In the first of our Specialty Leader Highlight series, we interviewed Stephanie Etourneau — JLT Asia’s Regional Claims Director, to find out how the claims team helps us provide the highest quality service to our clients.
If an insurance policy is, in essence, a promise, then claims are tests of the trust placed in insurers and insurance brokers. Nonetheless, worry sets in right after things go wrong — “will my insurance cover this?”
For most, having an expert guide them through the claims process can offer much-needed comfort, especially with the stress after a loss event.
When it comes to ensuring a commendable claims experience, JLT Asia’s Regional Claims Director, Stephanie Etourneau, has one important message to her colleagues and clients: “Let us be with you all the way!”
With 20 years of experience in claims, Stephanie heads the regional team with a role to strengthen JLT Asia’s claims capabilities and enhance the overall value proposition of claims advocacy. This includes:
- Coordinating the claims process
- Providing advice on claims strategies
- Working with clients to negotiate optimum claims solutions
- Managing their interests and expectations of market responses
“From a claims perspective,” she adds, “One of the biggest issues is some companies see claims purely as a process — a transaction. But human interaction is the factor that differentiates a bad or passable claim experience from a great one.”
For JLT brokers, this means that Stephanie and her team should be involved from the get-go.
“Brokers should think of their claims team as being on the front line and there to help drive the JLT values,” says Stephanie, “Even before a claim arises”.
Stephanie and her team are eager to be in the know as early as during the bidding process where they get to understand the client’s business and present their value-add. They should also be engaged in working out the best possible policy wording for the clients by learning from past claims experience and giving feedback on insurer performance.
“When a claim is notified, choosing the right loss adjuster is all about their capability, resources and merits. My team and I have a clear sense of who will be best for which policies based on their track records,” says Stephanie.
The challenge comes when the application of the policy contract is not clearly black and white. There may be “grey area” instances where Stephanie has to argue in the client’s best interests. This, according to Stephanie, is the value of a good claims broker.
“Sometimes the application of certain parts of the policy becomes more interpretative and argumentative in nature. This is when I will use knowledge of the client’s business and previous claims to back my points,” Stephanie explains. “Networking is an essential part of my role and it becomes invaluable when loss adjusters and lawyers are willing to tackle any issues head-on.”
Negotiating “grey areas” is where Stephanie sees a claims broker adding the most value and differentiating us from our competitors.
“I relish the opportunity to fight for our clients,” says Stephanie, “The claims experience is vital to our clients — it is, after all, a trying time to be making a claim in the first place. I like to be there for people, therefore I love what I do and I enjoy solving problems and nurturing relationships with our clients.”
For further information, please contact Stephanie Etourneau, Regional Claims Director, Asia at Stephanie_Etourneau@jltasia.com