Canadian Underwriter

Undisputed Neutrality

December 9, 2020   by Adam Malik, Managing Editor

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In a world where insurers are amalgamating claims service offerings, third-party forensic engineers can bring to the table a neutral, unbiased perspective that is void of any potential for a conflict of interest, says Chris Giffin, chief executive officer of Haag Canada.

– As told to Adam Malik

Change is exciting. Since I began supporting the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry with forensic engineering services just over three decades ago, it has been a pleasure to watch the industry landscape evolve, ushering in an era of collaboration and innovation.

As multi-disciplinary forensic engineers specializing in large loss, we fulfill an inherent societal need, which is helping our insurance clients definitively ascribe liability by identifying cause, quantum, and mitigation of loss. Our value proposition is rooted in our unbiased service offering and being completely void of conflict of interest.

It has been hugely beneficial for the industry to have insurance organizations amalgamate their service offerings to better assist customers. We are observing a migration away from a hyper-specialized approach. The customer experience has never been more streamlined, allowing a one-stop shop experience and a reduction in excessive resource expenditures that typically coincide with specialization.

It is inevitable that the merging of resources will increase the potential for conflict of interest, but therein lies opportunity. While companies can do their best to establish processes to mitigate the potential for bias, the only infallible process is to retain a truly third-party unbiased partner. When appropriate, it is increasingly vital to have access to experts who are void of the appearance of conflict in order to fairly and accurately establish the unbiased root cause of a loss.

As the industry ecosystem changes, one thing remains true: The potential for a conflict of interest can undermine value propositions, particularly during commercial, large loss cases involving a complex set of stakeholders.

That’s when a team of unbiased, multi-disciplinary forensic engineers can be a beacon of neutrality shining through the chaos.

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