Getting to know our adjusters: Interview with Michaela Robertson, Senior Associate

27th October 2021

Tell us about your role, career background and what you find most interesting?

I am a Property Adjuster within the Casualty division, dealing with property liability claims. After I graduated from university, I moved into general insurance as a trainee and got my CII qualification. I worked at a company where I dealt almost exclusively with property claims, becoming CILA qualified and then over 20 years ago, I moved to Garwyn Adjusters, which later became a part of Davies and have been dealing with property liability claims since. The types of losses I evaluate are anything from burst pipes or minor damage to underground services to multi-million contractual construction risk claims.

I find the variety of my role interesting because you never really know what to expect. It’s slightly different now due to COVID, but pre-COVID, I could be required to attend a site immediately due to a major construction project fire, or a major flood. With the variety of work, there are specific challenges that come with it, which are unique to each claim, some of them may relate to the personnel involved and some may be a technical, difficult type of claim.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for loss adjusters across the UK in the next year?

The challenge we’re currently facing is continuing to meet the level of customer service that’s expected from us, from our clients, claimants and third parties. Customer behaviours have changed, and immediate responses are expected in all cases and so it can be challenging managing those expectations. Adapting to new technology and agile working over the last year has also been challenging. The use of virtual adjusting technology has been helpful in situations where we haven’t been able to physically do inspections.

Can you tell us about an interesting/challenging loss you have dealt with? What did you do and learn from it?  

The challenging ones tend to be multi-party claims. For example, I dealt with a situation where a canal burst leaving many people affected by water, or another time when multiple parties were involved in a construction project, and at day one we couldn’t determine responsibility. That was a complex matter that took several experts to resolve. In that instance, we put a fund in place, and people were able to use that and in due course we resolved the liability. I learned that sometimes you must think outside the box and consider if there is a different way that can enable us to move forward to a quick resolution, both economically and to benefit our clients.

What are three key things you’ve learned in your career, and what is your best piece of advice to someone starting out as a loss adjuster?

• When dealing with claimants, particularly unrepresented parties, It’s important to listen. You need to let them have their say, to ensure they feel they have been listened to.
• Don’t leave a problem. They don’t get better with age, there are lots of people around the company that can help and it’s important to deal with it.
• If you’re not certain on something, just ask. Somebody else has probably asked that question before, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice, sometimes the verbalisation of a problem can help you resolve it.

My advice to new loss adjusters is to reach out if you are not sure on anything. We are a part of a team and complex claims require a team to deal with them. With the increase of working from home, this is more important than ever. Everybody in our firm is very supportive and on hand to help.

For more information on Casualty claims, please contact Michaela Robertson, Senior Associate via Michaela.Robertson@davies-group.com

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