Contact Us
Blue block space
Our News
Insight's Article on A New Breed of Loss Adjusters in Asia
Friday, 1 July 2005
Insight Press Release

With Asian economies gathering pace again and the construction industry moving into overdrive in many
countries, there is once again focus on loss adjusting in the region. Most adjustors are reporting
increased workloads as big construction projects are either launched or restarted in south-east Asia and
the rest of the region, in particular China.

Traditionally it has been unusual for the London or European markets to trust local adjustors to
represent them in big claims. It has been particularly difficult for local companies to get this work since
Asia's economies slumped following the economic crisis of the late 1990s.
But now there is more work around, a new breed of local loss adjustor is emerging in the region. And
these companies increasingly have the support of the London market and other important markets in

One such company is Singaporean firm Insight Adjustors, a company staffed by adjustors who all
previously worked for global loss adjusting firms in the region. Insight has linked with Malaysian firm
Maphilindo to form a pan-Asian loss adjustor.

In an interview with the IIS Reporter, Nehemiah Neo, managing director of Insight, says the volume of
work now arising from big claims in Asia means there is room for more loss adjusting expertise.
"The combination of a harder reinsurance market and the upsurge of large construction projects
combined with related claims means there is new emphasis on professional loss adjusting in Asia now,"
he says. "The need for independence and integrity in adjusting has always been there, but there is more
attention paid to it these days."

Neo says that, until recently, loss adjusting on big claims in the region was nearly always done by large
global firms because of their links with the reinsurance markets.
"This was understandable because many local adjusting firms in Asia have historically been perceived
as too close to local cedants and too close to local interests, such as governments and local authorities.
There was an air of mistrust from leading European underwriters," says Neo.

He adds that in the past there was also a lack of expertise among local loss adjusters. "To be frank,
many people in the London market and in Europe felt local adjustors here were a bit 'Mickey Mouse' in
some respects," he says.

But Neo says local adjustors are now taking a lead in Asia. He says local firms now have quality staff
who trained in the west and local expertise. "We know the terrain of the region, which is not an easy or
quick thing to learn. Another big advantage is we speak the languages and we understand the business
culture," he says.

Insight's joint venture with Maphilindo means it is building a presence across south-east Asia. "Our plan
is to build a genuinely pan-Asian adjustor and we are combining our strengths well in Malaysia and
Singapore now," he adds.

The joint venture is the first such cross-border link in south-east Asia and Neo predicts there may be
others. The partnership has expertise in both marine and non-marine work and can call upon a network
of surveyors across the region.

The partnership came when both companies were separately dealing with two of the largest claims from
the region to hit the London and European reinsurance markets.

Insight was appointed lead adjustor on claims arising from the collapse of the Nichol Highway in
downtown Singapore in April 2004. Underground work on a new railway link caused a section of the
highway to collapse. The London, Italy, Hong Kong and Singapore reinsurance markets had a big
exposure to claims from this event, which is the largest ever construction claim in Singapore.

Maphilindo is the adjustor on a claim arising from a fire at the Proton Cars plant in Shah Alam, Malaysia
last year. The London and European markets also had high exposure to this event.
Neo argues that the way adjustors have linked with the market and dealt with these claims shows the
new level of trust that underwriters have of local adjustors.