ITIC Europe Wire - Mikaela Koni

What is your role?
I am a Senior Claims Executive, currently handling the European Claims for ITIC Europe.

Where were you working before? Please give us a brief overview of your career history.
Previously, I held the position of internal legal advisor for a Chartering Shipping Firm specialising in the transport of dry bulk and bagged goods between the Asian and African continent. My duties included the handling of a wide range of FD&D claims, bunker disputes as well as the drafting of charter parties. Before that, I was an associate in two private practice law firms with focus on corporate and commercial
matters, alternative dispute resolution and court litigation. 

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I am really excited to be part of the new team that is set up to cover the European members’ needs and I am looking forward to handing even more new and exciting claims! As someone said, “there is never a dull day in ITIC” and indeed that could not be more true as each claim that comes in is always unique, challenging and always exciting.

What is the biggest challenge when it comes to claims? 
Although I have a maritime and legal background and therefore have a good grasp of the different actors that operate in the shipping world, the most challenging aspect at the moment is understanding the story behind a claim because often the important elements lie within the  details which are not always available or easy to extract.

What is the most memorable claim you have handled?
The most memorable claim I have handled up to now, is a debt collection claim. Although debt collections do not tend to be as intriguing and interesting as indemnity claims tend to be, this claim was and still is quite interesting. It is a claim whereby our members, which were agents, did not get paid for their services on various calls and vessels by the charterers that appointed them. There were multiple issues in chasing this specific debt, nevertheless, we have secured multiple court decisions against the Debtors and have recovered a large amount of the debt by arresting one of the vessels basis a maritime lien.

What is your favourite part of dealing with claims?
I really enjoy the legal part of the claims such as legal research and contract reviewing.

What is your least favourite aspect of claims handling?
I really dislike handling claims where we have exhausted the remedies available to the member and we are unable to further assist them. It is a rare scenario but it feels like you let the bad guy go.

What is your favourite saying?
“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A Shedd 1928

What are your hobbies and favourite pastimes?
I enjoy canoeing, SUP, going hiking with my dog and reading but truly my favourite pastime is painting. I try to devote at least two hours per week in painting as it helps relax my mind.

What is your favourite food?
With the danger of sounding very mainstream, my favourite food is spaghetti Bolognese with a nice 50% pork 50% beef mince.

What is your favourite film?
If we are talking about grown up movies, The Age of Adaline, I am always up to re-watching it. Now, if we are talking about cartoons, any Despicable Me / Minions / Angry Birds movie, they always offer a good laugh.

What is the last book you read or music you downloaded?
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. It is about a woman who makes a deal with the devil to be always young and free but the catch is, that no matter how many people she meets, nobody remembers her afterwards. Although it is fiction, it does force you to think and put things into perspective.

Any pet hates?
I have quite a few but the main ones are, people chewing with their mouth open, people popping balloons and people watching reels or videos with their sound on in public.

If you weren’t working at ITIC, what would you be doing?
I would probably have been a florist or a painter! I love bright vibrant colours and I enjoy creating things that are a source of happiness for other people.

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