Litigation Funding and Talent Shortages

“Big issues for the industry says this new arrival”.

Arete Adjusting recently launched operations in North America, fixing its sight on the marine and logistics insurance market.

In an interview with Insurance Business America, Arete’s CEO, William (Liam) Richards, discusses the decision to enter North America and the need for a better claims adjusting experience.

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Arete Adjusting Launches Operations in North America

Experienced leadership, technical differentiators key to underwriter customers.

Arete Adjusting, LLC (Arete), a Third Party Administrator (TPA) member company of insurance ecosystem +8 Partners, announces its entry into the North American claims market.

Arete will utilize people, technology and its fellow +8 member companies to provide a comprehensive and insightful claims management service to the cargo and logistics insurance industry. The company’s data-driven approach, end-to-end claims management and customized solutions are committed to delivering more profitable, sustainable portfolios for underwriters in the North American logistics sector.

William “Liam” Richards, chief executive officer of Arete, lays out the company’s vision: “We are focused on ‘intelligent adjusting.’ Claims management is not just about navigating the complexities inherent in those claims, but today is about delivering pioneering insights that will redefine industry standards. Arete’s multi-node, cloud-based architecture “Crux©” and 360-degree data analytics will empower our clients with the tools to run sustainable, profitable portfolios.”

Richards previously held senior positions at WK Webster Overseas Ltd. in the UK and US. Juliet Good is Arete’s vice president, bringing more than twenty-five years industry experience, fully half of which was in marine and legal liability claims resolution for transportation intermediaries.

“Data-driven decisions lead to smarter outcomes for our clients, reinforcing the importance that sophisticated analytical tools play in claims resolution and overall portfolio profitability,” adds Good.

Philip Bilney, executive chairman of +8 Partners, said: “Arete catapults the TPA scene into a new era with the most imaginative and robust technology offering in the sector, an intelligent and nuanced offering epitomizing the philosophy of +8.”

“Liam and Juliet are already well known to many of our clients, and their leadership and experience will provide the focus and commitment necessary for the delivery of genuinely intelligent adjusting solutions.”

Arete will work closely with Cornice Claims Associates to extend the +8 Partners platform and support its existing and fast-growing logistics insurance business in North America.

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Tips for Handling Delayed Goods Due to Panama Canal Backlog

In 2024, the canal might miss a total 1,500 vessels that would pass through in normal conditions, said the Authority’s Deputy Administrator Ilya Espino. Due to the transit restrictions, the Panama Canal Authority has forecast a reduction of up to $700 million in toll revenues for the current fiscal year ending in September. (Source: Reuters, Feb. 7)

The Panama Canal Authority has been restricting traffic since summer 2023, resulting in numerous shipments that have been stuck or delayed. This included a heavy backlog of goods that were sent to meet increased demand of the 2023-24 Holiday season.

The delays were caused by drought in the canals, made worse by on-going restrictions, which resulted in containers of perishables and Holiday-market products arriving after their ETA. This type of scenario typically leads to a mass rejection from the consignee and increased abandonment when shipments do arrive.

If the situation doesn’t improve, vessels might have to consider using other routes, which could lead to an increase in the cost of transportation.

From a Freight Forwarder’s perspective, delay is generally excluded, especially if it falls outside your control. Claims of such nature should be rejected. This may cause friction with customers, but to avoid expensive claims, it is imperative to not agree to specific times or dates of arrival.

Insurers, however, expect to receive many uncleared or abandoned containers that were intended for a particular market and no longer retain the same value. It is important for the Forwarder to carefully monitor all containers that might be traveling via the Panama Canal and notify their liability insurers immediately. If the goods are likely to be abandoned, it is important notify early to avoid incurring unnecessary storage/demurrage costs.

The shipper/consignee must be made aware they cannot simply abandon delayed cargo without settling all charges. Even if the cargo has little value, it will be less expensive for the shipper to accept delivery than to abandon shipments.

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This article was written in conjunction with +8 Partners member companies.

Disclaimer: All claims are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the relevant product disclosure statement and/or policy.

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