In the second issue of our member magazine, The Insider, we spoke to Enda O’Brien (O’Brien & Associates, Sligo), to learn more about his career as a Loss Assessor.
Can you give us some background as to how you joined the insurance industry, Enda?
In 2008, while working as an engineer on large scale infrastructure projects, the economic crisis was starting to take hold and construction activity was grinding to a halt. I was self-employed and began to explore ways to diversify into alternative areas of employment.
A friend, who works in the insurance industry, introduced me to The Insurance Institute and the various qualifications on offer and this is where my career in insurance began.
What was your pathway into your current role?
From previous experience, I had knowledge of cost estimates for home repairs and refurbishment projects. The Diploma in Loss Adjusting offered by The Insurance Institute was a perfect fit for my skill set and following graduation I began working in my current role of Loss Assessor, dealing with all aspects of insurance claims for policyholders.
Due to the severe weather conditions in 2009 and 2010, our client base expanded rapidly and continues to grow and O’Brien & Associates currently operate from Dublin, Kildare and Sligo.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day involves inspecting new claims, liaising with clients, meeting with loss adjusters, preparing cost schedules and negotiating claim settlements.
My time is split between the office and the field and involves interaction with different people on an ongoing basis. Each day varies which adds to the appeal of the role.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the sense of satisfaction from settling claims. The interaction with clients is always interesting as many will not have suffered a loss before, with the process being totally new to them. We provide a professional service and aim to make the whole experience as straightforward as possible.
What’s the most challenging part of your role?
It can sometimes be challenging dealing with clients who have suffered a large loss. There can be a lot of emotion in these situations and the process will need to be handled in an empathetic manner. Any lack of understanding has to be handled sympathetically while simultaneously working to secure the best possible settlement.
What are your future career goals?
I intend to continue my studies to expand my knowledge of different areas of the insurance industry. I would like to achieve Chartered Loss Adjuster status, which is an internationally recognised qualification.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to start a similar career path?
Explore the different avenues available and speak to people currently in similar roles. Assess entry requirements and choose the most suitable course to meet your objectives. I found The Insurance Institute website very informative and an ideal starting point.