Spotlight interview

Danny Ozanne
Property Product Underwriter

Danny works in our underwriting team as our Product Lead for Property and has been with our ICCI family, specialising in Personal Lines insurance, for over 7 years. Danny recently attained his Diploma in Insurance (Dip CII) and is now developing his skills with a change in focus to Commercial underwriting. Danny is dedicated to supporting our Brokers in any way he can. For Danny, the best of part of his job is the flexibility of his role daily and working in a good team environment. In his free time, Danny can either be found on a football pitch or at the gym and would like to trade places with our MD for a day!

We spoke to Danny to find out more about his career, his life and his aspirations...

Firstly, congratulations again Danny on achieving your Dip CII, all those years/hours of study have finally paid off. What does it mean to have finally achieved this personal goal?

It’s a great achievement and a big weight off my shoulders. It feels like it has been going on forever but I can finally put Dip CII, on my email sign off! Studying for the Diploma has given me the opportunity to see where I want to progress and expand my knowledge in insurance and enabled me to build my own career path here at ICCI. I have been very grateful of the support provided by the company to allow me to gain professional qualifications and the study buddy support others here have shown to help me along the way.

So having had some time to reflect, when do you think you will go on to study the Advanced Diploma to achieve your ACII?

It’s a big commitment and I need to look into it a bit further and have a think, but I really need a breather! Can I just say watch this space!

You joined ICCI just over 7 years ago now – how did you get into insurance?

By chance really. I previously worked in stock broking and trust roles but I wasn’t sure that was for me so I then worked as an electrician apprentice. This was good experience but I didn’t want to do it long term. However, it gave me the chance to look around the market until the right job came up. An underwriting role came up here and I knew a few people that worked here who told me it was a good place to work, so I took the chance and here I am. I was initially attracted to the role because I could see the development progression to do your exams and that was one of my challenges from previous finance roles with no obvious progression. This role gave me the opportunity to study and progress my career further and that was a big thing for me.

Describe your role to someone outside the company?

I am the Property Product Lead for ICCI reporting to Sarah, our Commercial Director. With the licence and experience that I have, members of the team will approach me for my views and opinions on a risk if they are unsure on what underwriting action to take or if they don’t have the licence authority to do so. I oversee a lot of the property insurances we deal with across Personal Lines and more recently Commercial Lines. As part of my underwriting duties, I look at the overall performance of both individual cases and the portfolio as a whole and make recommendations.

You have recently switched from dealing solely with personal lines underwriting to include commercial too. Why did you decide to do this? What have you enjoyed the most so far in the new challenges this change has presented you with?

I had done the same classes of business every day for 6 years and I wanted to progress my career, expand my knowledge further and thought the commercial aspect would give me a wider knowledge of the market as well as testing myself in other areas. I’ve started on Property Owners and will develop to more classes throughout this year. I have actually enjoyed the challenge of taking a step back and even though it was strange having everything checked again until I got a licence, I started looking at everything from a fresh angle as a result of learning something new. I found I was questioning things more.

What is your favourite part of the job?

For me it’s that every day is different. I can plan what I want to do during the day but something else might come up which is urgent. I like variety and this role gives me just that. I also like the flexibility of the role and how we have been given the opportunity to work from home one day a week, which gives me the space to enable me to deliver on any projects.

If you could switch jobs with anyone at ICCI for a day who would it be and why?

Good question! I would like to swap places with Mark [Mark Marshall]. I would like to see what it would be like to be an MD of a company and what challenges he faces daily. Not so much the numbers he has to deal with, but the management aspect of his role would be fascinating.

What do you like best about working for ICCI?

I like the flexibility of the job and every day being different. We have a really good team spirit here and it feels like a big family. It’s a nice place to work and I like that everyone wants to help each other.

What is the importance of utilising brokers in the placement of business?

The broker acts as an intermediary and provides expert knowledge to look at the markets to find the best or most suitable product for their client’s needs. We work closely with our brokers to ensure our proposition and product suit each individual customer’s needs.

What are your views on the importance of ensuring a customer chooses the right insurance provider for their insurance protection?

Customers need to be aware that the cheapest price isn’t always the best cover. If customers are looking at an aggregator, they tend to filter their policies online purely by pricing. It doesn’t always give customers the details of what they are covering, so when it comes to a claim they might not have the cover for certain perils that they thought they had. So it’s important customers read the policy wordings before they go ahead and engage with their broker to get the right level of advice.

What is the main advantage of taking out insurance with ICCI?

We’re a local provider, with local knowledge and a local claims handling service. A UK insurer does not have the local knowledge we do. Other insurers might take longer to settle claims, whereas we thrive on our local claims service. We can also visit brokers and meet clients if required. It’s that local service that we provide which is our USP.

When you are not at the office, what do you like doing?

I probably have an exercise addiction, so you will either find me at the gym or playing football for Vale Rec, injury permitting. Otherwise I like to listen to music, go out with my mates and go to the pub at the weekend to watch the football.

It’s probably safe to say that your favourite sport to watch is football, so which team do you root for and why?

Manchester United. It runs in the family! My dad does, his dad does, my mum’s dad does so I couldn’t break the family tradition!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing your role at ICCI?

I would probably be in Finance, I tried a tradesman role but that wasn’t for me. Bit cliché, but the ultimate career would have been a professional footballer when I was younger. I played in the junior Muratti for Guernsey but not the senior one, I wasn’t good enough!

What’s on your bucket list that you haven’t had a chance to complete yet?

Visit Sicily in Italy – it’s hot and I love Italian food. I’m also quite ambitious so would like to go as high as I can in my career here. Something I ticked off my bucket list during lockdown was learning to cook – I can cook most things now but love a lasagne!

What’s something most people don’t know about you and is there something you are really bad at?

Not many people know that I actually applied for the job here a couple of years before I got it. Someone else got it ahead of me, I won’t name names! Then a role came up again a couple years later, so I jumped at the chance and got it! Persistence is key! One bad habit is that I point out other people’s typos – it’s annoying for them but I find it quite funny! I also can’t sit still, I am quite bad at resting, I have to be doing something.

What three words would your mates use to describe you?

Stubborn – I like to persist with things until it goes the way I want it to go!

Team Player – Always there to help people if they need it and offer help, both in my personal life and at work. It probably comes from a sporting background where I have always been part of a team.

Ambitious – I like to push myself to my limits in everything I do.

If you could trade places with anyone in the world for a day, who would choose and why?

Sir Alex Ferguson – He’s a football god. Everyone looks up to him and he’s achieved so much in his career in and out of football. It would be nice to have that feeling of everyone looking up to you for a day and everyone coming to you for advice, motivation and help.