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Ralph Hug: SMEs know just what damages are covered

Between 80 and 100 losses by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are currently piled up on the desk of Helvetia claims expert Ralph Hug. The 43-year-old from Bischofszell in Thurgau Canton understands how to find the positives in a crisis. Even when he is met with hostility.

21 December 2016, text: Isabella Awad, photos: Michael Sieber

Helvetia claims expert Ralph Hug looks at everything very precisely – and is happy to put on a helmet occasionally to do so.
“I am aware that for customers, a claim generally means a crisis”, says Ralph Hug.

“I think I was always destined to work in insurance. After my insurance apprenticeship I started out in claims services. At the age of 28 I was already a trained all-round damages inspector. Today I manage complex liability cases in the area of construction and industry: from unsealed roofs to serious engineering faults. My customers are primarily SMEs in construction and industry.

Support in times of crisis

I am aware that for customers, a claim generally means a crisis. They want not only financial protection but, more crucially, that we will stand by them as a partner and provide support with our extensive experience. What’s needed are solutions to problems, and we also advise customers when an event is not covered or is only partially covered. The number of dossiers I have pending varies between 80 and 100. Sometimes a claim is dealt with within five days – sometimes it can drag on for years.

Hostility on the construction site

In our job you need to like dealing with people, but also be very resilient, because you spend your whole time dealing with other people’s problems. My experience and industry knowledge help me to remain calm under pressure.

Once I was treated with some hostility on a construction site by the person suffering damages, but despite that I was actually able to win him over as a customer during the course of the claims processing. We often have to deal with customers who manage a company themselves and are very easily able to estimate what’s covered by an insurance contract and what’s not.

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