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Get to know Commercial Account Handler Olivia Dixon

Olivia Dixon has been part of the One Broker Group since Gibbs Denley Insurance Services was acquired by One Broker in 2017. Since then, she’s become an integral part of our Commercial Insurance team. In particular, she is heavily involved in our Student Travel scheme, which is designed to protect international students studying in the UK.

To learn a little bit more about her experience and the challenges of the student travel sector, we sat down for a quick Q&A. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in insurance?

I started in Personal Insurance, initially working for NW Brown Insurance Brokers (who were bought by One Broker some years later). After learning the ropes for cover such as Car Insurance and Home Insurance, I moved to Gibbs Denley Insurance Services to further my skills. When Gibbs Denley was acquired in 2017, I joined the One Broker team!

When I first arrived at Gibbs Denley, Student Travel Insurance was looked after by others, but then I was drafted in to cover a colleague’s maternity leave. When she decided to leave the business, I stayed in the role, which was really nice because it was a departure from what I had been doing for the previous four years. 

In the end, I took over handling the Student Travel scheme. I was thrown in at the deep end a little bit, but it meant that I quickly learnt a lot about the schools and their needs. 

I had a break for my own maternity leave, but afterwards I wanted to get back onto the scheme and pick up the relationships with my clients. When it comes to Student Travel Insurance, I handle most things, from renewal administration to offering new business quotes.

What are the current challenges faced by the student travel sector?

Covid has certainly had an impact. Pre-Covid, there were a lot more schools and policies, although things are now starting to get back to the way they were.

Everyone is economising now. Covid changed the way everyone worked, including schools. During the pandemic there was no inbound travel and you couldn’t get to the UK, so schools had to either adapt quickly or face closure. A lot of schools switched to offering courses online during this challenging period.

But doing things online means students miss the cultural experience of being in the UK. Now that Covid restrictions in the UK have been removed, travel is becoming a more important element again. People want to come and immerse themselves in a country’s culture.

What challenges do schools face when looking for Student Travel Insurance?

When schools look for insurance, the key challenge is finding cover that really benefits their students. Cost is a major player too.

What many schools don’t realise is that a standard Travel Insurance policy will cover students for general travel, accommodation and medical fees, but it won’t protect their course costs. So if they’re unable to study while they’re here, for whatever reason, Travel Insurance won’t reimburse them for their course.

However, our Student Travel Insurance covers up to £7,500 in course fees. This means that international students have a large expense protected should they not be able to attend their course.

Another common concern in the wake of the pandemic is whether Covid is covered. Fortunately, Covid is something that insurers have taken on board and they have written elements of cover for Covid into their policies.

What are some common Student Travel Insurance claims?

Claims are relatively low and infrequent, but common ones involve sickness and not being able to travel. Some are baggage claims, in which luggage has been lost or damaged. You can also get the odd claim where someone has chipped a tooth and needed emergency dental treatment, things like that.

What makes One Broker different?

We have had a lot of our clients for many years. We understand their businesses and the way they work, what is needed and what their concerns are. The big difference with working with us, rather than going with something you find yourself, is that you can always pick up the phone or send an email and we’ll give you the support you need. 

We do that little bit extra, too. For instance, if there is going to be more than one person at the school handling the administration of the insurance, I always say that I’m happy to do a video call with everyone and show them how to do the paperwork. 

At One Broker, we’ve gone through the process of finding which insurer is going to provide the right cover, be fair and be competitive. So when a client comes to us for a quote, we are using who we feel is the best insurer at the fairest price. 

Even when the policy has to act in the event of a claim, our in-house Claims team provides support and our clients remain happy.

What do you like most about this role, and what have you learnt?

I like the fact that this sector is different. There are so many intricacies to student travel and it’s amazing to learn about what the schools offer. Some of them have truly amazing courses and offer lots of different activities, which sound brilliant. 

I think the most important thing I’ve learned is people skills. This role is really about building relationships. Sometimes at events, you see people there a few years in a row and you have conversations with them, but it doesn’t immediately come to anything. But then a few years down the road they remember you and they become a client.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have a little girl, so I try to spend a lot of time with her, and I try to involve my dad a lot too. I also have a motorbike, so when the weather’s nice I like to get out on that as much as possible to clear my mind. But only in fair weather! 

I place a lot of importance on my friendships as well, so when I have free time in the evening I go and spend time with them.

Talk to us about Student Travel Insurance

If your school offers courses to international students to teach them English, get in touch to find out more about our Student Travel Insurance.

You can call Olivia and the team on 01223 949022 to learn more and get a quote.

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