David Cook, Claims Manager, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, talks about successful claims, attracting new talent to the industry and a movie career.
Unlike most people I didn’t actually fall into insurance! Instead I was convinced by a great uncle, who worked in insurance at the same company for most of his life, of the depth of opportunity that a career in insurance can provide. Every day I see something different and fundamentally, my role is about helping people.
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
Know the claims that will come! Some of the most successful claims, successful being both the broker and the insurer retained the business following a great result, were off the back of products written by brokers who researched and understood their products so well that issues were resolved before they came up.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
A fire at a domestic residence where a person had attempted to warm their pyjamas in the microwave and, when they started to smoulder, threw them in the washing machine which in turn caught fire. Two days after I’d repaired the building, a defect in the hardware of the garage door opener caused the garage door to write off the poor person’s car.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Allow super accumulations to be used as a first home deposit.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
Attracting and educating upcoming talent to replace those in the industry who are nearing retirement.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Cheesy I know but starting at Berkshire Hathaway
Specialty, such a talented team and a great bunch of people to work both with and for.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
One choice? That’s so limiting!
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
Rugby Union and NRL, when I can be bothered with the trials and tribulations of being a Warriors supporter!
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Peter Jackson – Continue to grow up with all his movies and would love to know his inspiration
James Cameron – Shared love of everything New Zealand
A talent agent – I’ll explain this in my next answer …
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
…If dinner goes well, hopefully a leading role in Avatar 3!