Our regional claims customer service teams in Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow and York are the ones who handle our customer’s insurance claims. With specialist teams in Bristol and York, covering specific policies, such as Motor, Property or Pet & Equine, they often handle every aspect of a claim from initial contact through to resolution. We spoke to some of the team about their work and what they enjoy about the role.

Handling an insurance claim sounds like it could be quite complicated. What does your day-to-day work involve?
“The main part about handling a claim is about keeping everything running smoothly and keeping the customer up to date on what’s happening,” says Antonio Ricci, a Motor Claims Handler in Bristol. “In my team, that involves assessing and progressing claims on vehicles. So, at any time I could be dealing with car hire companies, repairers or solicitors. One of the main things we must do is give customers regular updates. So, we either call, email or write to them, depending on what they prefer. Part of my role also involves helping new people in the team and supporting colleagues.

Dave Sutton is a Motor Claims Handler in York: “We work together with the Bristol team, taking calls as they come in. There’s also an after-care element to our work. For example, if a repair hasn’t fixed the problem, we deal with that and progress it as quickly as possible. There’s a big emphasis on doing the right thing for our customers.”

“In my team, we take the initial call from the customer and process claims from the beginning,” says Scott Fernandez, who’s a Pet & Equine claims handler in York. “So, we’re dealing with vets and customers; processing claims as quickly as possible. It can be quite an emotional time if someone’s lost a horse or a pet, so we keep them informed on what’s happening and usually try to call them. I think that personal contact helps our customers.”

It sounds like rewarding work – what do you enjoy most about it?
“For me, it’s that personal element,” says Scott. “Obviously, we have some sad cases if a pet or a horse has passed away. But we try to make it as positive as possible by processing the claim quickly. It means you need to show personal empathy with the customer and what they’re going through. We have horse and pet owners in our team, so we do understand how our customers are feeling, which makes us want to sort things out as soon as possible for them.”

“I really enjoy talking with customers on a personal level, too,” agrees Antonio. “There have been lots of times when customers go out of their way to thank you for doing your job. They don’t need to do that, but it makes it all the more rewarding.”

“My job is constant problem-solving and there’s a lot of variety,” says Dave. “But I really like that! Each claim can take you in all kinds of directions. And you’re constantly dealing with different people, from loss providers to repairers. It’s about taking all that information and condensing it so it’s easy for the customer to understand.

Does that mean you need a lot of different skills?
“Yes,” says Dave. “Any type of insurance claim can be stressful for the customer. And in Motor, although it may sometimes seem like a relatively minor inconvenience, to the customer, it can be huge. So, you need to show empathy and that you understand their problem. Then, you need to be able to communicate effectively with them. And you need the drive to help them and resolve the claim as positively as possible for them.”

“I’d go along with all that,” says Scott. “And in Pet and Equine, you also need a lot of patience and the heart to treat people like people, not just a number on a spreadsheet.”

“You need to be a good listener, too,” adds Antonio.

What’s the team atmosphere like – how do you support each other?
“There’s quite a social atmosphere,” explains Dave. “We get together quite often. And it’s very friendly too. We’re a team of 10 motor claim handlers in York and I know I can turn to anyone for help. There’s a real mind-set of trying to help each other as much as possible, as well as supporting customers.”

“Our team has a fantastic atmosphere, too,” adds Scott. “The senior handlers are all really approachable, and we often have team lunches. With hybrid working, we have team days when we all come into the office on the same day, so we can catch up.”

“In Bristol, we have a Group Chat function for Team Leaders, where we can share information and ideas,” says Antonio. “And there are some very experienced Technicians on the team with a wealth of knowledge which they’re always ready to share. It’s very self-sufficient and we all have the same mind-set. So, it’s a really great work environment.”

It sounds like NFU Mutual’s a great place to work. What makes it great for you?
“Being a great place to work isn’t just a tagline,” says Scott. “It genuinely is a great place to work. If there are any issues, the management team go out of their way to put it right. They genuinely want to make sure you’re happy. You’re seen as a colleague and a person. They trust you to do the best for customers, and you get a lot of feedback and training to help you provide that. And they do little personal things too, like encouraging you to go to the gym by paying towards your membership, because it’s good for your health and well-being.”

“Yes, the company doesn’t just care for its customers,” agrees Dave. “There’s a genuine care for the people here too. They also listen to us. I’m the engagement champion in my team. So, over the year, I run ad-hoc surveys and do check-ins with team leaders and then take my findings to the senior management team. It’s pretty impressive, really.”

“I don’t want this to sound too clichéd,” says Antonio. “But really, it’s everything for me. The company was always there for me when I had some personal problems. But they also understand where you’re coming from on a professional level, too. They really do trust you to make your own decisions. This really helps you to enjoy what you’re doing, because they believe in you and that helps you to believe in yourself. There are also lots of platforms where colleagues can recommend you for recognition for the work you do. It’s great to be recognised by your peers like that.

“So, they recognise the work you do, they understand you as an individual and they support you if and when you need it. That’s what makes it great for me.”

Would you like to join one of our regional claims customer service teams in Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow or York? Take a look at our current vacancies.