Written by Jonathan Clark

Promoting the work of our members

A year ago I was delighted to be asked to join council again as your Deputy President. Now I have the great privilege to have been elected your President. It has been widely recorded that I am the first carrier to be President and I hope to bring that “customer” perspective to CILA.

Before I write more I have to thank my predecessor as President, Benedict Burke, for all he has done to keep us front and centre in the industry throughout his year of office and of course throughout his career. We owe him much thanks.

As I come on board as President one thing I never forget is that I am a loss adjuster now and have been for all my professional career. We are there to deal with difficult matters whether a theft at home, a major fire or, casualty incident and to bring resolution to those events and claims as we have done for several hundred years. Truth and equity is at the heart of all we do. Treating customers fairly is in today’s language how we can describe the words of our 1961 Royal Charter. It was put in these terms; a member who is engaged as a loss adjuster acting on instructions from an insurer shall act fairly and justly in relation to a policyholder's claim under a policy issued by that insurer. Vital words today I suggest as we look at keeping CILA in focus to “lead the way in claims”.

CILA now has some 4,800 members and a top quality qualification structure and offering. Malcolm and many others have worked hard to get us in a good place of relevance; but there remains work to do as ever. So this takes me to how I see the role of President and the challenge that faces me and my excellent Deputy John Eves. I believe that continuity is important in terms of message and strategy and I will ensure we stay true to our purpose and direction. However we do need to continue to evolve as the world around us changes, this is a tough insurance market as we all know and one that is seeing new entrants and new ways to do business. So as we have already done we will evolve, we will review and challenge the strategy we have in place and make sure it remains “fit for purpose”. In doing this we will want to get your views as members and listen to you as to what you think matters now and in the future for CILA.

Whenever I am in the market I want to remind those outside our institute of the excellent work that loss adjusters carry out every day for the insurance industry and now increasingly beyond that industry as our members move to other roles and markets. We remain key to how our principals connect to their clients; we manage reputational risk for our insurance clients. We do it with empathy and with well-rehearsed and trained skills.

The institute’s evolution has been about setting the professional standards in claims, being the voice of authority and staying relevant, something we will speak to often during this year. It is about the human touch both for our principals and the policyholders who represent so much of our workplace on a day to day basis. However our evolution sees CILA qualified members diversifying where they work as well as what they do; and we will look at what that means for them and us as a professional institute. We have to understand the value our qualifications bring and speak clearly about that value in every market where our members are to be found.