Diary of an Insurer: iSure’s Avril Cox

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Avril Cox, director at iSure Underwriting, takes care of her zoo, encourages her team to get their qualifications, and takes on a bit of home renovation.

Director & Senior Underwriter, iSure

Monday

I’ve recently moved back to the countryside, and every morning I wake up to sounds of my ever-expanding petting zoo of animals.

I am up early for a two-mile run with the greyhounds (I am on a mission to rescue as many as I can), while my children set to work feeding the rabbits, cats and guinea pigs.

I work at home two or three days a week, and Monday is always one of those days. So once I’ve dropped my children at school, I log on and assess the weekly statistics from the previous Friday evening.

I review targets and look at where we need to focus efforts collectively and individually in the week ahead.

At 10am I join our weekly sales meeting, where we review the stats together, and discuss priorities and targets. We also get our heads together on large cases and any issues the team is having, as well as what is happening in the wider market – new products, where there is new capacity for us to capitalise on, and where capacity has dropped out of the market, so that we can be responsive in finding alternatives.

I then get on with the day’s work, which at the moment is a mixture of helping the team secure a large renewal, assisting one of our brokers troubleshoot a claims issue for a client, and planning our upcoming Christmas party.

In the evening, it’s back to the animals and providing a taxi service to my children as they attend their various after school activities.

Tuesday

zoo

Once the animals are fed, watered, and exercised, and my children are safely delivered to school, I am out on the road for a day of broker visits.

These can take me from Dublin, to Galway, Wexford or Waterford. I love the broker-facing aspect of my role and building close relationships with our partners, problem-solving their issues with claims, premiums, and client queries.

iSure’s success has been built on listening to our brokers, so being out, face-to-face, is vital to continually refining the service and products we deliver to them and their clients.

In addition, today I am meeting with a new broker agency, created by a recent merger. I have taken on a project management role for them liaising with the IT and compliance teams etc, to help them get up and running quickly.

I end the day with two hours of study. I am ACII-qualified but now studying for my forthcoming FCII qualification.

Wednesday

pots-of-paint

Today I am in the Cavan office. We have our monthly underwriting meeting this morning. This is an all-hands meeting, with every iSure underwriter in attendance from our property, professional indemnity, farming, medical malpractice, sports and leisure, and terrorism and political violence teams.

This is quite a strategic meeting and a chance for everyone to have their say on how we keep up momentum and keep pushing the boundaries both in terms of our clients and our markets.

We are delighted that some of our Aventum colleagues from the UK are visiting the office today.

After a big team lunch, I get a chance to sit down and discuss one of my biggest passion projects – professional study. I am working with the Aventum team to build an inclusive study policy for iSure, encouraging every member of our team to gain qualifications and invest in their career. I love working in insurance and I want to foster that passion amongst the team.

I end the day with a session with my apprentice mentee Shauna. Shauna is studying for a degree as part of her apprenticeship with iSure. We meet every Wednesday so that I can sign off her assignments, help her with her case studies, and provide any advice and support she needs.

I finish the day with a bit of decorating. We are renovating our house.

Thursday

Sliced cake on stand

I’m back working at home this morning, before heading out to an Insurance Institute lunch. I am heavily involved in the Insurance Institute of Ireland.

I am currently deputy president of the Sligo Institute, and will take over as president in 2024. We meet every two weeks, and on this occasion, as well as the usual business matters of the day, we are also planning for our annual Institute dinner.

I pop into the office on the way home to join the team celebrating an office birthday. Always nice to end the day with a slice of cake.

Friday

running-idm1017

I start the day with my usual two-mile run. I then pop into the office for a catch-up meeting with our CEO Sean Murray.

Murray is CEO of Rokstone Ireland, which includes iSure Underwriting. My regular meeting with him is a great opportunity to discuss new ways we can harness our collective knowledge and resources to deliver more value for our brokers and their clients.

I end the week back at home, where I wait for the Friday night stats and look forward to an exciting day of archiving at my local museum tomorrow. I have a degree in archaeology and love putting this to use as a volunteer when I get the time.

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