Based in the U.K., Andrew Neale is a Crawford Global Technical Services® adjuster and head of international property for GTS. In this installment of Ask an Adjuster, he discusses how he moonlights as a restaurant owner and gives us his perspective on success for the organization.
Why did you become an insurance adjuster? What prepared you for this role?
I didn’t plan to follow this course. I originally trained as an architect. After university graduation, that industry like many others was affected by an economic recession, so when I spoke with a friend, whose job as an insurance adjuster looked interesting, I applied for the job. Now, 36 years later, I’m still doing it.
What do you like most about your job?
Every day is intriguing and different; that’s what I like most about the job. There is complete variety – you never know what you’ll face each day.
What is a typical day like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day in this role. I often travel to other parts of the world to handle and coordinate Crawford claims for GTS that may be valued in the tens of millions of dollars or more. When I am overseas, I work with a number of local colleagues, consultants, accountants, engineers and other professionals. I participate in discussions to ensure everyone is on the same wavelength before determining the negotiated solution to the insured’s issue. Meetings can be short and straightforward or very long and difficult.
What is the most interesting claim you’ve ever handled?
Early in my career, I handled a case where the insured was an hotelier that ended up in the Royal Courts of Justice. During the lengthy trial, I was asked to read aloud some pages of witness testimony that were quite interesting, to say the least. Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to divulge the specifics of that testimony, but you just never know what you’ll face in this job on any given day.
If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing? What is your dream job?
I also own a country pub and restaurant. When I finally retire from the adjusting job, I’ll go and run the restaurant operation, but not just yet…
What makes you successful at what you do?
After following the academic route to becoming an adjuster, I became capable.
What’s the best advice you could give to someone to be successful in this field?
To be a good loss adjuster at the senior level a person must be patient, have an understanding of what people really want versus what they may say they want (there may be a difference), and possess a mastery of the soft skill-set: being polite and politically adroit. In addition, to do this job properly, one must be prepared to work extremely hard over long hours.
Do you have any final comments you want to share?
I might have made more money as a merchant banker, but I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun!