Dagmar Higham, Technical Adviser, General accident and Lifestyle Claims
What are you passionate about, outside of work? My family. Doing my best to raise three young men to be all round good citizens. Being involved as much as I'm allowed to be in their lives. Making the most of life outside work and keeping fit and healthy to hopefully continue to lead a fulfilling and active life.
Why do you enjoy working for Asteron Life? It's a role where I can make a difference to people's lives in times of their greatest need, when the chips are down and their health fails them.
"It is vital we put ourselves in our customers' shoes and try to, as best as we can, understand what they are going through."
What is your PROUDEST moment working for Asteron Life? Receiving an award for excellence by our last CEO.
Dealing with customers each and every day, what have you learnt about people? Ill health can make people incredibly vulnerable, but by showing compassion and a great deal of understanding you can make a difference and find solutions to get them back to life in most instances. But sometimes no matter how hard you try you can still be disappointed by people's reactions. Dealing with individuals is often challenging and you need to be sensitive with the way you communicate with them. Above all, I've learned that by giving the best service you get the best results. A no brainer, really.
What have you learnt about life? Don't sweat the small stuff. If you think you're doing it tough, it's good to get a reality check by comparing yourself with some of the people we deal with day to day.
I've realised the importance of keeping fit and having a balanced lifestyle. Finally, I've learned that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it's never good enough.
What is the most important quality that a customer-facing insurance professional such as yourself can have? Empathy. It is vital we put ourselves in our customers' shoes and try to, as best as we can, understand what they are going through.
Why is it important for customers that we work hand in hand with our adviser partners? Advisers know their customers better than we do, so can act as a conduit for us, especially in the early stages of a claim. I can think of many examples where an adviser's understanding of the claims process and ability to explain things to the customer has reduced the time taken to assess a claim.
What impact on customers' lives do you feel we have? The way we approach a claim can have an enormous effect on the outcome for the customer. With our claims experience and our ability to liaise with treating doctors and other health professionals, we can reduce the time it may take to get someone back to work. Also, our experience, compassion and understanding of medical matters can support a customer who may have a long-term illness or require longer-term care.