Jacky Wilkes, Senior Claims Advisor
What are you passionate about, outside of work? Sport and fitness – I play in, coach and watch a lot of women's sporting teams – either my own softball and netball teams or my daughters' football, softball, netball and basketball teams. Nerd alert: I'm also passionate about birdwatching and sometimes get distracted at sport if there are birds at the fields.
Why do you enjoy working for Asteron Life? Because it's both challenging and rewarding. I've been lucky enough to work part-time assessing claims for Asteron Life for the past 15 years.
"I've learnt that everybody has their own stuff going on in their lives that they think is really important – and you have to respect that."
What is your PROUDEST moment working for Asteron Life? Probably when I arranged a Brighter Futures grant to a local sick kids' charity (NSW Central Coast Kids in Need) that had helped my family – they were so excited and still thank me whenever they see me!
Dealing with customers each and every day, what have you learnt about people? What have you learnt about life? I've learnt that everybody has their own stuff going on in their lives that they think is really important – and you have to respect that. After spending many years talking to people who've been diagnosed with cancer or a stroke or who've had a serious accident you soon realise how easily your family's circumstances can change.
What is the most important quality that a customer-facing insurance professional such as yourself can have? Integrity. Most of my customers are very unwell and usually the last thing they want to do is deal with a big insurance company, which is fair enough. I try and always do what I can to make things as straightforward for them as possible.
Why is it important for customers that we work hand in hand with our adviser partners? I love financial advisers! I involve them right from the start of the claim and if they want to do all the liaising with the customer that's fine with me. Advisers are experienced in the claims process and are very good at helping manage their customer's expectations. But in the end it's about whatever is best for the customer.
What impact on customers' lives do you feel we have? A huge financial impact, once a claim is paid. I've seen very sick customers go on overseas trips, pay off their mortgage or move house – often after being off work for some time and exhausting all their funds. Some have been on hospital waiting lists for the specialist medical care they need. I can't believe I have friends that don't have life and disability insurance.