Guido Jansen joined Crawford & Company as a maritime loss adjuster in 2018 having previously sailed for nearly two years with Dutch shipping company Anthony Veder.
Guido studied at the Nautical College in Amsterdam having had a life-long passion for ships which still burns strongly today. “My work takes me onto the most diverse types of ship. It’s utterly fascinating,” he says.
He admits that he had never heard of loss adjusting when he was first approached by a recruitment agency to work as a marine surveyor. However, the job description appealed to him and he was soon recruited by Crawford in the Netherlands.
“I have not regretted it for one second,” he says.
“I find the work of a loss adjuster extraordinarily interesting. It’s never straightforward, and you often have to think outside of the box.”
Having spent most of his time at sea on ships transporting liquid gasses, Guido is now one of the few adjusters specialising in losses associated with chemical and other liquid cargoes.
Adjusting and settling these claims is “an art” and highly specialised, he says, requiring knowledge of the product applications and characteristics of liquid cargoes as well as the specialist laboratory analysis approaches needed to uncover the causes of contaminations and other types of loss.
The claim he is most proud of saw him save a principal client almost €2 million when a customer was unsatisfied with a refined oil product delivery. “Through intensive examination we were able to demonstrate that while the density of the oil was incorrect, the cause of the contamination could not be attributed to the ship or the crew. It was not a transport-related claim, so the principal did not have to pay for the loss,” he explains.
“This claim had everything that makes our profession so wonderful,” he adds. “It was complex and professionally challenging but we were able to reach a fair settlement by using our knowledge and engaging the right specialists.”
Guido also handles collision-related claims, nautical investigations and other technical shipping claims. Knowing ships inside and out from his time as a sailor helps from a technical perspective and also in winning the trust of captains and their crew.
Adjusting claims at sea can be very challenging, with vessels in various maintenance condition, language barriers common and shipping parties not always transparent in providing the information required for the settlement of a claim, Guido says. “That is just part of the game and makes my challenge to bring all the information to light all the greater.”
He also values the fact that no two claims are the same and recognises the importance of the personal contact he has with crews and colleagues. However, he believes the industry needs to work harder to attract more young marine adjusters.
“Most of my colleagues in this field are older and a few are approaching retirement. To continue providing excellent service we have to make sure there is sufficient new intake,” Guido says.
“We are in an amazing profession that offers people interesting and varied work and, above all, a great future, but this is barely known by school leavers, students in the nautical colleges and other potential recruits. We all have to work at raising our profile.”