What’s the most crucial department at Allianz Trade? Risk, sales, account management? Yes, these are all important but as policy administrator Teresa Cook says: “Policy administration is vital. If we weren’t there to put everything on the system and make the policy live, nobody would have a policy.”

It’s a weighty responsibility and one that’s shared across a 13-strong team that operates quietly and efficiently behind the scenes. Together, this skilled workforce ensures everything runs smoothly for customers.

Teresa joined the team two years ago and handles a variety of important tasks, including processing renewals, new business, mid-term amendments and no-claims bonuses.

All in the details

“Some parts of the job are straightforward,” she says, “but when we take on a complex business that has different terms of payment, operates in a variety of countries and has a number of waiting periods, a surprising amount of work goes into it. Discussing the details with the customers is the responsibility of the account manager. When we input their data and requirements in the systems, if we think something isn’t correct, it’s also our job to query it with them.”

It’s no surprise that Teresa has become an expert when it comes to our range of policies, something that is true of all of our policy administrators. “Our solutions vary depending on the size of the company and its requirements. Simplicity is the simplest policy we offer,” says Teresa. “But at the other end of the scale, some of our customers are massive organisations with complex requirements that even I look at and think: ‘Whoa, that’s impressive!’ It’s important to have that level of knowledge and experience to service our customers the best we can.”

On the ball

Challenge and complexity are nothing new to Teresa. Her previous role involved children with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who couldn’t access the curriculum.

“This is a similar role,” she says. “They both require computer skills, while there’s a lot of checking of your own and others’ work. You’ve got to be on the ball and precise – the ability to input a lot of data accurately is essential. Luckily, that’s an attribute I bring from my role within schools.”  

When Teresa started at Allianz Trade, her induction process was impressively thorough. “At first it was quite intense because I was trained on all the main products and the policies. Then, gradually, as I felt more confident, I was trained on more specialist products and less common processes like terminations. It can be a lot to take in but we’re here to offer flexibility and adaptability to our customers.”

“A lot of my work now is reviewing other people’s work, but I’m still adding to my skills. One of my colleagues has worked here for 40 years and even she is always learning, just like the rest of us.”

“As part of the learning process, I’ve got to know the other departments. We work closely with our Commercial colleagues. We can see how all our roles connect together like a jigsaw puzzle. Knowing what other departments do helps us to provide the best possible customer experience.”

Selling the benefits

Customers might be surprised to realise how much work goes on behind the scenes, how big the main office is and how many other offices there are worldwide.

“I’m not sure that everyone is aware of the scale. When I was working in schools, I didn’t know that trade credit insurance existed, but the more I’ve got to know the different aspects of it, the more I’ve come to realise just how important it is to help companies trade safely,” says Teresa.

“If you’re a small business and a customer doesn’t pay you, that could cause you severe problems. But if you’re insured, you’ll protect yourself against that happening. I know a couple of people who run small businesses and I’ve told them about trade credit insurance, so I’m trying to do a sales job too!”

Collaborative culture

When it comes to her colleagues, Teresa says “we always support each other and everyone is happy to help out. That’s what I like about our team – we stick together.”

She explains that no two days are the same as the team is responsive to business needs. There are also times when she works directly with customers. “If it’s something simple, then we can sort it out. Otherwise we pass it on to their account manager,” she says.

The culture at Allianz Trade is one of the things that Teresa loves the most about the role. “While I miss the children in my previous role, this is such a friendly environment that I love working here. Even when I’m enjoying flexible working from home, I realise that I miss the office!”