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25/01/2021


5 minutes with Rachael Rodden

With several years working in insurance claims under her belt, Rachael Rodden joined the One Broker Ambulance team in late 2019. In this article, she reflects on her insurance career to date – including the move to remote-working during the coronavirus pandemic. 

When Rachael Rodden is asked for her take on the events of 2020, she is characteristically measured in her response.

“It was very different from the previous year,” she begins. “Coronavirus had a huge impact on ambulance companies, especially on the event support side of things.

“Some of the companies offer patient transfer services alongside event support; they were able to fill the gaps in their business. The pure event support businesses, on the other hand, were hit really hard by the situation.”

Building relationships

Rachael has been with the One Broker Ambulance team since 2019, having initially joined the Group’s Claims department on a maternity cover contract in 2018. 

“Before moving to Norfolk [from Scotland], I worked in motor claims for an insurer for around 4 years,” she explains. 

“I’ve never worked for a broker before and I really enjoy it; it’s interesting and fast-paced. It’s also a lot more personal. While I enjoyed working in motor claims, we only ever spoke to people when something had gone wrong – once claims were resolved, that would be it. In this role, I get to build lasting relationships with my clients.”

Her day-to-day responsibilities certainly support that desire to build relationships. She helps with enquiries, renewals and mid-term adjustments, while also adding and removing ambulances from client insurance policies when required. 

Rachael comments: “The One Broker Ambulance team has received positive feedback about the fact that clients have a single point of contact for their insurance. They don’t have to explain themselves every time they call. We know what’s going on with them and they don’t have to repeat themselves. I know my clients so well that most of them don’t need to introduce themselves on the phone!

“My claims experience is a real benefit when I speak to clients,” she adds. “It helps me to describe policies and risks. I can think of examples to illustrate what I mean, so they understand what’s covered and what’s not and it makes more sense to them. I would have found broking hard without that experience.

She points out that the team’s collective experience is also vital to building insurer relationships.

“The ambulance sector is really niche so it doesn’t have many options for insurance,” she explains. “Insurers generally aren’t keen on blue light, 999 and frontline activity because they imagine ambulances racing around on every journey, but we know that’s not the case. 

“Most of the time, not even half their activity involves blue lights. They might only use them one way because, when they get to an incident, they discover it’s not critical; they don’t need blue lights on the way back. 

“We have worked closely with insurers to explain this, so we can reduce the perceived risk and the cost of insurance.” 

Read more: 3 Considerations for Private Ambulance Companies Tendering for NHS Contracts 

Critical Covid Support

Rachael explains that cost savings are one of the key benefits of working with One Broker Ambulance. In fact, the team went one further to help ambulance firms in 2020.

“Lots of clients’ turnovers reduced as a result of Covid-19. That means they tend to have a lower liability risk, which may reduce their premiums and help them save money. We can offer that advice and explain how to make the saving,” she explains.

She also adds that One Broker has been proactively working with insurance companies since the start of the pandemic to help its clients make additional savings. 

She says: “Some ambulance companies have large ambulance fleets that are now registered as being off the road. In these cases, we have adjusted their policies so they only have laid-up cover.

“We’ve worked with insurers to secure a good rate for laid-up vehicles so they’re covered for theft and fire while they’re off the road. This helps ambulance companies to save money on their premiums. We’ve been working hard to communicate that to clients who have highlighted financial issues, so we can help them get through the pandemic.

“It also means they haven’t had to cancel their policies. When they’re ready to go back out on the road, we’ll return their policies to fully comprehensive, so they don’t have to go through the process of finding a new policy. 

She adds, laughing: “We’ll do as much as we can to help, except pay their premiums!”

Teamwork

When asked how she has found working during the pandemic, she is unfailing positive in her response. 

“The Ambulance team is very close and we work well together. We’ve been using Microsoft Teams and Zoom to stay in touch while working remotely. Rob [Rowley] is always at the end of the phone if we need anything too.

“He even created an MS Teams group called The Paramedic Arms, where we meet up and chat and do quizzes. It’s great that it’s not all work chat; we’re friends outside the office, so it’s nice to have a normal conversation with them.

“Communication is so important right now. My partner has been working from home on and off, so it’s been great to have the support of my team while he’s not here. We’re good at checking in with each other, actually. If I haven’t heard from a colleague for a couple of days, I’ll drop them a line to check-in and make sure they’re okay.”

Get in touch

Want to know how Rachael and the One Broker Ambulance team can help your business? Don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01603 218222.

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