Emily (known as Em) is responsible for leading our underwriting team as our Trading & Service Lead. Em holds the Diploma in Insurance (Dip CII) and has been with our ICCI family, specialising in Commercial Insurance for nearly 8 years. Em is passionate about developing her team. For Em the best of her job is the variety and the team as a whole. In her free time, Em likes to spend time with her family and friends and she cannot wait to go back to Chamonix soon.
We spoke to Em to find out more about her career, her life and her aspirations…
- You joined us nearly 8 years ago now – how did you get into insurance?
I had various roles after leaving school from a nanny then a Broker. After consulting a recruitment agency I realised that insurance was what I had enjoyed the most and I had two opportunities to consider. When I came here [ICCI], I really liked the sound of the role and the company and I basically left my second interview saying I really want this job and I got it, the rest is history!
- Describe your role to someone outside the company.
30% of my role involves looking after service and 70% of my role is involved in the day to day underwriting and trading. Some days it works out like that but not always. The service aspect is at the heart of what we do as a business, ensuring we are meeting customer and policy holder promises. My role involves reallocating workloads, allocating renewals and helping out with the new business distribution to ensure the team are working as efficiently as possible. We have thrice weekly 10 minute service huddles, where everyone gives their numbers for their renewals, post, whether they are in/out of service and whether there are any issues. This allows us to organise any reallocations to be made and work together as a team. This makes a huge difference to our teams workloads and ensures we allocate work fairly and the team feel supported. I have also gained a few direct reports now which I enjoy and is a different side to the job. It’s certainly a new challenge, not to say that anyone is particularly challenging(!) but it is a new skill for me to develop. The trading side of my role involves broker contact, large case renewals, looking at pipeline and looking what new business we can bring in and working on specific large cases. It’s a varied role which I love.
- What is your favourite part of your role?
The challenge of the role and working with such a great team. My role varies day to day and it can also depend on what time of the year it is. I always find appraisal time for the team an interesting but challenging time, also juggling my time around on a day to day, week to week to fit everything in. There is so much variety in my role which I enjoy. I also love developing my team.
- If you could switch jobs with anyone at ICCI for a day who would it be and why?
I would like to shadow Sarah [our Commercial Director]. Although I see what she does most days, she looks at things from a much more strategic aspect. She concentrates on the referral side of the underwriting role or the strategy planning aspect. I would enjoy shadowing her to see what her role involves, although I have an idea whether the idea meets reality would be interesting to find out.
- What are 3 words you would use to describe ICCI and why?
Fair – everyone is treated fairly and it’s a really inclusive workplace.
Supportive – very supportive environment for career progression and professional development.
Challenging – you can be challenged every day, whether that’s in your own workload, thought process, being out of your comfort zone or career progression to just be the best you can be
- Policy holders often believe their insurance is held with the Broker, what’s the difference between the role of the Broker and that of Insurance Corporation (ICCI) as the Insurer?
The way I normally describe this to my family is that the Broker is the middle man who will talk to you about your needs and assess what cover you require and they will then relay that to the insurer, who will then write and ultimately accept the risk.
ICCI offers both Commercial and Personal Lines insurance products – how does ICCI ensure we have the local capability and knowledge to meet the customer needs in these very different sectors? We have a vast array of knowledge across the team and various tools and strategies in place to ensure we understand what we are writing. We draw on our own previous claims experience and general market experience to ensure our products are fit for purpose. All decisions are made locally because we have the local knowledge to write the risks but we do have RSA as a supporting party to provide assistance where necessary. Our team benefit from the technical academy within RSA, where our team can expand their knowledge. Where we stand out to UK insurers is our local knowledge when it comes to writing risks. We have strategies in place, like all insurers do, but ours are more tailored to the Channel Islands and we pride ourselves on the fact that we can go and visit a risk where most insurers can’t.
- If you could give 3 tips to a policy holder to ensure they have the right cover in place, what would they be and why?
Understand your exposures – be clear about what risks you need covered.
Shop around – make sure you are getting the best product and the best service. When you have a claim is when insurance really matters.
Read your policy documents – make sure everything you want/need is covered and all statements are correct
- What core aspects of ICCI make the business the leading general insurer in the Channel Islands?
Our People – we have a brilliant team that understand the business, our strategy and our market, without that you certainly wouldn’t be the leading insurer.
RSA Support – all our decisions are made locally but RSA provide invaluable technical and development support for our team.
First Class Claims Service – we can be relied upon to deal with all claims fairly and quickly.
Technical Expertise – we are a Chartered Insurer and our team are constantly expanding their knowledge through professional qualifications or technical training - this makes us stand out from other insurers.
- What role does ICCI, as the local insurer in the Channel Islands, have to play in the community?
ICCI has given a huge amount back to our communities over the past four decades. Whether it is via our Conservation Awards which are now in their 31st year, or our Healthcare Bursary, volunteering, charity donations or various event sponsorships throughout the year.
ICCI have recently launched an apprentice scheme, what do you believe ICCI bring to the apprentice’s and just as importantly, what do the apprentices bring to us? I love our Apprenticeship scheme, I think it is a great opportunity for people to get into insurance. We have a couple of apprentices at the moment who are doing really well. We provide them with a 3-year structured development programme and the opportunity to earn whilst they learn. They also provide a massive support to our team with the sheer amount of cases or work they deal with day to day.
- What would we most likely find you doing at the weekend?
Spending time with my family and friends. I am enjoying developing my gardening skills and just started growing my own vegetables and I find cleaning my house quite therapeutic. I also love looking after my rabbits: Hero and Thor!
- When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a primary school teacher because I enjoyed working with children. I think I liked the idea of marking, writing on blackboards and handing out reward stars!
- What’s the top destination on your must-visit list when it’s safe to travel?
I would love to visit Vancouver in Canada but I cannot wait to go back to Chamonix. I love it, it’s such a gorgeous place to go hiking up the mountains. It’s my happy place.
- What’s something most people don’t know about you?
One thing people don’t know about me is that I love to read. I can go through on average 4-5 books a week! I’m a fast reader! I tend to love a psychological thriller.
- What three words would your mates use to describe you?
I asked a colleague and she said: approachable, friendly and articulate!
- What would be your speciality subject in a quiz?
As you know I love a good quiz. My speciality subject would be all things Harry Potter!
- What is your favourite inspirational quote and why?
It’s not really an inspirational quote but I just love the phrase “just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo. When its really busy or I feel a little overwhelmed, I just sing to myself “just keep swimming” and it helps!