For Clint Kerekes, global COO at Claim Central Consolidated, an accidental career in insurance has blossomed thanks to the “profound impact” the industry has on the lives of others.
Having joined the industry “by accident” after finishing his studies in South Africa, Kerekes was looking for his next challenge. An ad for a graduate training program at an insurance company pointed him in the right direction, “and the rest is history.”
“From the get-go, no one says, ‘I want to be in insurance as they grow up,’ but when they start it is usually a lifelong career,” Kerekes told Insurance Business. “It’s the fact that what you do has such a profound impact on people’s lives. They turn to the insurance company when they are at their most vulnerable to get their life back to normal as soon as possible.”
An international career has seen Kerekes lead teams in Australia, South Africa and the US. He moved to Australia as chief claims officer for Real Insurance following a three-year stint leading North American operations at the Innovation Group.
After close to five years with Real Insurance, Kerekes became head of transformation – retail at Hollard before moving to Claim Central in February.
Kerekes now finds himself at the cutting edge of industry technology at Claim Central. He said that understanding the customer and what the customer wants will be one of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the industry moving forward.
“Insurtech gives the market the opportunity to do just that, but it is not just insurtech alone; it needs to be combined with design thinking to really understand where to use it,” Kerekes said. “The industry is in an extremely exciting phase with so many new technologies being utilised and many more to come, but only those insurance companies that truly embrace customer centricity will survive.”