Elizabeth Hall

It began with a van

Elizabeth left the university in 2016, having finished her MA in History at Leicester, and had worked in in a variety of part-time jobs but was working with a removal company when she discovered insurance. “In the removals business there is inevitably damage to goods from time to time and people want to claim on insurance. But what fascinated me was how much investigation and analysis it took – piecing together the jigsaw of information – what happened, who was responsible and what was needed to make it better. I was really interested”.

She joined BMS, a specialty insurance broker, in 2022 to work in claims. “This is what really matters” she says. “If a hurricane hits, or something else terrible happens, then we are dealing with all the after effects. These are real people and real lives that we are supporting. We, the claims service, are the product that people have actually been paying for with their insurance payments”.

So what makes a good claims person? Elizabeth explains “This is a financial service so you need to comfortable with numbers but you don’t need to be a maths whizz. You do need to be a good communicator – both in picking out key bits of information but also communicating the important information to clients and colleagues. But both the technical and softer skills are things you learn as you go along”. Being comfortable with IT and happy on the phone are also useful.

As a history student, Elizabeth particularly appreciates the deep roots that specialty insurance has in London. With the first businesses being created over 350 years ago, the London insurance market has a history like no other. “London is the place to work in our sector” says Elizabeth. “Everyone knows everyone and there is the most amazing opportunity to meet people.  For example, with a complicated risk, I might have to deal with six or seven insurers – because they spread the risk between them so no-one loses too much money. But they might be different for each risk – so it is a spider’s web of connections in a good way and you learn from all of them”.