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Peter Walker - General Manager, Business Development
Peter D. Morris

National BDM
General Insurance

What is a TPA?

By: Peter Morris

Key Points

  • A TPA is a Third Party Administrator of insurance claims
  • TPAs assist insurers, government, brokers, self-insured companies and businesses of any size to reduce the cost of claims
  • As a specialist TPA, GB is able to partner with clients to protect their reputation and improve stakeholder relationships.

Have you ever been to a social gathering such as a dinner party, barbeque etc. and a new acquaintance asks you the question, “So, what do you do for a living?”

If, like me, you’ve responded with “I’m in the Insurance Industry”, it’s very rare that you’ll receive a follow up question on your career.

No disrespect to those well-educated and qualified people working as highly regarded professionals such as accountants, actuaries and, for that matter, claims specialists, but it's certainly not a response that augurs enthralling social dialogue with newly introduced guests.

So, after years of being totally ignored at dinner parties, I now respond with “I work for a TPA”.

An instant retort is received; “What is a TPA?”

The following is somewhat detailed, whereas my response is an abridged version of the following, but to explain, this is the role of a Third Party Claims Administrator.

A TPA processes insurance claims for a third party company; quite simply it can be viewed as the "outsourcing" of an organisation's claims responsibilities.

In today’s complex insurance industry, TPAs help insurers, government, businesses, brokers and self-insured companies reduce the cost of claims and secure better outcomes for all stakeholders.

The TPA model places particular emphasis on streamlined claims management and prompt finalisation. The data collected during the claims management process allows prompt analysis of risk factors. Benefits include:

  • Faster, more focused claims management
  • Lower overheads and reduced cost
  • Immediate access to highly trained specialist claims administrators
  • Improved control over claims outcomes
  • Safeguarding of customer relationships and protection of brand reputation.

But not all TPAs are the same. I’m privileged to be employed by GB, Australia’s largest specialist TPA.

GB has extensive experience assisting corporations, insurance companies, governmental departments, insurance brokers and self-insured companies in the provision of claims related services across a wide range of insurance classes, including Property, Liability, Professional Indemnity, Motor and Accident and Health.

GB was the first company in Australia to offer the TPA model. As part of one of the largest TPAs in the world, Gallagher Bassett wrote the book on Third Party Claims Administration.

So, that’s my response at a social event. Like my colleagues at GB, we are proud of what we do and we thoroughly enjoy doing it. So in summary, insurance is not a dry subject at a dinner party and/or barbeque after all.*


*Footnote – never tell the new acquaintance that you work in Business Development!!!