LMI Group’s Managing Director, Dr Allan Manning, and Chief Knowledge Officer, Neil Myhre, spoke consecutively at the AFMA Conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne on Thursday, 10 February 2011.

In Dr Manning’s presentation, entitled ‘Claims Preparation – The Best Kept Secret in Insurance’, Allan sought to raise the awareness, understanding and importance of having experts assist clients following a claim. After discussing his career and motivations behind the establishment of LMI Group, he emphasised why a major claim is a real crisis or threat to clients. “For many small and medium sized businesses, the business is their sole source of income, all their investments, the mortgage over their home and their superannuation”.

Allan made the point that the present circumstances are quite unprecedented; “It is the first time in my career that the ICA have 8 current CAT codes running at the same time”, he said, “not forgetting the claims coming out of New Zealand”.

When dealing with a client whose business has been affected by a catastrophic loss, Allan emphasised the importance of showing empathy, first and foremost. He pointed out that in most cases, a crisis can provide both an opportunity and a threat; where a business strategically manages the crisis, this minimises the threat and maximises the opportunities. With reference to several claim examples handled by LMI Group, Allan illustrated how decisions made too early and without the right advice can cause real problems with the claim, but how development of a business recovery plan and managing claims proactively can achieve extremely positive outcomes. It is in these areas that a specialist claims preparer can really assist, not only in quantifying the loss, but managing the process to mitigate the loss and keep recovery on track.

Following on from Dr Manning’s presentation, Neil Myhre re-emphasised in his session the importance to any insurance professional of having the right information and knowledge to hand. “The adviser’s role is changing”, Neil stated, “it is now much more than just selling insurance. Rather, the adviser must be somewhat of a risk manager for the business, identifying the risks and alternative methods of risk treatment to insurance. The expectation of the client is that the adviser is an expert in risk and insurance”.

Neil discussed the philosophy underlying LMI Group’s award winning product, LMI RiskCoach. “It takes time for any new entrant into the insurance industry to acquire the knowledge and skills gained from exposure to many different occupations and situations”, he said. “LMI RiskCoach helps arm professionals with access to knowledge sourced from industry specialists that might otherwise be lost as experience and expertise leaves the industry due to demographics. The right tools and knowledge displayed by the adviser ultimately improves the image of the industry, and helps the client get the right outcomes”. Picking up on an earlier point made by Allan, Neil explained how for every claim prepared by LMI, a loss lesson was completed and fed back into LMI RiskCoach.

After demonstrating the content available in the system, Neil pointed out how LMI Group is keen to get other parties involved in contributing to the ever growing database of information. Neil explained how LMI RiskCoach was already being supported by underwriters such as QBE, TIO, Lumleys, UAA and Vero Engineering, all of whom are contributing technical content and, brokers who were contributing articles and photographs. “We encourage contributions from all parties, including articles, claims examples, statistics, law cases, photographs and video clips. We see LMI RiskCoach as an investment in the future of the industry”.