Although quite certain he had done nothing wrong, suddenly, EVERYTHING was wrong. Just like Sophie, Bob needed to get through this. Here’s Bob’s story…
Bob Hannah is the Supreme Commander of The Business Insurance Bureau and has quite a different take on Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI).
Here’s Bob’s story…
On the 1st of March 1987, a warehouse Bob had arranged insurance for burned to the ground. One of the insurers refused to stump up and Bob’s four year old business was served with a writ for what amounted to £1,500,000.00. Although quite certain he had done nothing wrong, suddenly, EVERYTHING was wrong.
Incredibly, although the case was complex, the nub of it came down to the content of a disputed phone call four years previously between Bob and the insurer’s manager.
“It was my word against his. Until that point, I’d have described myself as young, successful and married” he says, “it’s difficult to describe how mentally debilitating being at the centre of a PI claim is, even for someone who regarded themselves as a qualified, experienced and confident individual.”
PI claims can take a long time to sort out as the court process is very slow. The misery went on for four years, culminating in a three week hearing in Scotland’s highest court, The Court of Session. Bob was grilled for two long days in front of Lord Sutherland (later famous for the Lockerbie case).
“There’s no point in thinking ‘we need to invest for the future’ because if you lose the case it’s difficult enough for your business to recover, let alone buy another PI policy.” The allegation at the heart of the claim, however untrue, was nasty. “I remember imagining myself driving a taxi – and albeit the case against me was flimsy, once you’re in court, anything can happen.”
“Almost no one purchasing PI insurance has a clue about the gruelling ride they are in for when the claim comes in. It’s hard not to take it personally, because the allegation at the heart of any PI claim is that you are incompetent and negligent. It’s mental torture. It’s hard to concentrate on anything else, let alone run a business.”
Fortunately for Bob, Lord Sutherland preferred his version of events and he won the case. Four years later, it was over – the insurers had to stump up. It was finally possible to breathe and begin again.
“I didn’t have any sense of victory, I just made a cup of tea and felt relieved, but I should never have been put through it – in my view the entire case was either amazingly erroneous or cynical manipulation – but the experience provided invaluable insights that would later hugely benefit our clientele.”
Once the case was over, the horror of the experience began to shape The Business Insurance Bureau into the strong, inquisitive and compassionate business it is today. Bob went on to develop his own underwriting facilities and a growing reputation for the immense care and attention given to all insurance claims.
The Business Insurance Bureau has gone on to become niche specialists for the business community, acquiring truly exceptional clients who rely on our expertise on the worst of days.
“In a roundabout way, it did me a favour. It was the first time I began to
question the integrity of the industry I worked in. I got an insight into the ugly truths about insurance, first hand, and very young. It fundamentally changed my raison d’etre – there was a complete paradigm shift in what we were doing and how we thought about our clientele, particularly on the claims side.”
The resulting philosophy is:
Making it cheaper, by doing it right™
Many people think that PI insurance is something of a necessity, bought at minimum cost and filed away. But as Bob says “doing it right is more important than making it cheaper, but we make it cheaper because we do it right.”
In Professional Indemnity insurance, ‘doing it right’ is about carefully listening, not simply form filling. We’ll get to understand the exposures you have from patiently listening to you.
A PI claim is a stab in the heart of your professionalism. It needs professional counselling just as much as it requires lawyers and expert witnesses.
Buying your PI insurance from Bob means you’ll not only be protecting
yourself and your business, but you’ll have someone with world-class, first-hand experience by your side, every step of the way…
…That’s why Sophie’s phoning Bob.