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International assessment: a mix of technicity and project mode

Loss Adjusting

International appraisal is above all a way of accompanying insurance and large risk customers throughout the world to assist them when one of their insured entities is involved in a loss. The complex international geopolitical context in which local insurance regulations apply means that both insurance professionals and their policyholders need to be assisted by insurance adjusters who combine detailed knowledge of the country with rapid intervention and technical know-how. Insurers want to be able to count on a global service, from risk prevention to claims repair. Spotlight on the main skills required to appraise internationally with Béatrice Grandury, International Director of the Corporate Department of Stelliant Loss Adjusting.

International incidents: a quick response required

Nowadays, the policyholders concerned by international claims are mainly companies, for which the adjustment methods to be put in place must correspond to their needs.

First of all, when talking about “international” claims for French companies, it is necessary to know the insurance context in which the claim is made: local policy completed if necessary by the intervention of a Master or LPS (Free Provision of Services) in Europe. The role of the French adjuster will respect the insurance scheme in force in the precise context of the loss.

International assessment must be seen from two different perspectives:

  • “Export” cases: claims that have taken place abroad and were referred by French insurers.
  • “Import” cases: claims that took place in France, entrusted by foreign insurers.

Complexity for an “export case” lies with the fact that beyond France, insurance and assessment are not practised according to the same rules. Whether or not recourse is possible, whether or not there are agreements between insurers, whether or not the public authorities are involved, the scope of cover, etc., all vary from one country to another.

International: an insurance specificity

Handling these “export cases” requires, in addition to specialised skills, the ability to operate from France if necessary, but also to have a competent, extensive and reliable network of local correspondents in order to be quickly in touch with the insured locally and aware of the practices in force abroad. Beyond the purely technical aspect, the complexity of these cases also requires a multidisciplinary team. Indeed, since the role of the expert varies from one country to another, it is necessary to have multi-skilled teams available.

In this context, the French loss adjuster must adapt to the different regulations in force depending on the country in which the loss occurred. Moreover, international expertise requires a detailed understanding of the strategy of the case as well as a perfect knowledge of the sectoral specificities of the countries where the loss occurred.

Let’s take the example of an industrial fire in a country that is not used to using decontamination companies. In this situation, where the objective is to save as much time as possible, the expert must be able to take this logistical aspect into account upstream in order to quickly propose solutions. It is even sometimes necessary, given the scale and complexity of the situation, to appoint a project manager for the decontamination operations.

The adjusters are therefore the “eyes and ears” of the insurers at the scene of the accident. Given the potentially high stakes involved, the use of project mode with the support of a local correspondent who is familiar with local insurance policies and regulations is all the more relevant. In addition to facilitating and facilitating exchanges between the parties involved, the local correspondent is one of the keys to the success of international missions if the claim is covered locally.

Benefit from multiple human, regulatory and sectoral skills

Although the regulations and the role of the expert are different from one country to another, the resolution of an international case relies essentially on two points: regular communication between the parties involved and good quality exchanges between adjsuters and administrators.

The qualities required for this type of case are, in particular through several years of know-how practice abroad, knowing how to be close to the insured as well as pedagogical, advanced technical skills, mastery of international insurance programmes, fluency in foreign languages, ability to synthesise and make decisions, open-mindedness as well as good interpersonal skills…: so many qualities that make the expert without frontiers a decisive asset for insurance professionals and their insured.