Francesca

Francesca

Claims Handler

An overview

As a claims handler in First Response, I take new claims and put them on the system for people who have just had an accident. I also help out the Accidental Damage team during our quiet periods.

Early days

There were lots of others who started at the same time as me so we were all taught in a room for the first few weeks. That’s where we learned about systems and insurance. I was then placed in the First Response team with one other handler that I’d started with.

It makes you aware of other people’s problems across the world.

Who does it best

I think the qualities that are the most important are to be positive, hard-working and very customer-focused. I believe if you try hard and want to learn as much as you possibly can, you’ll go very far here. It’s also vital to treat all our customers with the utmost respect.

What insurance means

Insurance to me is a safety net for people. I believe it is a very important thing to have and without it you could lose a lot of valuable and significant things that mean so much to you. Without insurance people would not be able to feel secure, and would struggle to do anything without fearing the worst.

How do you make a difference?

Without me and my role, people wouldn’t know where to go for help and support in time of need. I feel a great duty to take care of our customers and make sure they know exactly what is going to happen next in regards to their claims. I also need to make sure that they are OK - and that if they need anything, they all know they can come to us and we’ll support them 100%.

Customer feedback lets me know I’m doing the best job I could do.

The best part of the job

That’s making the customers happy. You feel a great relief when you come off the phone and know you’ve made the person on the other side of that call feel a lot better about their situation. In Zurich you receive customer feedback and you get to see what the customers think about the service you provide.

Whenever you are struggling, you know someone will be there to help you and make you feel safe – just like we do for our customers.

Sum up life here in three words

Exciting, challenging and supportive. Exciting and challenging because you never get the same thing to do– it’s always so different. Supportive because I feel like everyone in Zurich Insurance is helpful and there for you whenever you need them.

Advice for new joiners?

I think the best advice I can give to people looking to start a career in insurance is to be positive and set some goals. There are so many opportunities within the Insurance industry and you need to make sure you are doing what makes you happy!
Tobias

Tobias

Third Party Motor Claims Handler

An overview

I initially began as a Claims Handler at Zurich but I’ve been promoted. I manage a specific case load, and my challenge is to make sure I handle claims within my authority limit to do so within the process and guidelines of our global claims policy. I have to be sure that when dealing with my claims I make the correct decision and pay the correct sums of compensation.

It’s an intriguing industry. Insurance is ever-changing because legislation constantly evolves.

The best part of the job?

That has to be feedback from peers and customers. It’s great to know when you’ve made a real difference and provided excellent customer satisfaction.

It’s good knowing you work for a company that’s renowned across the world.

The international side

It’s a mind-set, really. We have to look at the broader picture if we’re going to be a sustainable business. We need to look at markets across the globe and position ourselves so that we can maximise on all opportunities.

What insurance means

You’re assisting and helping others who’ve been involved in an accident, and putting them back in the position they were before. It’s also about covering risk and making sure you have cover in place to protect your loss.

Important qualities

I’d say you need to be hard working, honest and reliable. I wear my heart on my sleeve and consider myself a role model. That said, it feels like family here.

Any advice for new joiners?

There are lots of opportunities within the industry once you’re working in it. If you’ll excuse the cliché, the world is your oyster.
Verity

Verity

Apprentice Claims Handler

Early days

I applied for the Apprenticeship Programme through an online development site for school leavers and young people. I was lucky to be able to start my career early and begin my future with a fantastic organisation. That was just seven months ago.

Zurich loves forward-thinking people who bring new ideas into the mix and are enthusiastic.

What do you do?

I was placed in the First Response Service Centre – our team’s role is to take the first notification of motor incidents. It ranges from dealing with private consumers to small fleets and massive global companies.

It feels good to know you’ve taken the weight off a customer’s shoulders.

The most rewarding part of the job

On a daily basis, we deal with customers that are stressed and upset. My role involves being their first point of contact, and starting the ball rolling in their claim to try to sort their issue as quickly and as far as we can. I think the rewarding aspect of my role is when the customer has faith in me. When I’ve helped them, it’s exhilarating to hear that change in their tone.

Don’t believe everything you read

I think one of the biggest challenges we have in the insurance sector is the impression that we are the bad guys and all we want to do is make a profit instead of helping! We try to rectify this and show customers what they pay for.

To me, the environment is encouraging, forward-thinking and caring.

What insurance means

To me, insurance gives people piece of mind that when something goes wrong, we’ll help them out as best we can. That could be loss of work due to an accident, their car – their pride and joy – is involved in an accident, or maybe there’s a leak in their roof. We can reassure, help and support them when something totally unexpected goes wrong.

What’s the secret?

I would say hard work makes the biggest difference to the company. I also think enthusiasm and drive are very valuable. You can make an impact here even from the littlest thing; your hard work will be recognised.

Any advice for new joiners?

Be open-minded – the organisation is massive and so there are numerous career paths you could take. Zurich as a company is very supportive and will help you set your goals. Just be driven to achieve those goals and take as many opportunities as you can.
Vicky

Vicky

Senior Claims Handler

An overview

I joined as a Claims Handler and worked my way. I’ve worked in different Motor Claims teams and also spent several years as an Account Executive.

I’d say it’s challenging, really varied and enjoyable.

Day to day

As part of the First Response Team, I look after new claims which involves dealing with many different types of customers. I arrange repairs for the customers and allocate the claims to the correct handling teams. I’m also a referral point for other people in the team, and deliver some of their training and coaching.

How the industry is evolving

The world is always changing and that means that the industry needs to change and adapt. For example, we’re seeing lots of changes and developments in car technology – think about driverless cars. We need to constantly look at how our products and services are designed, and ask ourselves if they’re suitable. It’s great that things don’t stand still.

Insurance means being there for our customers, taking on their risk and providing them with a service at the time of need.

The most rewarding part of the job

That has to be helping customers. Often, we need to deal with people who have just been involved in an accident and they’re understandably shaken up by the experience. Being able to put them at ease, talk them through the claims process and reassure them that we’ve got control of the repairs is really rewarding.

Important qualities

Everyone needs honesty and integrity. Your colleagues and customers need to be able to trust you, and you need to do what you’ve promised to do. Also, treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Why claims is so good

It’s said that we’re the ‘shop window’ of the industry. Most people purchase insurance hoping they never have to use it. And it’s important that, in the event they need to make a claim, that we deliver fully. There’s a public perception that insurers try to get out of paying claims, but in reality we show that we’re here to help.

Any advice for new joiners?

Think about your skills and research the variety of roles available to find the area or department that best complements your skill set. When you start, ask about progression and work hard to become confident in your role before thinking about promotions or moves to other teams. Ask for extra tasks, shadow colleagues in a higher grade and build up a network of contacts. Most importantly, always deliver what you promise.
Dariusz

Dariusz

FAR Team Manager

Education

Education

University of Economics, Krakow Controlling and Financial Management

When I was young I dreamed of doing sports. I found that I was better at math. But what stayed with me is willingness to reach new goals and overcome challenges.

Before Zurich

Studying Controlling and Financial Management, I enjoyed subjects including accounting and marketing. My time at university had a major impact on my career. I started working for Zurich in my fourth year. I’ve been building on my knowledge professionally ever since and still look forward to growing at Zurich.
Why Zurich?

Why Zurich?

An internship with a small Polish insurance broker gave me my first taste of the industry. In my last year of university I got engaged, and my life changed in a big way. Suddenly, I needed a secure job to be a responsible future husband! I started looking for a big, stable company where I could rapidly broaden my finance knowledge. I also wanted to work with talented (and nice) people. Zurich ticked all the boxes.

I’ve always been willing to strive for new goals and work to overcome challenges.

Career so far

When I first joined the company I was quite shy. I didn’t know much about insurance and didn’t really feel comfortable in large meetings. Luckily, I overcame this and was part of a fantastic team (UK cash and bank team) and they gave me all the support I needed. Right now, I’m really enjoying being a team manager. Every day gives me the chance to improve my people management skills. I’m also about to work toward a professional accounting certification, which is really exciting. Zurich is supporting me every step of the way.
Professional development

Professional development

Training – both at Zurich and by external experts – has made a big difference in my career. I have also learned a lot from working with so many professionals in different parts of our company. Zurich has the best people. They inspire me to continue working hard and developing as a person.

Gaining both in-depth technical knowledge and a broad understanding of business paved the way for me to become a leader.

Becoming a leader

A couple of years ago, I had the chance to move into a leadership role. And right now I head up all of our insurance business with charities, social enterprises, trusts and health organizations - making sure they benefit from a great customer experience. I lead a team with expertise spanning everything from underwriting and actuarial, to sales and marketing.
Making a difference in Krakow

Making a difference in Krakow

My career highlight so far was helping to set up Zurich’s regional finance center in Krakow. I was involved in a range of projects to make this happen. It was great to be able to do something like this in my home city.
What does the future hold?

What does the future hold?

In the next few years, I want to be someone who inspires the next generation. The kind of manager who’s there for new colleagues. Just like my first manager was there to support me. I’m also looking forward to being part of more international projects, which will help me to connect, on a daily basis, finance and economic theory with practical knowledge. And I’d love to learn to play golf on a beautiful course in Switzerland!
Advice to my younger self

Advice to my younger self

Take a few more risks. Especially when you have the chance to work on international projects.
Frank

Frank

Head of Strategy Programs, Switzerland

I gained the confidence and ability to push myself in many new roles and situations. I’ve been able to apply those.

Before Zurich

I joined the British Military as I always had a passion for flying, and it gave me a chance to learn about aviation. I learned a lot about myself and developed skills that have been vital throughout my career: discipline, focus, and how to motivate and lead people, even in the most challenging environments.
Why Zurich?

Why Zurich?

As well as flying, I’ve always enjoyed problem solving, working with people, and numbers. I chose Zurich because I had the opportunity to join a global trainee program, as well as the chance to do multiple assignments in different departments and countries. I knew I had a lot to learn about business, but I was sure Zurich could offer me what I needed.
What stood out?

What stood out?

Two things struck me straight away. The diversity of the team and the quality of the people. It means I’ve made very good friends from all over the world. The scale of the organization was also an attraction. It meant there was a lot of information to take in, fast, but that’s the kind of challenge that motivates, excites and engages me.

What’s your Zurich journey been like since?

One of my previous roles was as a strategic assistant. This gave me exposure to the most senior and experienced leaders. In 2015, I completed the senior leadership program in Asia Pacific, and I was also chief operating officer for Zurich in Singapore. Now back in Europe, I’m driving risk mitigation, overseeing the global balance sheet, and leading a transformation program across three regions.

What really stands out?

Living in another part of the world was great. I led a highly diverse and multicultural team, and travelled extensively across Asia. I experienced new cultures, people and foods.
Biggest challenge?

Biggest challenge?

I set myself a challenge to find my own path and build the experience that would hopefully help me run a company myself one day. I’ve been working on that ever since. Leaving Asia and returning to Europe to manage a new team was a huge milestone for me.

Using technologies ranging from video conferencing to smart phone apps, I'm able to work with people across Europe, the Middle East and Asia daily.

Career highlight

I’ve loved supporting my teams to build their confidence and experience, so they can take the next step in their careers. When I left Asia to return to Europe, I’ll always remember how humbling it was to hear from colleagues about the positive impact I’d had on their development.
Advice to my younger self

Advice to my younger self

My ambition was always to become a chief executive one day. What’s changed is that I previously wanted to get there as quickly as possible. Now, I still have the same aspiration – but I want to get there when I am ready and confident.

What about the flying?

I still fly at the weekends in Switzerland as a hobby. The country offers some amazing views!
Nick

Nick

Process Architect

In my previous company I found out that I like to work with people, help them and influence them to develop themselves and the business.

Why Zurich?

When I was a consultant, I didn’t see the long-term benefits of my activities, and I wanted to be part of those successes. I also chose Zurich for its international atmosphere, its need for change, and the openness and collaboration of the people I met during the joining process.
And what’s your career journey?

And what’s your career journey?

I don’t have the typical insurance profile: I’m actually an engineer. I studied Chemical Engineering at university, and my first job was with a major international engineering conglomerate. It was there that I gained the qualifications and experience which would determine the rest of my career. I then worked as a consultant before joining Zurich. And ever since I’ve been out of my comfort zone – it’s such a positive experience!
What stands out to you?

What stands out to you?

The warm welcome I received from my colleagues and manager, and the discussions I’ve had with stakeholders. In general, there is a lot of willingness to discuss things, even if my colleagues sometimes have other ideas. In Zurich, we listen to people, including those who have a different idea about the best approach to take.
Career milestones

Career milestones

When I was fresh from university I commissioned and started part of a new chemical facility. I also introduced a year-on-year productivity program. I also ran my own consultancy business.

It’s about having the right attitude: learn, be eager, communicate to your internal customers and always go the extra mile for them.

What about Zurich highlights?

When I was working on a transformation project in Singapore, I listened to the people in the business and made sure that the program would have an impact. There was also a challenging project in Brazil, through which I learned a lot about building relationships and engaging teams from different cultures. I’m still applying what I learned there today!
What does the future hold?

What does the future hold?

I plan to expand my leadership experience by leading larger teams, especially where there is a need for change and improvement. Eventually, I want to be in an operational senior leadership role.
Advice to your younger self?

Advice to your younger self?

One of the things my former CEO said was: “Control your own destiny, or someone else will.” So I would prioritize those tasks that make the most sense, not the ones that don’t, even if it’s hard for some people (including your boss!) to understand.
Amy

Amy

Head of Public Services & PFI

Education

Education

2004 - 2007 Cardiff University Economics and Management

My career couldn’t have been any better. And I can’t believe how quickly the time’s gone – it really does fly when you’re having fun!

What was your first role at Zurich

I joined Zurich fresh out of university on the actuarial graduate scheme. I met some great friends on the program and learned so much. It was a good introduction to the insurance industry.
What’s your journey been like since then?

What’s your journey been like since then?

I’ve had a fantastic career in my nine years with Zurich so far. I got good grounding in actuarial, supported the managing director as her strategic assistant and have sat as part of the municipal leadership team for 4 years. Today, I'm Head of Charities and look after our health business too.

To me, insurance is all about being there for people when they need you most. I love getting to spend time with our customers.

Learning about insurance

In my first few years after the graduate scheme, I took on a range of actuarial roles. It became obvious very quickly that insurance is anything but boring! The industry changes so fast. No two days are ever the same.
What stands out the most

What stands out the most

Integrity, teamwork and a desire to make things better, and make an impact at Zurich. I love being part of a great team, meeting new people and experiencing new things. And the opportunity to support our diversity and inclusion work has been really fulfilling.

Gaining both in-depth technical knowledge and a broad understanding of business paved the way for me to become a leader.

Becoming a leader

A couple of years ago, I had the chance to move into a leadership role. And right now I head up all of our insurance business with charities, social enterprises, other community groups and health trusts - making sure they benefit from a great customer experience. I lead a team with expertise spanning everything from underwriting and actuarial, to sales and marketing.
Why is insurance important?

Why is insurance important?

Insurance is so engrained in our everyday lives – it amazes me how many things wouldn’t happen if we didn’t take on some of the risk for our customers. It’s so diverse and rewarding.
Advice to someone considering a career in insurance

Advice to someone considering a career in insurance

Insurance is an exciting and dynamic industry. There is something for everyone and we probably have roles you never imagined. You’ll be part of a great community, doing work that is very rewarding. And you’ll have a lot of fun!
Ankeet

Ankeet

Underwriter, Global Corporate Property

Education

Education

2005-2008 Cass Business School Investment and Financial Risk Management

The graduate program was a great way into the industry, and gave me a great starting point for my career.

Why Zurich?

To be honest, I stumbled into insurance having been referred by a friend. I joined the underwriting graduate program in 2010, and started in Zurich Municipal – the public sector arm of the firm. I was underwriting charities, local authorities, housing associations and schools. Being new to the industry, I found it a good introduction to the insurance market.
What’s your journey been like since then?

What’s your journey been like since then?

After getting to grips with the nuances of property underwriting, I took the lead in underwriting risks for public private partnerships, including schools and hospitals. These days I work with multinational companies around the world, which means lots of travel and meeting people from different cultures. Not a bad life!
The learning curve

The learning curve

As an underwriter, you constantly have to manage various stakeholders both from an internal and external perspective. Getting that balance right is not only the most important part of the job, but probably the most challenging too.

It’s clear from my role that insurance makes a massive difference to our customers.

What does insurance mean to you?

For me, insurance is about giving people peace of mind. From helping customers manage their risks appropriately through to being there when things go wrong, we’re there to put them back into the position they were in before the loss. I like to think that’s a very worthwhile way to make a living.

In the past year alone, I’ve travelled to Canada, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

International exposure

All my customers are global companies with operations all around the world, and part of the role is visiting our clients and understanding their business on the ground. A day doesn’t go by when I’m not interacting with them in some form.
What’s been the most rewarding part?

What’s been the most rewarding part?

Zurich has given me the chance to build an interesting and international career. Through the countries I’ve visited and the cultures I’ve experienced, I’ve gained important transferable skills and developed a much broader perspective on life. It’s amazing the impact other people can have on your life if you’re willing to let them.
Advice to your younger self

Advice to your younger self

Do your research. Insurance is such a varied industry, so try and look at the different roles available and to speak to people in the industry to see which area might suit you. Stumbling into it is fine, too, though. I did, and I haven’t looked back!
Eve

Eve

Trainee in Underwriting, Commercial Customers

Education

Education

BA, 2008 – 2012 MA, 2013 – 2015 University of St Gallen International Affairs & Governance
Before Zurich

Before Zurich

Working at Zurich is my first job. But before I joined I volunteered and took on internships that gave me the chance to travel during my studies. These included working with a human rights organization in Guatemala and a work placement with the Swiss Embassy in India.
An international intern

An international intern

As an intern, I worked in countries with very different economic and political systems, in organizations that embraced working cultures unlike any I had experienced before. I also worked alongside colleagues who did not always share my values. These experiences challenged me and taught me to be more accepting of difference. Now, when I join a new team or take on new tasks, I’m much more open-minded. Being unbiased has been crucial to my success on the trainee program so far.

When I started my studies, I never imagined working at an insurance company but my skills are a perfect fit.

Why Zurich?

For me, a rewarding career has never been about earning a huge salary. I’ve always wanted to work in a stimulating environment with plenty of opportunities to grow – and Zurich offers exactly that. As well as a diverse set of jobs here in Switzerland and internationally, the business is great at supporting all of us to unfold our potential.
What was your first day like?

What was your first day like?

After university, I was eager to make a difference. But with limited professional experience – and none in insurance – navigating corporate life was challenging at the start. It never held me back though. Thanks to the great support from my team and people right across the business, I was up to speed in no time. They helped me no matter what. Even those with the busiest calendars made time to help.

I’ve learned a lot since I started at Zurich. Not just about insurance, but about different working cultures.

Tell us about your career journey so far

I’ve been on the Zurich trainee program for just over a year and in that short space of time I’ve taken on many different roles. I’ve helped develop new liability insurance for the Swiss market, and now I’m involved in a project dealing with cyber risk.
An end-to-end view

An end-to-end view

I’m based in Product Underwriting (PUW), so I’m used to taking a strategic approach. However, one of my rotations has seen me work directly with customers. It’s interesting to see the strategic decisions taken in PUW getting put into action and making a difference for our customers.
What have you learned?

What have you learned?

I’ve developed professional knowledge of a lot of areas through the different rotations that make up the trainee program. For example, a rotation in a general agency gave me valuable market experience. And when you’re developing a strategy or designing a process, that sort of knowledge is invaluable: nothing can replace first-hand experience.

I’ve just started my career, but I already know that the trainee program will be a major milestone on my journey.

What’s been a highlight?

To date, the project I’ve most enjoyed working on was our new liability insurance. Collaborating with teams from across the business, I helped develop a cover that’s simpler, more bespoke and better value for our commercial customers. And because my role put me at the interface of business, actuary, IT and marketing, I got a real insight into all of those areas.
What’s next for you?

What’s next for you?

I don’t have my career planned out. There are several positions I’m interested in pursuing but I’m keeping myself flexible enough to seize opportunities as they happen. I already work in an exciting area, but my ambition is to gain more managerial experience as I build analytical skills and expert knowledge. I also want to work abroad, so I’ll be looking out for international assignment opportunities in the months and years to come.
Francesca

Francesca

Claims Handler

Tobias

Tobias

Third Party Motor Claims Handler

Verity

Verity

Apprentice Claims Handler

Vicky

Vicky

Senior Claims Handler

Dariusz

Dariusz

FAR Team Manager

Frank

Frank

Head of Strategy Programs, Switzerland

Nick

Nick

Process Architect

Amy

Amy

Head of Public Services & PFI

Ankeet

Ankeet

Underwriter, Global Corporate Property

Eve

Eve

Trainee in Underwriting, Commercial Customers