Q&A with Mark Brattman
The first in a regular series, we get to know ITIC’s claims handlers. In this interview, ITIC’s Legal Advisor and the new Editor of the Claims Review, Mark Brattman, outlines the most memorable claim he has handled and why not always having a pound coin in your pocket can prove to be very annoying!
How long have you worked at ITIC?
15 years. Prior to joining ITIC I worked in private practice at a law firm that specialised in aviation insurance claims. What is the biggest challenge when it comes to claims? It’s not necessarily the biggest challenge as each individual claim has its own specific challenges, but generally being trained as a lawyer, I have to remind myself to look at claims commercially, and not just focuson a strict legal view.
What is the most memorable claim you have handled?
There have been many memorable claims over the years. The three most memorable are:
The largest claim; This was a claim of GBP 60m made directly against ITIC, following the insolvency of our member. We managed to successfully defend this claim at an arbitration.
My first ever ITIC claim; This was supposed to be a simple introduction to the job. However, the day before the court hearing, I realised that the member no longer existed! As you can imagine, this caused quite a bit of panic. The member had been paying an agent to maintain them on the company register. However, instead the agent had
been pocketing the fees for themselves and as a result the member had been struck off the register a number of years beforehand. Unfortunately, this meant the claimant’s claim was against nobody and the member’s solicitor was on the hook for all of the costs. Luckily, on the steps of the court, we were able to negotiate a settlement which kept all parties happy.
The oddest: A surveyor member had undertaken a survey of a canal barge. They had not inspected underneath the carpets where the wood had been rotting. The report clearly stated that the surveyor had not lifted the carpets and inspected underneath them. The claimant then advised that the smell was so overpowering there was no way a competent surveyor could miss it. To this the surveyor advised that he had lost his sense of smell in a fight when he was 15 years old.
What is your favourite saying?
“Never hate your enemies – it clouds your judgement” – Mario Puzo from the Godfather.
What are your hobbies and favourite pastimes?
Following Tottenham Hotspur – it’s not for the weak of heart. I have also started attending the gym in an effort to get a bit fitter.
What is your favourite food?
This is difficult as I like most foods, but probably a good fillet steak.
What is your favourite film?
Serious film; The Godfather. Fun film; Back to The Future.
What is the last book you read or music you downloaded?
The last book I read was “Down and out in London and Paris” by George Orwell. A real eye opener. I mainly stream Spotify these days. It was probably a random classic rock play list whilst on the treadmill.
Any pet hates?
Needing a pound coin for a supermarket trolley and not having one.
What is your favourite place in the world?
I have recently just come back from Disney World in Florida. That is certainly the happiest (and costliest) place on earth. I love it there because my children love it there!
If you weren’t working at ITIC, what would you
I always thought I’d have made a good advertising executive. Although that might be influenced by having watched too many episodes of “Mad Men”.