage top claims 

There were over 25,000 motor vehicle-related claims for the team in 2018. The next busiest category was material damage with more than 6,000 claims lodged last year. Combined, both categories amounted to half of the total 60,000 claims handled in 2018 overall.

Ratio of claims processed by Crombie Lockwood by category

Ratio of claims processed by Crombie Lockwood by category.

While some claims are relatively straightforward, others can be extremely complex, with a multitude of aspects needing to be covered off before resolution.

But the complexities of such situations is what the team is there to manage. Yunene says that claims in some categories, such as marine cargo, have many moving parts and many parties that require notification, such as the carrier of the goods.

Understanding the value of the insurance policy taken out is vital.

“When it comes to consumer-based insurance, our advice is to ensure you are as comprehensively covered as you possibly can be,” she says.

“It’s about looking at as many angles as possible too, which is where broker expertise can help. Knowing your cover is going to pay for any finance still owing on a motor vehicle after a total loss, for example, could be the difference between being reimbursed the set amount, or seeing that total diminished further due to outstanding repayments on the vehicle.”

"Identifying worst case scenario is key"

Crombie Lockwood Claims Lodgement Consultant, Debbie Courtney, says that in her experience, few corporate clients scrimp on insurance.

Debbie has had many years’ experience working with clients in the agriculture industry and has a lot of faith in the knowledge base of rural brokers engaged in advising farmers of cover packages that work for their specific situation.

Debbie says liability cases are increasing for rural clients as WorkSafe NZ rulings around quad bike accidents and other hazardous situations on farms throw the spotlight on best-practice farm management.

“Discussing claim scenarios and identifying what the worst-case scenario could be for any rural landowner is key,” says Debbie.

Both Yunene and Debbie agree that working within Crombie Lockwood means team members are able to gain knowledge from one another based on shared experience.

“It’s really beneficial to be able to discuss claim scenarios with our colleagues. There’s a lot of peer support within Crombie Lockwood, which is great. “My advice to clients is to consider the worst-case scenario,” adds Yunene.

“What can you go without if the unthinkable happens? If the answer is ‘nothing’, then make sure you have comprehensive cover."

If you want to be adequately prepared for any situation, you need insurance cover that is going to work for you.”

Otago bistro flood highlighted how the unthinkable can happen at any time

Otago bistro flood and claim story highlighted how the unthinkable can happen at any time.

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