When at the age of 19, Charles found himself making a presentation to one of the world’s largest shipping companies about their insurance, he was pretty scared but he also knew he had found the career for him.
“I was working in Halfords when I got my first job in insurance” says Charles. He had decided not to complete his A levels but to go straight into work. “I did get offered the management training course at Halfords” he added but instead took a role with AXA in Ipswich looking after travel claims.
This was just a stepping stone, and after a year he found a role in the marine team at WTW in Ipswich. “I was incredibly lucky and got to work for one of the experts in this field. He had a real wealth of knowledge about everything to do with shipping and what can go wrong. But most of all he was passionate about doing a good job”. His mentor took him to see clients, taught him how to pitch a plan to the underwriters and, when sickness struck on the day of a big meeting with a major client, trusted Charles to make the presentation. “I took a deep breath and realised I just had to get on with it” he said.
London is the global centre for marine insurance – where it started, and it still protects one in four of ocean-going vessels in the world. So, the next step for Charles was to work right in the heart of everything to do with shipping and he moved to work in the London insurance market, “I love working in this market” he adds. “Ships are the historic root of all insurance and London is the place to do it”. Charles took opportunities to expand his knowledge in his career he now works for the broker Price Forbes on Fine Art, Jewelry, & Specie, claims.
Whether you work for a broker or an insurance company, the appeal of claims remains the same according to Charles. “This is the ultimate puzzle solving job” he says. “These are complicated issues, and you have many people involved all of whom need to be getting something out of the solution. Technical understanding is really important, you need to be able to multi task and have strong organisational skills, but managing all the people is the really critical bit”.