Adam Ware QPIB
Office Manager/Account Manager, BJS Insurance Brokers, VIC
What has been your career pathway in broking?
After finishing secondary school I was seeking a curating/green keeping apprenticeship, preferably on a golf course. However, at that particular time Australia was in the middle of one of the worst droughts in history. There was very little work available in this field and the prospect of getting work did not look like improving anytime soon. In August 2008, Craig Hams from BJS Insurance Brokers asked if I would be interested in a traineeship position. Following an interview I was offered a traineeship with BJS which kick started my broking career.
I completed my Traineeship in 2009 and became an Assistant Account Manager before being promoted to Account Manager in 2011, taking ownership of my own portfolio. In September 2015 I became joint Office Manager of the BJS Gippsland Branch, managing the day to day operation of the Branch and looking after a team of 19 staff. In the process I have also completed the CPIB Program in 2013 after receiving a CGU Professional Excellence scholarship and then went on to complete the additional modules required to obtain the full Advanced Diploma of Insurance Broking qualification.
Why is broker education important to you personally?
It’s important to be educated in your profession, regardless of what you do. Despite how knowledgeable a person may appear, personally I would be reluctant in accepting advice from somebody not adequately qualified in their trade.
Showing people that I am qualified as an insurance broker is important to me because I know our clients can see that the advice we provide is coming from our acquired and accredited knowledge that has been formally recognised by the industry body.
What doors has the QPIB designation opened for you in your career?
Becoming a QPIB allowed me to step into an Account Manager role within BJS. I believe completing the Diploma of Insurance Broking course has made me into a better broker by preparing me for scenarios that I had not come across in my previous position.
Working with a mentor allowed me to see firsthand the day-to-day challenges that came with being an account manager and how these challenges were successfully handled by our experienced staff.
How do you use the QPIB designation to market your expertise to clients?
The QPIB designation appears on all my email and hard copy correspondence. For some clients this may be insignificant, but others find it reassuring to know that they’re corresponding with a broker that holds a professional designation in their chosen industry.
Why would you recommend new entrants to broking seek to attain QPIB as soon as they can?
I would recommend doing the hard work early and completing your Diploma of Insurance Broking as soon as possible. Once you have completed the qualification you will have it forever.
There is a saying “Dress for the position you want, not the position you have.” I believe you can apply this same principle to your qualifications and conduct at work. If you have a great work ethic, have completed your Diploma course and have ambition to do more, should a higher position suddenly becomes available at your brokerage, you may get first opportunity. Likewise in a brokerage that is growing at a fast pace, the company may create new roles to accommodate their growth. If you are fully qualified, you will give yourself the best opportunity to step up into these positions.
What are your professional ambitions?
In the immediate future I aim to ensure the smooth running and growth of the BJS Gippsland Branch as Office Manager. In the long term I would like to have a form of ownership within the business. BJS is a great company to be involved with and a business that has offered me great opportunities to advance myself both personally and professionally. These were opportunities I may not have found in another industry or field. As such, I plan on looking after BJS the same way they have looked after me.
What areas of broking do you specialise in?
I have one specialist area – short-term rental landlords insurance (more commonly known as holiday rental insurance).
Living in the Bass Coast/Phillip Island region, which has millions of visitors every year and thousands of holiday rental properties, I often received enquiries from Holiday Rental Property Owners seeking Insurance for their property, however we found this very hard to place, let alone price competitively, as it is well documented that many insurance companies do not offer cover for properties used for holiday rental. I saw this as a potential opportunity to offer something niche so with the assistance of our Directors, we were able to get CGU on board and offer a unique policy with exclusive terms. Four staff from our office later attended a marketing session where we learnt how to build websites. Following that session, I was able to build my own holiday rental insurance website, www.holidayrentalsinsurance.com, which has given the product a national footprint.
What do you enjoy most about a career in insurance broking?
The challenge of assisting clients with difficult risk placement or claims is the most satisfying part of the role. It is incredibly rewarding when you are able to assist somebody who may have exhausted all other avenues previously and you were the one person who was able to help them.
I also enjoy knowing that your career advancement is placed almost entirely in your own hands. If your intention is to build your own clientele, become more qualified in the field or specialise in a certain area, then there are plenty of opportunities to do this in the insurance broking industry. I hope that my experiences can help younger brokers see that anything is possible within this industry if you really want it.