1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a commercial claims handler at Aviva. The majority of my time is spent dealing with existing claims, which involves assisting our brokers and negotiating with third party insurers. The goal is to put our commercial customers back to normal as efficiently and stress-free as possible so they can resume their businesses activities.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Most of the job is spent on the phone or computer, so my communication and IT skills have noticeably increased. I have become more confident in the way i conduct myself on the phone and have learnt how to keep calm when facing difficult situations. This is useful not only when talking to my commercial customers, but also when talking to my colleagues and team members.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have been learning a lot more about the insurance industry since i have been doing the CII. This has made the work a lot more enjoyable as i find i have the knowledge to deal with more complex claims and have in depth discussions with other industry professionals. The work itself can be repetitive at times but you will get the occasional scenario that really makes you think.
4. How valued do you feel by Aviva?
I feel as if its hard to get recognized in this job as the managers only really see claims where things have gone wrong. You could spend an hour on the phone with an insurer to safe a few hundred pounds for the company but no one will notice. This can be frustrating at times as it doesn't feel like you are valued and then there is no motivation for continuing this behavior.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think the structure is well organised on paper however it was executed poorly at the start. Our contract states we are to get revision time in work hours, however at the beginning a lot of us got none which defiantly put some behind. The programme is also scheduled to last around a year, i think this could perhaps be shortened slightly as the exams are far apart and the exam is multiple choice.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider is excellent. They often go into greater detail than the book which helps to get a better understanding of the subject. They are very patient with our learning and are always available to contact should we have any questions. It is also very refreshing to talk to an independent company outside of the one I work in.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer gives me revision time which is scheduled into my work hours, this is usually from one till five in the afternoon once a week. This is very useful as it gives me a chance to read ahead or catch up before my next session with my training provider. My manager also made some of the other professionals in our claim department aware of my programme should i need to ask them any questions.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is very good for a someone starting their career although i do not think it would be sustainable for the future. Currently I am still on the salary that trainees are on and i have been working in the company for ten months now. I have a lot more experience than a new start and more knowledge due to my progression in the CII. This links in with not feeling valued and is very demotivating.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are not may opportunities outside of work that i am aware of. If something does come up its difficult to be allocated the time to pursue, especially in claims. Our team does organise the occasional night out and every month or so we have a team buffet where we each bring in a bunch of food. I have not seen any opportunities which have had nothing to do with the job role as of yet.
9. Would you recommend Aviva to a friend?
I think Aviva is a great job to build the skills you need in a career. The job, while repetitive, is not bad and the people around you are excellent. I do feel as though career progression will be very challenging in Aviva as it is difficult to get noticed, there are so many people working in the one building and its hard to feel as if you can make a difference.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Aviva?
Insurance is a great career path to take. As a claims handler you will learn so much and aquire so many skills that will help you in your career. The application process can be long but if you stick at it and be honest then i reckon you are in for a good chance. At times it can be demotivating with the lack of progression but there are some parts of the job that can be very rewarding.
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