Pursuing recourse action in Asia is no longer an issue
Market complexity, the language barrier and the failure to respond…a few years ago, when a product that was “Made in China” turned out to be defective, the Chinese manufacturer was rarely held to account. At our firm, appraisal investigations are orchestrated across borders thanks to the effective collaboration between our offices in France and Asia. Moying Chap, a loss adjuster based in Hong Kong, and Nicolas Patris, a specialist fire loss adjuster based in France, tell us more about the claim management process.
Recourse in Asia: an internal process specific to GM Consultant
For a long time, China’s insurance market lagged behind, but this is starting to change with the rise of tougher competition (Eastern European countries, Turkey, etc.). Today, the country offers one of the most attractive markets and the prospects are good as it continues to grow. However, recourse action in China is still subject to some reticence, The failure of Asia-based companies to respond is disheartening and many insurers refuse to waste time unnecessarily. Managing a claim using a letter sent by recorded delivery is not consistent with local practices. Knowledge of the local market as well as the languages used by Chinese manufacturers (English, Mandarin or Cantonese) is indispensable. This ensures an effective response to the specific issues associated with recourse actions in China.
Here at GM Consultant, our loss adjusters have capitalised on their knowledge and expertise to offer a specific internal procedure centred around a very proactive approach. Within the context of our amicable or court-ordered appraisal investigations, this approach is used in the absence of a conventional framework, such as that in France enacted by the FFSA’s guide for recourse action (deadlines, formalities, etc.).
GMC Asia facilitates the management of claims
The initial role of our local representative is to identify the Chinese company that actually made the product. The English name on the invoice is often not enough as many Chinese companies have very similar English names, which sometimes explains the lack of response to notifications sent directly from France (research on the Chinese internet, consultation of local registers).
Our loss adjusters in China, who favour a pedagogical approach in the local language, contact the manufacturers to explain the insurance procedure in Europe and France in particular. They explain the details of the ongoing comparative appraisal and introduce the various parties involved (loss adjusters, lawyers, each party’s insurers). This direct approach establishes lines of communication and allows them to check, in most cases, if the manufacturer is insured and to get the full contact details of insurers if necessary.
Having made contact with the manufacturer, our loss adjusters approach the local insurers to briefly explain the issues surrounding the case and the ongoing procedure.
Quick turnaround for recourse between China and France
By quickly getting to grips with the issues, our local insurers can appoint loss adjusters and/or lawyers within a short time frame. This prevents delays in the procedure in France and ensures the manufacturer’s involvement in technical discussions. To shorten these time frames even further, GMC Asia can send a notification by registered letter which arrives at its destination anywhere in China within 3 days, unlike the 3-week delivery time for international registered mail sent from France.
Since the implementation of our specific notification procedure for Asian companies, the GM Consultant group has successfully completed many operations. This procedure allows us to significantly shorten appraisal investigation time frames, particularly in the case of fire loss where a series a recourse actions can often exacerbate the loss.
Nicolas PATRIS – Loss adjuster, responsible for fire loss
Moying CHAP – Loss Adjuster & Risk Management Consultant – Senior Manager (Asia)