Daniela Zaccone QPIB
Account Broker, De Conno & Blanco Insurance Brokers, SA
What has been your career pathway in broking up to this point?
I fell into insurance after leaving the hair and beauty industry back in 2006, and my career commenced at the foot of the ladder answering phones. My first two years involved basic administration, customer service and really just learning what insurance is all about. After grasping the broader concept of insurance I decided I wanted to further my career in this industry, so I commenced my studies.
While fulfilling my role as a receptionist and supporting brokers’ assistants, I finished my Tier 2 qualification and maintained the desire to keep climbing the ladder. I was lucky enough to be recommended for a role by an industry colleague to her employer and took up a new role as a broker’s assistant at the brokerage I currently work in.
The role has definitely moulded me into the young professional I am today. Working closely with the broker on exciting and challenging risks opened my eyes to the importance of my position and the advice we provide. This gave me a true feeling of professionalism and my thirst for learning became stronger.
With greater understanding comes confidence and I increasingly found myself networking with potential clients. The one thing I lacked, however, was the appropriate qualification to advise them.
So I decided I would continue my studies and complete my Diploma of Insurance Broking. This knocked down any barriers that stood before me. I was no longer limited to advising on basic insurance products and I was able to focus on commercial lines.
I continued to work closely with senior staff in the office, soaking up as much information as I could. Despite this, I was looking for recognition from both within my industry and externally: and obtaining my QPIB status achieved this.
What areas of broking do you specialise in?
I specialise in domestic and commercial lines. My professional ambition is to be a commercial broker, assisting clients in all areas of general insurance. I would also like to join a committee or a board where I can add value with my skill set and develop personally.
What doors has QPIB opened for you in your career?
Obtaining the QPIB designation has provided my clients with comfort in the knowledge they are dealing with an industry professional. I have gained more responsibility in my day-to-day role, which has expanded my skill set immensely. I use the QPIB designation to market my expertise to clients on my business cards, email/letter signature and it has been incorporated on our company website.
Why would you recommend new entrants to the industry seek to attain QPIB as soon as they can?
If you’re serious about a career in insurance broking, you need to obtain the QPIB designation. The study component helps identify key areas a broker needs to be proficient in, and it seems that career opportunities will open. It is a great way to gain industry knowledge.
What do you enjoy most about a career in insurance broking?
The most enjoyable part of my career is getting to know people and helping their businesses survive. We are an invaluable service provider to the SME market. It’s also great to network across many different industries.