Going undercover with a technical claims manager


Picture this. A man who owns a number of investment properties drives past one of his buildings to discover it has been knocked down by a property developer. The developer, who is working on the site next door, had paid a small holding deposit on the man’s property but technically didn’t own it yet. The developer subsequently goes bust and the sale falls through. The man now has no building to rent and land that can’t be developed. Not surprisingly, he calls in his insurance company.

Believe it or not, but this story is true.

And according to Calibre Insurance’s Technical Claims Manager, Ross Pollock – who has more than 20 years of experience in the Australian insurance industry – it’s one of the most unusual claims he’s ever worked on.

Calibre Insurance’s Technical Claims Manager, Ross Pollock


In this interview Ross, who began life as an insurance broker before moving into claims, reveals some of the inner workings of insurance claims.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I believe insurance exists to protect the policyholder, so I want to be able to pay claims wherever possible. I enjoy delving into the detail of complex claims and also focusing on building good relationships. It’s about providing timely and straightforward feedback and helping policyholders cope at a time of loss.

What’s a typical day look like for a technical claims manager?

As a technical claims manager, my job is to ensure appropriate management strategies are developed and implemented for our larger and more complicated claims – typically those over $100,000. The part of this I really enjoy is building relationships with adjusters and brokers and engaging with them regularly, providing the technical guidance needed to navigate claims processes. And, when it’s needed, I’ll engage senior underwriters to help resolve underwriting problems.

Part of my day will also be spent with people in our organisation, providing technical guidance on matters they are working on. And, as I look after our Internal Disputes process, I will work with brokers and insured companies to find resolutions to challenges that arise.

What insights would you share with brokers managing larger claims?

The insurance industry gets a bad rap some times, but there is a genuine desire to support clients in times of need and we like to work in partnership with brokers to get great outcomes. If you are dealing with a large claim for an important client we want to work with you to ensure we manage the client’s expectations about timeframes for responses and settlements so they understand the process as well.

For anyone looking to get into claims, what advice would you give them?

Working in claims can be really rewarding. If you are someone who is technically minded, likes getting into the detail, forms good relationships and is an effective communicator, then it could be a good path for you. You’ll need to have a good understanding of policy wordings, insurance legislation and regulations. And, I would add, you need to be comfortable negotiating claims settlements at a high level.

When it comes to study, it’s preferable you have a Certificate 3 or 4 in general insurance with ANZIIF (as a minimum) and a Diploma of Financial Services. It’s also a given that you would have lots of experience in insurance including exposure to large losses and claims.



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Looking for some useful information that you can provide to your SME clients about the
claims process?

Then take a look at these printable fact sheets, which give a straightforward explanation of the claims process, outline average time frames and provide suggestions around risk management, to help with your client discussions.


To contact Ross Pollock or for further assistance please contact the Calibre Claims Team on 1300 306 226.