Jim’s Story

RiiG Limited – My Journey So Far

Prior to joining the iteam division of RiiG Limited I had been working as a fraud team leader at a household insurer – a role which I enjoyed greatly. During the summer of 2007 I learned that the household claims team of which I was part was to be made redundant and I duly began my search for a new role.

I was approached by three potential employees during this time – a large loss adjusting firm, a builder repair network and a relatively new company that I had not heard of – RiiG Limited.

I was contacted by then Operations Manager of RiiG Limited, Gordon Vater, who explained the concept of iteam:

A close-knit team of claims professionals working together to provide innovative and creative claims solutions for insurers and their associated supply panel.

Solutions could involve anything from providing claims resource during surge periods, training, audit, recruitment or a combination of these services. Additionally, we would be working from the client’s office.

I was advised that the success of any given project depended solely on ‘the team’ – people from varied backgrounds and differing levels of experience working together to provide the very best claims solutions for the client.

It was an easy decision to make. Excited by the prospect of working with the very best talent in the industry and the companies focus on ‘the team’, I joined RiiG Limited.

My first project commenced 3 September 2007 providing claims support to a major loss adjuster following the nationwide flood event of 2007.

I quickly learned that working for iteam was not going to be like working for your average insurer! We would have to master the client’s claims system, processes and claims philosophy in a very short period of time if we were to make any headway. The learning curve was steep and time was short however, the team rallied and sure enough the settlements started coming in. The project was deemed a success and was extended for a further month.

First project successfully completed and I was already in no doubt that I had made the right choice.

My second project was again to provide claims resource however, this time for a leading personal motor insurer.

With no motor claims experience I was placed on an intensive in-house training programme. I joined the project early 2008 and got my first taste of motor claims – starting with basic AD claims initially, moving on to more complex fault claims, liability disputes and credit hire.

Next stop, recruitment. A major loss adjuster in the North West had won a contract to provide claims handlers for a Takaful (Sharia compliant) policy and our recruitment division had been selected to recruit the handlers for the adjuster.

Having no previous experience in this field, I joined the recruitment division to assist in any way I could. This involved, amongst other things, visiting local mosques and other Islamic centres with a view to raising awareness of the upcoming opportunities. I was also involved in the subsequent interviewing process.

The recruitment drive was a success with all 25 places filled by appropriate candidates.

Following my brief stint with recruitment, I was off to the seaside! This time to provide negotiation training to a major composite insurer.

To date, this remains one of the most rewarding projects I have been involved in. Working with the client’s staff on a one-to-one basis, slowly building their confidence and knowledge. At the start of the project, handlers had been afraid to pick up the telephone. By the end, the claims centre had been transformed – handlers eager to jump on the phone and negotiate settlement with their new found skills. Significant savings on claims spend were recorded resulting in a mention for the company in the client’s monthly communication.

Following the successful completion of the training project, I joined the company’s consultancy division and assisted with the audit of two major loss adjusters. Once again, more learning and development, working alongside the companies most experienced claims professionals.

During October 2008 I joined an ongoing motor personal injury project for a major insurer. Whilst I now had experience of motor claims, I had not at this point had any experience of handling personal injury claims. Once again, intensive in-house training was provided and I spent the majority of the next 5 years working in this area for 4 separate clients across 6 locations. From trainee to trainer – during 2012 I helped set up a new personal injury team for a client, including the training and management of 2 new members of staff.

A 6 month credit hire project followed in 2011 and it was during this period that I decided it was time to take the next major step in my career development – qualifications. The company had actively been encouraging employees to commence their studies with the CII for some time as part of its drive for excellence. It was not without some trepidation that I enrolled as a member of the CII and commenced my studies. With the full support of the company and the expertise of my colleagues to draw upon, I achieved my Certificate in Insurance within 4 months and my Diploma in Insurance 12 months later. A further 2 years study followed and I finally achieved my goal – Associateship of the Chartered Insurance Institute and Chartered Insurance Practitioner status. It was hard work! Balancing my full time role with numerous assignments and many hours of revision required dedication however, the knowledge and confidence I gained during my studies has proven invaluable.

During late 2013 (and midway through my studies) storms hit the UK and I was back to household claims, this time providing surge assistance for 2 clients. Handling high claim and call volumes, assisting the client and their policyholders during an incredibly challenging period.

Following the storm event of 2013 and during the summer of 2014, I joined a new motor project, working as a trainer and technical referral point for our new starters, whilst managing my own portfolio of claims. Initially a 3 month project, we are still here some 10 months later with further extension discussions in the pipeline.

This brings ‘my journey so far’ to the present day – I have come a long way! I can honestly say that the past 7 years with RiiG Limited have been the most informative and enjoyable years I have spent in the industry. I have learnt new claims disciplines, aided in recruitment, training, audit, and achieved chartered status with the CII. I have worked alongside the very best talent in the industry and made lifelong friends along the way. I look forward to continuing my journey with RiiG Limited in the future and the many and varied challenges this will bring.

Jim Currie, ACII Chartered Insurance Practitioner