Many public sector employees find themselves in stressful situations. They are responsible for managing the insurance function, which is often a result of restructurings. This article will share some of the things that worked for me in stressful situations. I hope they can help you adapt to your own situation.
Let’s first agree on the challenges that arise in managing the insurance function. This is especially true when it has to be combined with other duties. Senior management often fails to recognize three factors that contribute to the problem.
* Insufficient resources. There has been a decrease in staff, but also some of your most skilled employees have left and have not been replaced. They were replaced by inexperienced staff who have not received any training in insurance. It can be difficult to delegate with confidence.
* No reduction in demands. Your resources have not contributed to a decrease in the number of claims. Annual renewals take the same time as before. It is more important than ever to provide feedback to departmental managers about claims and give advice about their insurance coverage. They are also under greater pressure.
* Workload fluctuations accompanied by deadlines. It never rains, it pours! Although claims and other demands on your time are not evenly distributed over the year there are strict deadlines to renew and make new claims. You cannot put off any to deal with other claims.
These seven steps should be followed, but it is best to do so in the order listed. However, any of them can be helpful.
1. Review systems. Take the time to evaluate all of your systems. Keep in mind the “Three E’s”: Efficiency and Economy. And Effectiveness. When managing risk, effectiveness is more important that the other two. While it is easier to pay all claims without investigating them, this is not a good idea. Establish key indicators. These indicators should be SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time) and R for realistic.
2. Think carefully about what you should delegate. Almost everyone will tell you to delegate everything to make it easier for yourself to manage. This is often impossible if your staff lack the necessary skills and experience, or if they have a full load of work. Don’t just push your problems on your staff. See (6) below.
3. Get rid of the trash. You can stop wasting your time on things that are too difficult. I increased the excesses of most property policies and reduced the number insured on All Risks policies. Premiums paid for uninsured losses were more expensive than the savings. It saved me a lot time and also cut out unnecessary claims. This also made it easier to renew. Next, I combined a lot of policies into a few general ones to make it easier to check if something is covered. This also reduced the chance of an item being left uninsured.
4. Prioritise. Make time for worthwhile things. After reviewing our coverage to ensure we got the best value, I discovered that investigating liability claims was the best use of my time. It was also worth my time helping departments better manage their risk.
5. Make the most of brokers, insurers, claims-handlers and solicitors. It is not easy to balance these roles. You can all benefit from their advice and training. So make sure to build good relationships with them. Be aware of who you work for and don’t let outside agencies dictate to you. Demand service when you need it. Also, be ready to challenge their advice or decisions if they aren’t satisfied. Asking questions was a great way to learn and I didn’t accept partial answers.
6. Train. Find training opportunities that are free or very low-cost for you and your staff. This includes shared or part-time employees. Seek out opportunities to delegate.
7. Selectively outsource. To help with fluctuations in workload and to gain expertise that you don’t yet possess, it is a good idea to hire additional resources when necessary. This can provide good value for your money if you are careful and well managed.
You should do the following if you do any of the above.
* Time. It is possible to save enough time to allow you to do the important things.
* Take control. This will allow you to take charge of the situation, rather than vice versa.
* Confidence. You will increase your confidence, and you’ll be able to enjoy the job.
* Savings! Your authority will be able save money by reducing claims, premiums and uninsured loss (not necessarily in that sequence).