Our Institute is in a great place and in good hands

It is a true honour and pleasure to serve as the Institute’s President and I most sincerely thank John Eves for the time, effort and commitment he put into the role during the past year.

My experiences as a loss adjuster

My initial career was as a Chartered Surveyor and I started my Loss Adjusting days predominantly handling subsidence claims. It was clear to me that my skill-set and knowledge as a surveyor could be employed in far wider areas within loss adjusting when married with the specialist knowledge gained by becoming a Chartered Loss Adjuster. My professional qualifications have led me to deal with the collapse of historical ceilings in West End theatres, claims from various terrorist incidents, claims at London Zoo, the odd fire in motorway service centres, as well as catastrophe handling in the Asia Pacific Region and the Caribbean.

I have seen considerable change during my adjusting career and recognise the need to embrace change. Technological advances are a feature of every profession and benefit how we work. For example, the use of drones to view flooded areas or high roofs has got to be much better than some of the methods employed when we hear old “war stories” from members. Loss adjusting is however still a people business, solving problems by looking for solutions, being supportive, empathetic and crucially listening. That part of the role has not changed.

Supporting members in their learning

But what then of my year? Having chaired the CILA Examinations Committee for many years I have a keen interest in the professional development of members. I believe there is an opportunity for the Institute to support members’ development through not only our qualifications but also in complying with the regulatory style “compliance” based learning such as GDPR, Health & Safety, the Bribery Act etc. With this in mind, we have a plan to provide, at a modest cost, appropriate e-learning to our members to aid their compliance and ensure our profession remains at the forefront of claims solution delivery.

Looking to the future

I stated in my speech at the CILA Annual lunch that the Institute is in a great place and in good hands. I am delighted that my deputy, Graham Smart, has already set out to support the ongoing evolution of our Institute and I am sure that we will hear more about his work to future proof our professional body going forward. Over the next few weeks I will be representing the Institute at an important FUEDI meeting. Ahead of Brexit, it is essential that we maintain the recognition of CILA qualifications with our European partners. I shall also be attending what I have heard is a light and refreshing Belfast lunch, hosted by our Northern Ireland members in December, and only last week I was interviewed by the Post Magazine – they are planning a CILA President profile in the December edition. I was delighted to be able to enthuse to the Post of all the excellent achievements and forward thinking of our members.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at Institute and other events.

Luke Exford, CILA President