FLAXMANS – Ten Years on and Thriving
1st January 2009 saw the doors open to Flaxmans. The apocalyptic financial meltdown of the world’s banking system in October 2008 was largely the genesis of Flaxmans as it is today. Banks hunkered down to protect themselves and their assets from rapacious customers needing financial support, whilst interest rates hit the floor and disappeared through it. The often catastrophic consequences for banks’ customers led to a new level of ’prudence and caution’ amongst some insurance companies in paying out claims. Investment and other trading options were whipped away from the industry and something had to give.
The first enquiries to Flaxmans were from clients known to us in an entirely different capacity; at that time as risk management and insurance troubleshooting consultants to a wide range of professional firms. A long-standing chartered surveyor client with a claims record to envy (they had so few) suddenly became the victim of an insurer refusing to pay the firm’s first-ever six-figure claim. For reasons that did not bear close scrutiny by an experienced insurance practitioner, the insurer took every opportunity to try to avoid the claim; a year earlier, their approach would have been unheard of. We took it on and got it settled. This was the beginning of the Flaxmans claims advocacy service.
A razor-sharp service
Developing a new business is, however, never plain sailing and in the course of the next two or three years there were some hills to climb and a few lakes and bunkers to fall into. This honed us to deliver a razor-sharp service and pricing model to a level where we became increasingly attractive to commercial HNW clients and their brokers. We could, by then, offer a service that avoids litigation in nine and a half cases out of ten. To brokers, to whom we were already well known as PI insurance specialists for many years, we could offer a service that complemented their own and mitigated the threat of a claim by a dissatisfied customer for an unpaid claim. That is what we still do and with great success.
Litigation had been the policyholder’s first choice
On several occasions in recent years we have saved a business from bankruptcy. Litigation had often been the policyholder’s first choice for their dispute and the costs – and procrastination between competing lawyers – got out of control. On many occasions that caused the business to lose everything they had – and the much-relied upon BI insurance failed to materialise because insurers relied upon the lawyers to protect their interests before those of the policyholder. We stepped in, cut to the chase, and saved the business; and all parties’ livelihoods.
How? By professional and experienced negotiation between competent insurance experts, putting the ‘legal niceties’ to one side where they get in the way of a mutually acceptable commercial solution.