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Consolidated Cover: Minimise Disruptions, Maximise Operations

Ever had a day like this?

“We had an incident where a yacht failed to stop in time and ran into a pontoon”, recalled Jacki Gibson, NTI’s Claims Operations Manager – Marine. “Someone was injured too, but we were able to support everyone involved.”

So, to recap: yacht damaged, pontoon damaged, person injured. It could have been a nightmare if the insured had policies with multiple providers. There would be the potential for delays as the different parties investigated and finalised liability and coverage, and ultimately payouts, repairs and assistance taking far too long to resolve.

“But everything was with us, which was great”, Jacki said. “We managed the damage to the structure and the boat itself and also helped support the owner of the pontoon.

“Having the liability piece meant we were able to make sure we were on top of that part too and support the injured person getting back to work, getting the help and assistance they needed.”

It’s a great example of how having comprehensive cover with a single insurer means the claims will be dealt with more efficiently than if a customer has spread their policies across different providers.  

“Our claims consultant owns the whole claim, so to speak”, Jacki said, “almost like a conductor. They make sure everything’s addressed, and everyone’s on top of it; they make sure everything’s progressing.”

Everyone everywhere all at once

“It just makes more sense from a claims perspective” to hold all policies with a single insurer, Jacki reckons.

“It’s more efficient. While we segregate our different portfolios, like marine and motor, we all work in the same function – often in the same building – so if there are any problems, the motor team can jump up and speak with the marine team.

“The opportunity to work much more closely is probably the biggest benefit for our people and customers.”

The teams can share information easily, and the ability to walk down the corridor or set up a quick internal meeting makes processing claims and providing customer assistance a breeze.

It also avoids the inefficiencies, and occasional conflicts, that can arise when different insurers are involved in the same claim. And the more complex the claim, the more likely it is to cause disputes.

“For instance”, Jacki said, “you could have someone moving a loaded vehicle, and it hits another vehicle, damaging both as well as the cargo, plus a worker gets hurt. Motor, liability and cargo policies might all respond. 

“With just one provider, resolving the claim is pretty simple. But if three providers are involved, then the insured and the broker might have to deal with three insurers arguing the toss.”

Essentially, the multi-provider scenario pushes responsibility and work back onto the insured (and their broker) – the last thing anyone needs if they’ve had vehicles or property damaged or people injured.

Package it up

That’s where a product like NTI’s Transport Pack can be a great solution. Transport Pack offers commercial motor coverage, public and product liability, carriers protect and downtime (income protection). 

Jacki’s a big fan, as her story explains: “We had a claim recently that involved a truck rollover. Our client had a significant loss of cattle but fortunately, had Transport Pack with three products selected: commercial motor, carriers and downtime. 

“Our claims team responded to both the motor and the carriers claims within four hours of notification. The team appointed a repair manager to the claim and we were able to tow the rolled vehicle to our premium repairer that same day.  

“The cattle that had wandered off after the incident were loaded back onto to a replacement vehicle and returned to the stock yard, where they were resold. The rest of the debris was cleared with the local council’s support. 

“The claim was settled efficiently once all appropriate documentation was received to support the loss.”

Overall, Jacki said the biggest benefit is that the team can stay close to the incident.

“It’s one group of people that are ensuring we have our insureds back on the road as soon as possible”, she said. “By staying close to the situation we can provide downtime cover payments as soon as possible and ensure we’re maximising the benefit for the client.”

Getting you back to work faster

That brings us to an insurer’s main job: helping clients get back to business as usual as quickly as possible. 

“You don’t want to know that you have to go talk to Jim over there, Tracy over there, and Frank over there and sort out all the claims”, Jacki said. “With us, you’ve got just two people, one that will talk to you about your policy and one that will talk to you about the claim.”

This goes back to NTI’s broker network and the support we offer. 

“We’re always trying to help our brokers, to help them keep up with what’s available and make it easier for them to tailor a package for their client, to make sure they have the right packages that are most appropriate for them.”

“We do lots of podcasts and webinars. They can dial in and get points for ANZIIF training. It just helps them to build their expertise, to develop and understand the industry and what’s happening in it.”

Are you experienced?

Jacki’s also a big fan of her highly experienced team, many of whom have been in the claims business for 20-plus years.

“But we’re seeing some new people come in”, she enthused, “which is absolutely awesome. We pride our whole business on expertise. We encourage individuals to be curious and dive into things they wouldn’t necessarily dive into.

“We have teams dedicated to product lines. So we have a plant and machinery team, they’re experts in that field, so they’ll understand what happens. It’s the same for motor, marine … all our teams are experts familiar with the work and understand what’s happening with trucks, plant, machinery, and marine.”

NTI’s other ‘people’ advantage is its extensive support network. Whether finding a clean-up crew for a crash site outside Melbourne or an inspector to check a damaged cargo container in Singapore, Jacki and her team can call on experienced experts with long associations with NTI. 

“As Australia’s largest marine insurer, we have access to international support”, Jacki says. “We can access service providers across the globe if needed.”

Closer to home, for clean-up, towing and other on-site tasks, “we have a dedicated incident response team; for some clients, we have incident response plans”, she said. “It can be a really tailored approach, depending on the client’s needs.”

There’s no substitute for expertise. 

Always read the product disclosure statement and target market determination available from before purchasing insurance. 

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