Adam Rudland, head of product & propositions at Cigna NZ and ANZIIF Young Insurance Professional of the Year, talks about simplifying the customer journey, and how insurance has helped fulfil his travel dreams.
Why did you get into insurance?
I did kind of fall into insurance, as is true with many I am sure. Although once in the industry, the variety and diversity of career paths is what captured my imagination. I started my time in insurance working for a travel insurance intermediary and servicing company, initially in their contact centre and moved through to account management and eventually as a wholesale placement broker. From there I moved into high net worth insurance arranging cover from fine art and classic cars to international property portfolios. I then moved into more of a technical role of pricing and product development and eventually to my current role with a life insurer.
That journey has seen me working in the UK, Hong Kong, project work in Thailand, Taiwan, Korea and now my current resting place in New Zealand. So although insurance was not an active choice for me the variety and opportunities it has provided me over the years would struggle to be rivalled by any industry and it is a journey open to anyone entering the industry.
What’s one thing that insurers could do to improve the public’s perception of the insurance industry?
If I had to pick one thing it would be ‘simplicity’ and that is from the perspective of the entire customer journey. From a customer interacting with a simple and relevant product via the channel of their choice at sales time, through to receiving clear and easy-to-understand policy documentation, and finally to a hassle-free claims process.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
Back to my days in high net worth insurance, I remember working with the team to arrange cover for a portfolio of classic cars, one of which was a 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO which at the time had a value in the region of GBP 10 million. Getting the opportunity to see the process for insuring this type of risk through Lloyd’s of London was less ‘strange’ but very interesting and a great experience.
How would you change the industry?
I would attempt to change the outside perception of the industry. It can at times, have a negative perception, rightly or wrongly.
The products and services we provide our customers offer immense value at people’s time of need, but also support customers’ sense of security and wellbeing every day, knowing they have a security blanket in place if the worst was to happen.
Continuing to put the customer at the centre of what we do, educating and supporting the understanding of our products will begin to help change that perception. Promotion and awareness of things like the Fair Insurance Code I am sure will continue to support the development of that trust at an industry level.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have ever received was to always be a finisher – it’s easy to talk and strategise but deliver and finish what you set out to do.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Commandeer a Ferrari 250 GTO and drive it from Picton to Invercargill via the Southern Alps.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I have always enjoyed travelling and the highlight from my career to date has been the chance to live, integrate and experience new and different cultures and locations.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Flat white/latte (still not sure of the difference?)
Union, league, soccer or other?
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Richard Dawkins – Love his logical reasoning;
One of the early ocean explorers, Cook, Columbus, Tasman etc… – The risk, blind faith and excitement of their journeys in relatively small wooden boats must have been incredible and I still struggle to fully imagine what that must have been like;
Jimmy Carr – to lighten the load and break any silence with some outrageously inappropriate comment.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
A travel photographer…