Our loss adjusting service provides a bespoke offering to meet clients’ specific needs and requirements. As a result, the team never has one day the same, working across the field in a wide variety of scenarios. They are there to not only assess the damage caused and remediation required, but also to build the important rapport with the customer. Our approach is specialised and considered, focusing on specific areas of expertise. One of our Loss Adjusters, James Fairbairn, sheds light on his role and journey into working at Quadra.
With the amount of specialist sectors that Quadra operates in, what does this mean for your day-to-day role?
JF: Being a Loss Adjuster at Quadra, you can pick up quite a wide variety of claims that touch on commercial, real estate, heritage, and large loss – it’s quite a mixture. I come from a high net worth background, so it’s certainly a different level of experience. Dealing with church and heritage work has been particularly interesting. I’d very rarely been in a church before I started dealing with these claims!
I live down on the south coast, so you can get quite a variety as there are a lot of heritage buildings, as well as investment property, and we are particularly strong in provision of claims services to the real estate sector. Weather-related claims are also very prevalent in my area and there is a lot of storm damage to roofs, water ingress, flooding – anything the weather can do really, so the majority of my cases are centered around this.
I guess it can be quite eye-opening with the different types of cases you see then if they’re affecting homes?
JF: Yes, you need to remember that you’re going into people’s homes and businesses. It’s their livelihoods that they’ve worked years and years for that have been damaged. So, there is a huge empathy side to our role – I think this is a really important part of the job, it’s not just about reading a policy to check if the customer is covered, it’s also about building that rapport with the customer and working with them. You’re probably going to be speaking with them an awful lot over the coming weeks and months, so it’s really important to be empathetic in the way you approach the situation.
Can being empathetic present challenges at times?
JF: I think it can – everyone is different, so you have to act accordingly. You meet such a wide variety of people from different walks of life, so you have to often tailor the way you are from one visit to another, which can be quite difficult. For example, you may visit an elderly person who lives on their own one minute, and the next, you go into a business where the policyholder’s livelihood is at stake. The way you come across has to change depending on the circumstances.
That and time are our main challenges. Time is a big factor at the moment – time management and prioritisation more specifically. The difference in size of the claims means that more careful planning is required, and you need to be sensible with your time management.
Speaking of time, do you see a variety in the length of claim? There must be some that are solved in a matter of days, while others are a little more arduous?
JF: Of course, and as a result, managing expectations of policyholders, whilst maintaining the high level of care and empathy that we deliver, can be a challenge. You need to understand the customer’s needs; however, what some people forget is that, unfortunately, we can’t make miracles happen sometimes! It takes time to get some cases resolved, and we appreciate that people want to get back to normal as quickly as possible, but at the same time we need to ensure the issues are resolved, and in line with what their policy covers.
Aside from the challenges, what do you find the most interesting about your role at Quadra?
JF: It’s probably helping people, which sounds so cliché! I started in the industry 20 years ago, working in the call centre for an insurance company. There was always the satisfaction of helping people. There will always be the difficult conversations – it’s never just sunshine and happiness. But helping them, especially when you can go out and visit them and reassure them – it’s certainly a positive aspect of the role. There is plenty of variety with Quadra as the company has sought to provide services to various sectors rather than providing a single process driven service.
No two claims are ever the same, you might get some similar cases but there are differences and nuances in the work that you do. There is always something around the corner to challenge you and make you think “what’s next?”, “what’s the best way to approach this?”. It makes it very enjoyable, otherwise it would become very mundane!
Are there any standout cases or a time during your career at Quadra that springs to mind?
JF: I used to work for one of our insurer clients and since joining Quadra, I have taken the opportunity to reconnect with some of my former colleagues by providing training, including taking some of their claims handlers out to work with me.
This way, they can experience the case first hand and see the damage caused, in addition to how loss adjusters work, the challenges we face. It’s great for their junior handlers and new members of staff, especially those that don’t come from an insurance or buildings background. I know when I was new to the industry at 18 years old, I didn’t know much about the industry, so something like this would’ve been an excellent eye-opener. The training that I have provided has been received really well and we’ve had some positive feedback from those members that have come out with me.
You mentioned you started in the industry when you were 18 years old – what drew your attention to the insurance industry as a career?
JF: I’d left college after completing my A Levels and wanted to get straight into the working world rather than going on to University. Through some connections, I successfully got my first role at an insurer, not really thinking I’d be there for too long. Next thing I know, 5 years later, I was still working there! I enjoyed the work and colleagues and, as my skills and experience developed, I just took it from there. After that, I worked for a claims management company and a marine broker, before moving to loss adjusting about 10 years ago. It’s a great career and very interesting, and one where if you work hard, you truly reap the rewards.
Having been in the industry for a few years now, what made you move over to Quadra as the next step of your career?
JF: I’d heard good things about Quadra through the grapevine – you’ll come to realise that everyone in the loss adjusting industry tend to know each other. So, I knew a couple of people at Quadra who I’d worked with previously and they sang Quadra’s praises and mentioned what a great working environment it was, so it just started from there really. If someone working there is positive about the workplace, you would be naturally drawn in. I`m pleased to say that since joining Quadra, I have found the firm to be exactly as I had been told.
What would you say is one of the benefits of the role, from a more personal aspect?
Being a loss adjuster gives you the freedom to work from home. Despite the majority of us finding ourselves in that situation now, on a normal day, working from home can be very welcome, especially if you’re like me and have 4 children!
Finally, if you could sum up your role and working life at Quadra in three words, what would they be?
Now that’s a question! I’d have to say most definitely varied, as well as compassionate and above all, rewarding.
You can hear from more of the team, including Customer Care Team Leader, Jack Blackett, in our previous blog, where he also reveals all on his working life at Quadra.