Meet Jeremy Hewitt, VP, Head of Third Party Claims -London and European Markets
What is your back story?
Like a lot of people, I fell into the insurance industry. I did a law degree at university and went on to work as an insurance lawyer for about 12 years, the last three of which were spent in Singapore, setting up a new office and building a financial lines offering from scratch. When I came back to the UK,I crossed the Rubicon and started working in claims. I joined Sompo International four years ago. I saw the business as a fantastic opportunity because it had high growth ambitions and was really beginning to kick on. When I started it was to run the Professional & Financial Lines claims team, but the remit and size of my role has been expanding ever since; I am now responsible for the Casualty, Financial and Political Risk, and Accident and Health claims books. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to build and empower fantastic teams to help me with this.
Tell us about the claims landscape.
Claims inflation. Everyone in the claims market seems to be talking about it, although understanding its potential impact on different lines of business is difficult. Measuring any potential impact credibly/verifiably is even trickier. An additional challenge is the international nature of my books; a plethora of local/jurisdictional challenges need considering, in addition to broader factors impacting the global macro-economy. Another question on my mind is whether CAT events are changing. Sure, we can expect hurricanes, floods and systemic events (e.g., Global Financial Crisis/Grenfell/Asbestosis) to impact individual lines of business. But COVID and the Ukraine are multi-faceted and are impacting multiple lines of business; I wonder whether these events are two unique outliers or the beginning of a new trend of multi-faceted CATs.
What’s your USP?
Sompo International has a strong culture; relationships between different teams are collaborative and cohesive. There’s little time for siloed thinking and we all look out for each other and figure out how to make things better for ourselves and our clients. That’s the culture I’m striving to instill in my team because I think that’s one thing that sets us apart. The team’s other USP is its strength in depth. I don’t disagree with the talk of a skills shortage in the claims market; we’ve confronted this head-on by recruiting high-caliber handlers and providing an environment where they’re supported and empowered. We’ve now got a cracking team, who do the right thing and have the courage to stand their ground when challenged. Looking forwards, a key challenge is marketing our claims service more aggressively; we have a compelling story to tell so we need to put it out there.
What’s your perfect day outside of the office?
Easy! I’m a keen cyclist and so in the morning I’d be out on my bike. The afternoon would be daddy day care, as I have two wonderful kids and I love spending time with them.
Look after yourself and after your team. What I love most about my job is helping people, whether that be my team or clients. And be kind to people; you never know when you’ll need to ask them for assistance!