Becky Sherwin, Cert CII Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited (AJG)
Administrator Apprentice AJG | Cert CII | Insurance Broker
What is your role?
Corporate Account Handler
What do you do in a typical working day?
Deal with clients in a variety of business sectors, who operate all over the world. This includes negotiating terms with insurers, comparing terms from different insurers, answering client day-to-day queries, handling policy adjustments, checking/issuing policy documents, preparing insurance registers, raising invoices, liaising with overseas brokers, checking contracts for clients and supporting other members of my team.
What were you doing before this role?
I joined the company on my apprenticeship as an Administrator within the SME department, and progressed within the team to become an Account Manager. I provided day-to-day contact, handled renewals and placed new business for clients; typically with 1-2 policies and a premium spend anywhere between a few hundred pounds and £10,000. I also had quite a lot of involvement in a scheme we arrange for a trade association, and provided training and support to new apprentices. After five years in the industry, I progressed into the corporate team as a Corporate Account Handler.
Before my apprenticeship, I completed one year of sixth form and was working part-time in the retail sector.
How did you find out about the company and the Apprenticeship?
I got in touch with a local apprenticeship provider and they found the placement for me.
How has the Apprenticeship helped you?
It has definitely helped to improve my confidence. I also now have a good, professional career that I probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the apprenticeship.
How has the Apprenticeship helped your company?
The apprenticeship has helped to bring younger people into the company and industry. I was the first apprentice to be employed within the Coventry office, and a structured apprenticeship programme has been built following my success.
How does your role fit into the business?
As a Corporate Account Handler, I work with Account Executives to arrange and handle the insurance programmes for a book of corporate and commercial clients.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
As insurance isn’t a widely understood topic, I enjoy being able to help and advise people on areas they don’t understand. I get a lot of satisfaction from exceeding others expectations, and building relationships with both insurers and clients.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Workload pressures and deadlines can be challenging, but they keep the job interesting and exciting. It can also be challenging handling a query on a new area which I haven’t covered before, but it’s a learning curve.
What do you need to be successful in your role?
- Commitment and willingness to continually learn about the insurance market and the types of cover available
- Organisational skills
- Ability to work well in a team
- Professional attitude
- A logical approach to situations
- Good people skills and the ability to build relationships
Have you taken any professional qualifications?
Yes, I passed my FIT test within the second year, then went on to be Cert CII qualified and am now studying towards obtaining my CII Diploma in Insurance.
What have been your careers highlights so far?
- Being selected as the Coventry Insurance Institute Young Achiever of the Year in 2012, and being shortlisted for the same award in 2011, 2013 and 2014
- Being involved in changing processes to improve team productivity
- Regularly exceeding targets by as much as 270%
What are the main benefits of working in the profession?
Having an understanding of a subject not widely understood, and being part of a profession with a lot of different progression routes and development opportunities.
What do you think you will be doing this time next year?
As I have recently progressed into the next stage of my career, as a Corporate Account Handler, the intention is for me to develop into a fully fledged Corporate Account Manager over time.
Why did you choose a career in insurance?
I don’t think I would have a career in insurance if I hadn’t joined via apprenticeship route. I would recommend a career in insurance to others though!
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