We are delighted this week to recognise another employee’s long service with Insurance Corporation. Congratulations and thank you to Lauren Twist, who manages our Personal Lines team, for her 10 years’ service with us.
Lauren cannot believe how quickly time has flown by, ‘ICCI was my first full time office job, and I’m not quite sure how the last 10 years have gone by so fast! We have such a great team here and we work together so well, which I love. Excited to see what happens in the next 10 years.’
Sarah Beatty, the Commercial Director said of Lauren, ‘Lauren is an invaluable member of our team. She is enthusiastic, takes great pride in her work and demonstrates a willingness to get things done. Over her career with ICCI, Lauren has developed into a well-respected leader within our business. We look forward to seeing her continue to flourish.’
Specialising in Commercial insurance, Leighan Hazlewood returned to ICCI 3½ years ago, after gaining experience in a different insurance sector. She holds the ‘Certificate in Insurance’ and is passionate about delivering exceptional customer service. For Leighan, the best part of her job is the variety that her role brings, whilst working alongside a ‘lovely team’, where she gains huge satisfaction from training our apprentices. In her free time, Leighan likes to spend time with family and friends and is also fascinated by criminal psychology.
We spoke to Leighan to find out more about her career and her industry insight:
PART 1: YOUR ROLE AT ICCI
You re-joined ICCI nearly 3½ years ago, having previously worked with us for 4 years, tell us how you got into insurance and what drew you back to ICCI?
Following sixth form, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go to university and whilst I had a number of Saturday jobs at school, I was keen to start a full time role. A vacancy came up as an underwriting assistant in the commercial team at ICCI, so I went for it. After 4 years, I felt I needed a new challenge and left to try captive Insurance. Unfortunately, this area of insurance wasn’t for me. I missed underwriting, which I realised was what I enjoyed and was most experienced in. I also missed the team at ICCI, so I re-applied.
How has your career grown since starting with ICCI?
In the time I’ve been with the company my career has developed and grown. I am now a professional underwriter and this year I am looking to complete my underwriting licence in property and packages, which should help me progress even further.
Describe your role to someone outside the company
I work in the commercial team at ICCI as an underwriter. I support the teams in both islands on a range of property and packages, which involves most underwriting commercial risks (restaurants, offices, shops, let properties, hotels). In addition I deal with renewals, new business and broker interaction. As an underwriter, I assess the various types of risks and decide whether we wish to quote for the business or not, set a price and negotiate with brokers to win each piece of business.
What is the most favourite part of your job?
I have very much enjoyed coaching and training our underwriting apprentice. I am quite patient and enjoy transferring my knowledge to others. I also love working as part of a team that supports each other. I also enjoy the variety in my role, as every day is different.
As you know, we consider our teams health and wellbeing a priority. What are your three top tips for maintaining a healthy work life balance?
Socialising – have something to look forward to each week, spend time with family and friends and colleagues.
Time management – try your best to manage your workload within your contracted hours and prioritise workloads on busy days.
Working from home – if your employer allows you to work from home, consider using this when you have projects or deadlines to meet. I find I’m more productive when I work like this.
What are 3 words you would use to describe ICCI and what is your favourite part about working for ICCI?
Three words I’d use to describe ICCI are ‘hardworking, friendly environment’. My favourite part about working for ICCI is my work colleagues, most of us have been here for a long time, so we all get on well and socialise outside of work.
PART 2: LEIGHAN’S INSURANCE INSIGHTS & TIPS
What value do you feel brokers add to commercial customers and insurance placements?
Rather than going direct to an insurer, the benefit of going through a broker is that our customers can get independent insurance advice. A broker can independently explain the cover, ensure you know what you are buying and check you have the right insurance cover for your needs.
What are the most common causes of underinsurance, what impact will rising inflation levels potentially have on this?
It’s really important that customers get current valuations on their property or valuables. For example, with rising inflation levels a policyholder may have miscalculated rebuild costs and if you have not reviewed these in a while, your house could potentially be underinsured.
Another instance could be where you are having work done to your house like an extension and you haven’t told your broker/insurer. All insurers need to know about works being undertaken, to ensure you have the right cover in place during any renovations.
Rising inflation levels are also impacting the price of precious metals therefore It is worth getting up-to-date valuations on itemised jewellery, to ensure any valuable items are insured within the policy limits.
Our ‘What Sums Insured’ guide on our website helps customers work out their contents value. Customers may be driven by price, but it is important to make sure the house and contents are insured for the correct amount as this could impact upon you greatly if you make a claim in the future.
What are the main benefits of taking out a commercial policy with ICCI?
We are a local insurer – we understand the local market, we have vast local knowledge of the islands and can send loss adjustors to customers in a short space of time. In terms of our commercial policyholders, we are also able to provide risk management advice and carry out surveys to identify potential risk hazards, so that we can help prevent losses in the future.
PART 3: FUN FACTS ABOUT …. LEIGHAN
When you are not at the office, what do you like doing?
I love going to different places on holiday – I loved Croatia. I also enjoy going out for dinner and drinks with family and friends and scenic walks around the Island.
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing your role at ICCI?
I wanted to be in criminal forensics. I find it so interesting – I would love to investigate a crime scene, get DNA and work out who did it. It fascinates me!
What’s on your bucket list that you haven’t had a chance to complete yet?
Travelling the world. My list is very long with Asia, Cambodia and Thailand at the top.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? Or Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I once ate pistachios with the shells on!
If you could pick one song as your theme song, what would it be and why?
‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Toploader, it’s a classic. Just love that tune!
In October 2021 we announced that Emily Tullier was one of 40 UK insurance professionals to be selected for the Chartered Insurance Institute’s New Generation programme. Emily has been working with a team of nine other underwriting professionals around the UK, working on submitting a paper on how their proposals can limit issues faced by the public, the Government and insurers. We caught up briefly with Emily to find out how the programme is going:-
How have you been finding the programme so far?
It’s been really good so far – we’ve had a mix of some virtual sessions and some in-person sessions. The most recent session was a visit to the Houses of Parliament and an opportunity to hear and meet representatives from BIBA (British Insurance Brokers’ Association) and an opportunity to network with all the candidates on the programme afterwards. The BIBA talk enabled our team to have a light bulb moment on what we wanted to do. We also had the chance to hear from last year’s cohort which was very interesting.
What was the tour of the Houses of Parliament like and what did you take away from the talk with BIBA?
The tour of the Houses of Parliament was really good and informative but it was a little bit disappointing in that Prime Ministers questions were happening that day, so we did not get to see the House of Lords, which we were all really looking forward to seeing. We got to see the main hall and various rooms off it. We then heard from BIBA about how they lobby issues facing insurers in Parliament. This was a fascinating talk and inspired our team to reconsider our original project proposal. Having the opportunity after the network event to discuss our proposed project with representatives from BIBA and the CII was invaluable.
Have you chosen a topic for your project and how often do you meet virtually as a team?
Following our recent get together we have landed on a theme for our project, we just need to work out what exact route we will take. We have a virtual call every week, whilst we have all been separately researching our project. The opportunity to meet face to face recently helped us to move our project along. Once we have all solidified our findings, we will then agree the plan as to which route we will go down in terms of our project.
No formal date has been set yet for our project to be submitted/presented. We have a range of options open to us and we are currently exploring the best way to present our project. We are looking at conducting some polls and a questionnaire which the CII will distribute for us, using their contacts/networks. This enables us to get a direct view from the market which will be very interesting once we see the findings.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Apart from getting lost in London, our biggest challenge has been trying to come up with the topic/project and then pin everyone down to meet and discuss remotely. We all have day jobs and outside commitments, so this has been challenging but the face to face meeting opportunities have certainly helped us bond as a group.
What’s coming up that you are looking forward to?
I am looking forward to the media talk in June which should be varied, interesting and relevant and we hope to hear from MP Craig Treacey.
It’s National Careers Week and what better time to shine the light on our Apprentice scheme. We are huge supporters of our apprenticeship scheme here at ICCI. Last year when our apprentices first joined us we sat down with both Annabelle Barnes & Jasmine Shepherd to get to know them a bit better. Since then our Apprentices have become vital members of our ICCI team. They are now a year into their apprenticeship journey and it has been a pleasure watching them become confident, capable and innovative professionals.
This National Careers week, we caught up with Jasmine who has been working as our Operations Apprentice in our Operations team. We asked Jasmine about her experience as an apprentice and how it has helped her start her career.
How did you hear about the opportunity for your apprenticeship at ICCI?
At the time I was looking I had joined a temp agency and had absolutely no idea what I was looking for! After securing an interview at ICCI, I knew it was where I wanted to work. The office had such a friendly feel to it and the interview process was unique, showing me that ICCI would be an interesting and lovely place to work. I especially loved the apprenticeship plan which is mainly what drew me in. The thought of going into an office job with no experience can be really daunting but the apprenticeship is suited for people in that exact situation!
How have you found your apprenticeship in general so far?
So far, my apprenticeship has been challenging, interesting, rewarding and very enjoyable. Every day, I learn something new and develop my skills within my role, learning things I never thought I would know about! Recently, I have been having more communication with direct clients, which I have especially loved as I enjoy the client facing aspect of my job the most. Sometimes there can be some challenges within the job and it has been rewarding noticing my ability to overcome these challenges and find solutions, something that I struggled with at the beginning.
What has been your biggest challenge during your apprenticeship?
At first, it was an adjustment for me dealing with numbers and learning the correct formulas because I never saw myself going anywhere near percentages again after school. However, I am really enjoying it now! Now I am in the swing of things and I understand the reasoning behind the calculations more, it has become something I genuinely love!
What has been the biggest highlight of your apprenticeship?
We are currently in the process of receiving some training within the office and I have really enjoyed it because it has been a fantastic opportunity to gain some more knowledge regarding the other teams and the roles within their teams. I have obtained a much deeper understanding of how my movements can impact the flow in the office, negatively and positively. This has given me a great foundation to grow from and I think everybody feels similarly. It has been really productive.
What is it like working for ICCI?
It is lovely working in a small office as the relationships between colleagues has a real friendly feel to them. Although professionalism is consistently maintained, everyone always remembers the human factor and knows how each other tick. We have had some great work events which is always fun and a well-needed opportunity for everyone to relax and have a good time which really enhances rapport. I also loved the volunteering activities we get involved with. We spent a day at the GSPCA last year and split into two teams to do some volunteering which was very fulfilling and a fun thing to do together.
What kind of tasks do you complete on a daily basis?
It hugely depends on which part of the month we are in. For our team, the beginning and end of the month are quite full on as, at the beginning, we really focus on organising and sending out the broker statements. The end of the month is dedicated to reconciling all the statements, chasing any outstanding payments, and making sure all of the accounts are up to date. It can get on top of you quite quickly, so it is important to make sure you’re ahead of it all. Other tasks include dealing with phone calls, handling incoming and outgoing post, distributing emails, and dealing with the outward and inward bank accounts from the previous day. I am never left with nothing to do, which is perfect for me.
How is ICCI supporting you during your apprenticeship journey?
ICCI has been really amazing in supporting me, as my original plan was to complete my CII Certificate but after some deliberation, I decided I wanted to focus more on the accounts side, rather than underwriting. I had so much support through this and I am now completing the Foundation in Insurance test, which is specifically designed for individuals in support roles to give them a brief understanding of how the insurance market operates, before moving on to study for my accountancy exams. I hope to take my exam in the next couple of months.
What do you hope to be doing in five years’ time?
I hope that in the next couple of years, I will have some accountancy exams under my belt and feel a lot more experienced in that part of my role.
Do you have any advice for people looking to do an apprenticeship with us and a career in insurance?
I say go for it! It is a fantastic opportunity and I can’t imagine a better place to do it. Insurance is such a good industry to work in because no day is the same, you are dealing with really interesting situations and there are so many different opportunities within the industry, something within it will suit you. Also, everyone at ICCI is really friendly so I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to work here!
It’s National Careers Week and what better way to kick off this week than myth-busting what it is like to work in insurance! Sarah Beatty joined the Commercial Underwriting team at ICCI in 2004, some 17 years ago. Sarah has gone on to have a very successful career both within Insurance Corporation (ICCI) and also within the insurance industry itself, having been appointed the President of the local Institute of Insurance of Guernsey in recent years.
Sarah is very passionate about recommending insurance as a career choice to the younger generation. There are many benefits to working in the industry both from a personal and professional perspective and we sat down with Sarah, who is now the Commercial Director and part of the Management Team at ICCI, to hear more about what it is really like working in the insurance industry and ICCI.
It’s National Careers Week and there are many students considering what their next step is – how would you inspire students to consider a career in insurance? I would encourage anyone leaving education to seriously consider a career in the insurance industry. The industry is a strong and important part of the local financial services with a wide range of career opportunities. Insurance is often not a preference for school or university leavers, which is a real shame. I am proof that there is an opportunity to develop a long, successful and fulfilling career in insurance and have fun whilst you are doing it.
Can you provide an insight into the different departments we have here and the range of opportunities available? ICCI are an end to end regulated insurer so the career opportunities are wide ranging. We have a number of different departments within our business including underwriting, claims, operations, finance, IT, HR & PR. Each team has an opportunity within it to progress and develop their career.
ICCI has captured your heart for over 17 years – what do you love most about working here? The best 3 things about ICCI is the team, the culture and the opportunities available. The team are the best part of the business, without a doubt. ICCI have always had a highly qualified and experienced team. Working as part of a top-quality team means we bring the best out in each other and encourage each other to achieve great things. This is supported by how much ICCI care about their team and the level of importance they put on ensuring we have a supportive and well-balanced culture within the business. We work hard but also have a lot of fun, I have made some good friends over the years whist working here. It really does feel like a family. Finally, the level and breadth of opportunity here is fantastic. We are a unique business in the Islands’ and within each team, there are a number of avenues you can follow to develop your knowledge and progress your career. ICCI is great at playing to individual team member’s strengths and tailoring progression, each development plan is bespoke. The result of this is a team which feels empowered and valued.
What are the training & professional development opportunities available at ICCI? Professional development has always been something which is important to me. I progressed my way through the insurance exams and became ACII qualified. ICCI achieved Chartered Status from the Chartered Insurance Institute in 2018, which is something we are very proud of. The CII provides a clear and structured professional development programme, which ICCI is exceptionally supportive of. ICCI provides not only financial support but also provides study buddies and allocated study leave for team members. Being able to tap into this structure is invaluable. There are other professional qualifications available for team members to take too, if more appropriate for their roles, such as the Chartered Insurance Loss Adjusters qualification for our claims team or accountancy qualifications for our finance and operations team. On top of professional development, training has been a key cornerstone of our business. This has been the case throughout my whole career. Training can range from on the job, to team wide or bespoke designed training just for us. We use a blend of internal expertise from the wider group, as well as external providers.
How do you feel ICCI gives back to our local communities? Giving back to the local community is really important to ICCI. I feel proud to work for a business which is so passionate about this and has remained unwavering in their support of this over the years. Whether it is our Healthcare Bursary, Conservation Awards or the effort our team put into our annual volunteer days, I absolutely love seeing the support and the work we do make such a difference.
What would you say are the biggest benefits to working for ICCI, opposed to other career choices or employers?
One of the biggest benefits of being part of ICCI is the fact that we form part of a wider group. We are part of the RSA group, which is such a great business to be involved in. We trade as a small and incredibly successful team, which is fully local and we retain full autonomy in our decision making and operational activity. At the same time, we get to benefit from a wide range of technical skills and experience from being part of a larger group and network. I have personally benefitted from this by spending a period of time working within RSA. It was brilliant to be able to bring that knowledge and experience back to ICCI and to have been able to develop strong network and relationships with the wider team.
How do you react when you hear people outside the industry say insurance jobs are boring and not personally fulfilling? Insurance is one of life’s necessities and no one loves paying their premiums but when someone faces a loss and needs to report a claim, we get to prove our worth. It feels amazing to be able to help a client recover but we also take measures to aim to support them in preventing claims. When a job affords you the opportunity to help people is such a remarkable way and at the time when they need us most, gives you purpose each day and a sense of fulfilment knowing you made a difference.
Can you give an insight into the culture here at ICCI? Ensuring that the team have a healthy work life balance is a key priority for ICCI. We ensure that our team feel supported with the work they have to do, as well as making time to find solutions to improve. We have proactively implemented new ways of working post Covid, which allows team members to work from home more regularly. This has been a great addition to our environment and allows team members to be as effective as they can be, by being able to enjoy a flexible working environment. In addition to this, we have a robust mental health support programme. This is aimed at picking up the early signs of anyone who may be struggling and providing support for them. This is such an important topic in today’s environment, so I am really pleased to see ICCI take it so seriously.
Do you have any advice for students looking for their next step and considering a career in insurance? Try it, you might like it! Genuinely, my advice would be to go for it. You will be surprised by what the industry has to offer and how interesting and varied the roles can be.