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Industry Leader Interview – Claire Lashbrook, Operations Manager at Claims Consortium Group

Claire Lashbrook is Operations Manager at Claims Consortium Group.

1. How did you get to where you are today? 

Like many of us, I didn’t specifically pursue a career in Insurance, in fact prior to joining Claims Consortium Group I was running a McDonalds restaurant! I initially joined as a temporary worker 7 years ago but quickly saw a long term future within this company and industry.

A desire to always challenge the status quo and never walk past a problem saw me progress from claims handler, to team leader and service leader within the Operations department.

I then took an exciting side step to run some key business projects for the implementation of our Synergy system before returning to my roots as Operations Manager overseeing our claims handling centre in Taunton.

2. What’s the biggest challenge facing your sector of the industry?

There are currently two major challenges claims handling providers are facing, the first being the expectations of the modern day customer. The immediacy with which we can access and share information means companies need to change the way they do business to manage these new expectations and demands. The second challenge is the drive to reduce indemnity spend.

3. How are you and your business dealing with this?

Our software helps us tackle both these problems at once. Synergy creates an information sharing platform for every person involved in the claims process which facilitates better communication between all parties. This gives the customer more transparency on their claim and allows them to ask questions whenever needed. It also speeds up the overall life cycle of a claim which helps keep costs down.

4. Out of your business achievements, what are you most proud of and why?

I really enjoyed being the spokesperson for our Synergy system in the wider industry and working closely with other suppliers in the property insurance space. When I started working on this project we had 7 other suppliers using the system covering drying, adjusting and contents.

In just a year, I increased this to 22 suppliers covering all commodities from alternative accommodation to soil sampling and hard surface repair enabling all parties to get a really comprehensive overview. I am really proud of this achievement because the system is at its most powerful when all the suppliers from an insurer’s panel are using it and sharing claim data.

5. What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry?

I would say that this is a really exciting and varied industry to join and not to be shy with any ideas you may have that could revolutionise a process within the company you are working for.

We are always looking for new and innovative ideas to update the way we do business and the way our industry operates to make it more efficient and enable the best possible customer service.

6. If you could change anything what would you do to make the insurance industry “better tomorrow”?

Introducing a real partnership for everyone involved in the customer journey and using technology to do so. The more collaborative the various teams involved in each claim can be, the better the overall experience for the customer will be which should always be the ultimate goal in any claim.

7. What’s your top tip for being productive?

Turn off your new email alerts! In all seriousness, the ‘urgent/important matrix’ by Dr Stephen Covey can be really useful when trying to maintain productivity. Leading a busy Operations department comes with its fair share of urgent and important tasks but also interruptions that need to be managed.

By listing out what category all of my tasks are fall into I can quickly and easily move to the work where I add real value and stay focussed. I love a good list and there is nothing more satisfying than ticking off those big ticket items once they are completed

8. What gadget can’t you live without?

I’m not massively in to gadgets, but can’t live without my i-phones, one for work and one for home so that I can stay connected with colleagues, friends and family at all times.

9. Talent or Perseverance?

Perseverance , I am really lucky to work in a company where if I have an idea that doesn’t work out my colleagues will stand by me, support me through it and challenge me to keep going and better myself every day. This helps me accept that the first plan is rarely the final plan and encourages me to keep persevering.

10. What do you do to switch off or escape from work?

I have a 4 year old daughter so spending time with her is my escape from work, her endless imagination fascinates me every day and provides so much entertainment.