This article originally appeared in the autumn 2017 edition of Telegraph magazine. Read it online now.
Claims Handler Ashleigh Bedford answers our questions about life both in and out of the office
What does a typical day look like for you?
There’s no such thing as a typical day! I have no idea what I’m going to come in to in the morning.
There’s no such thing as a typical day!
My focus is on car accidents. You can’t predict when someone’s going to have a crash or how severe it’s going to be. If a call comes in about a big crash, that will be my day. I’ll assist with everything from recovering the vehicle, overseeing uninsured losses, injury claims, contacting third parties, speaking to insurers and even arranging hire cars.
It sounds very full on.
It is, because it’s often an emergency, especially if our client is at the side of the road and the vehicle isn’t driveable. The vehicle’s got to be taken to a garage, while the driver and their passengers need to be recovered and taken home. If they’ve got injuries, these need to be documented too.
I make sure they’re speaking to the right people and that they’re going to a garage that they’re comfortable with. If it’s not their fault, I will also work with them to ensure they get an admission of liability from a third party.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s important to speak clearly; make everything as simple and easy as possible. I won’t use insurance jargon or things like that. Making a claim can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never had one before. I’m the client’s best source of information and I want to reassure them that I’m going to sort everything out.
Have you always worked in claims?
Almost! It’s just been my two-year anniversary as a claims handler. Before I became a permanent member of the team I was an apprentice. As part of my apprenticeship, I spent the two years working in various departments, gaining knowledge of the business. Because of that, I always know who I need to refer to.
Are there any misconceptions about claims?
Yes. A lot of people come to claims and are unsure of the process they need to follow.
As a broker, we’re here to get the best out of a bad situation. We work with both the client and the insurance company to get a fair and satisfactory settlement for both sides. We have good relationships with the insurers, so I will challenge decisions on behalf of my clients if I need to, in order to get the best outcome.
What about outside of work?
I’m very active online. I’m on Twitter and Instagram and follow quite a lot of social media influencers; YouTubers, vloggers, that kind of thing. Actually, my Instagram’s full of nerdy things, and pictures of my pets. I’ve got an indoor rabbit called Jam and a hamster called Toast.
I’m a bit of a gamer too. My favourite game is a classic series called Harvest Moon. It’s a Nintendo game and it’s all about farming. You sit back and you have a little farm and rear animals. It’s really chilled and laid back.
3 steps to making a claim
Keep calm and notify your broker
Write down all the facts, including date, time and the details of any other parties involved.
Have your paperwork handy
This includes policy documents, receipts or photographs of items in their original condition, if available.
Take photos or a video of the insured items from different angles if possible. This may help the insurer.