If you think that I have exited from blogging, just because I spend more time facebooking...naaah, think again. My apologies to friends or casual visitors alike, for having been away from blogosphere slightly just over a month now. As usual (I know this may bore you) I have been kept busy speaking, if not chairing sessions or being asked to sit in as panelist at seminars, conferences or summits somewhere out there. The comforting part is (apart from the pressure of preparation of notes, slides, researching before the actual speaking engagement etc etc etc ...fuh) when the figures (I mean the organisation I am responsible for hehe) look ok (wink2x).
October 14-17 recently I was at the Novotel (formerly known as The New Otani) at Clarke Quay, Singapore to speak at the Asian Motor Insurance and Claims Management Conference attended by about 170 delegates from about 25 countries. It was organised by The Asia insurance Review and The MiddleEast Insurance Review incorporating Global Takaful in conjunction with GIAS or the General Insurance Association of Singapore.
This time around, I felt that there were alot more clout (d?) with the attendance of THATCHAM UK chief executive, Peter Roberts, Robert McDonald Steering Committee chairman of the Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR) and Kazuhiro Ishikawa of JIKEN Centre Co. Ltd of Japan, and other industry players from among the region and elsewhere in the world.
The theme of the conference was making claims management the deciding differentiator in motor insurance 'driving the motor insurance industry forward'. The Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII) UK believes that claims management is no longer the backroom operational process boys, it is now and for decades to come, a strategic function criticlal to the survival of the motor insurance industry.
I was asked to speak on claims management, fraud identification and sharing our malaysian case study experience of industry shared services and outsourcing. In my student days, we use to make fun of students of the Institute of Statisticians (UK) by saying: in life there are only 3 great lies...first is a lie, second, a bigger lie and third...statistics ! (wink2x...hahaha). Are you fans of the TV show NUMBERS? If you do, then you will know that numbers do not lie, yet many say numbers will lie, if man has a hand in it!
Insurers - the paymasters of claims - are growing in size and capacity with many governments encouraging mergers to make them more capital rich and competitive in world markets. This growth, inevitably also brings about increase in claims in numbers of claims as well as the value of such claims.
Insurance claims have somehow rather attracted the seedier side of the legal system which cause intense pressure on insurers 'to pay or not to pay, that is the question'. 'to contest or not to contest'. 'would legal costs build up so much that it would be 'cheaper' to just pay the claim even though there is a prima facie case of fraud or inflation to make more from a loss?'
How then can this much required and important industry be protected to ensure that the principles of indemnity is exercised, and the moral risks/hazards, reduced or eliminated?
Malaysia is very lucky to have a government system and body in the Central Bank which supervises the financial institutions which include insurers, and the foresight it had back in 1998. Like many other developed economies handling motor insurance own damage claims, Malaysia implemented a single and centralised parts prices and repair times database for the whole motor insurance claims industry in 2001. The plus point for Malaysia was that it also set up the Claims Processing Centre (CPC). The CPC today (managed by us MRC Malaysia) holds claims data and records of motor vehicle claims that can help, not only insurers underwrite motor risks better, but data that are beneficial to Bank Negara, vehicle manufacturers and claims managers.
When I saw the buzzing economic ( or uneconomic? hehe) activities of Clarke Quay after dusk...I wonder if there was at all, any recession in singapore?