The insurance industry is vast, giving professionals the freedom to explore different roles and niches. Abbott commercial insurance broker Amy Yerro shared with Insurance Business how she fell into insurance, has explored different positions, and has embraced the changes that came along with her choices.
Yerro (pictured) fell into insurance when she left retail and applied for various office roles. She started her insurance career as an admin assistant with the Westpac team at Lumley, where she typed letters for claim handlers and delivered mail across the office. She eventually became interested in the details of her work – jumpstarting her career in claims.
“I started becoming interested in the details of the letters I was typing and asked what certain terms meant and how a policy responded,” Yerro shared. “I then applied for various other roles in the Westpac team and got a position within the claims lodgement team.”
She soon joined the domestic underwriting team, gained another promotion to managing claims in the claims team, and then climbed the career ladder further by taking the role of broker claims case manager.
Wanting to go back to basics, Yerro decided to expand her knowledge on claims – leading her to AMI Insurance.
“I felt like I wanted to know how to underwrite a policy, interpret a policy wording, speak with people face-to-face, and understand claims in a domestic capacity,” she explained. “My favourite experiences during my time at AMI were meeting new people, handling difficult situations when something was not covered, and my first love – claims. I have always been fascinated by claims, especially the larger, more technical claims.”
Yerro eventually decided to challenge herself and explore other roles – serving as a domestic broker at Crombie Lockwood, then senior specialist case manager for heavy commercial motor at NZI, until she finally joined Abbott as a commercial insurance broker.
“My experience in domestic broking and claims management at a senior level has given me a deeper understanding of insurance, especially when it comes to how policies will respond, the importance of understanding the various policy wordings, and how to best match those to a client’s need,” she shared. “As a commercial broker, I’m not simply selling or placing insurance. I understand the complexity of insurance and insurance advice and my vital role as a client’s claims advocate.”
“My various roles have strengthened me as a broker in so many ways. [I got better at] discussing with clients about their assets and how to best insure their business against a disaster. I also [got better at reviewing] claim scenarios and how each policy line helps businesses in the event of a claim, where to best place client policies, and which underwriters to approach for a particular business.”
After expanding her knowledge and gaining much experience, Yerro has learned that insurance is a dynamic business and that she needs to be prepared to keep pace with change.
“Never be afraid to reach out for help when you don’t understand something – that’s how you learn. Be curious about what’s happening in the world and how it impacts business and personal risk. Demonstrate an interest in your clients and their businesses. Always use the resources available to you – whether it’s your internal business intranet, internal business training resources, ANZIIF, or IBANZ training facilities. Keep learning so you can embrace change,” Yerro advised.