“Dealing with damages is my passion – and has been ever since I did my apprenticeship in insurance. I really lucked out when I got an offer from Helvetia. Even after 17 years, the role of claims expert is still my dream job. I deal with damage to household contents or movable property resulting from fire, water, natural forces, glass breakage or burglaries, and I help both private individuals and companies. This also involves buildings insurance and interruptions to operations. My area includes the entire city of Zurich – an exciting place to be! I also visit foreign customers regularly and have to speak English often. People react very positively to seeing a woman inspector. I notice that particularly among female customers. They probably think a woman will be more empathetic.
When I get a report from the Helvetia Claims Centre, I call the affected customer immediately – even if I’m out and about and don’t yet know the details. This way he or she knows that somebody is dealing with their problem. People really appreciate that. When there is fire or water damage, I go to see it immediately. The most important thing is to listen to the customer, to take the time to do so. At any one time I’ll have around 80 to 100 dossiers pending.
My approachable nature and my positive outlook on life suit my job. I often travel around on my own and have to make decisions independently. One thing I find less pleasant about the job is customers’ sense of entitlement; they always say: ‘I’ve paid my premium for years – I’m owed that money’.
I experience many extremes: in the morning I can be dealing with damages in districts three or four and in the afternoon I’ll meet a customer in a million-dollar villa on the Zürichberg hill. Once a homeowner called me because his tenants had complained about pests and a damp smell in the apartment. I wanted to take an expert along and see it for myself. The surprise visit was perfect: the tenants were really messy and the apartment was completely full of junk. You couldn’t even get to the radiator!
I hear a lot of positives from customers: Helvetia reacts, processes and pays quickly, they say. Personally, I am only satisfied once I have found a good solution for both parties. There are nights when I lie awake and think: have I thought of everything? But generally I fall asleep again pretty quickly.”