We sat down with our Head of Insurance Services, Chris Edwards, to find out how he got into the industry and how he sees the industry changing in the next few years
Chris Edwards is Head of Insurance Services here at Plastic Surgeon. Our dedicated insurance team have a wealth of experience handling all types of household, commercial and motor property and liability claims where a repair is carried out instead of replacing the damaged item. By restoring damaged items rather than replacing they are able to reduce cost, reduce the claim life cycle and offer customers another choice on how their claim is settled.
We sat down with Chris to learn a little more about how he got into the industry and how he foresees the industry in the coming years.
My first job after leaving University was (believe it or not) as a chef. I soon realised that it wasn’t the job for me, so I applied for a position as a trainee with Provincial Insurance (AXA) as the insurance industry really appealed to me. One because they offered a great training programme and two because of all the options available to further your career.
I started in the claims department at Provincial and claims is where I have stayed. After a couple of years at Provincial, I spent a period of time as a loss adjuster dealing with household, commercial and engineering claims.
I then went back to AXA where I stayed for over 10 years working in a variety of roles within the claims environment before becoming Property Claims Supply Chain Manager, looking after household and commercial suppliers across all commodities.
From there I then spent two years working for claims management specialist Building Validation Solutions (BVS) as Product Development Manager coordinating a number of new, market leading services for BVS, including a subsidence solution and a drying and restoration network.
I joined Plastic Surgeon in 2017, I had worked alongside the team whilst at AXA and BVS on some joint projects and I was really excited about the opportunity that there was for Plastic Surgeon within the insurance industry. I felt that my expertise and knowledge of the industry would assist Plastic Surgeon in making the insurance industry more aware of the opportunities and benefits of using Plastic Surgeon.
The biggest challenge is raising awareness of what Plastic Surgeon does, including the solutions we offer and how we give another choice to insurance companies on how they deal with claims.
Changing attitudes and moving away from the culture of replacing everything is the biggest challenge that we face.
Communicating what we do and highlighting the number of repairs we work on each year – in 2017 for instance we completed 646,725 repairs – and how we have been helping other industries for over 30 years. The construction industry, is a fantastic example of this, they have been using our services for many years and have had enjoyed fantastic benefits in terms of cost reductions and customer satisfaction.
As we all become more environmentally conscious this has also assisted us in driving our message forward. In 2017, we saw record landfill savings up 17% on last year’s figures with 3,474 tonnes of landfill saved and 135,445 items saved from being replaced.
It has been a fantastic opportunity to present Plastic Surgeon to the insurance industry. Since I joined Plastic Surgeon in 2017, we have welcomed many new insurance clients, including many of the UK’s top insurers.
This is of course a fantastic coo for Plastic Surgeon but knowing the impact that our services is having on our clients in terms of reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction is a great feeling.
It’s also been a real achievement, to deliver through Plastic Surgeon, the goals that I strived to achieve from suppliers during my time at AXA.
The insurance industry provides a varied and challenging career, there are a tremendous number of opportunities, particularly within the claims environment. Working within insurance also offers you the opportunity and satisfaction that comes with helping people! My advice, work hard and get as much experience as you possibly can in as many areas as possible.
Insurers and the wider supply chain need to be more open minded as to the opportunities that exist outside of the traditional processes. I’d ask them to embrace new options that are available, just give it a go! We quite often work with insurers on pilot schemes which enables them to test our services, before fully integrating them into their processes, I’d encourage the industry do more of this, to enable the insurance market to improve and evolve.
Having a fantastic support team is crucial but the technology to assist is also essential. Plastic Surgeon’s head office is located in Devon, and I live in Manchester, however with fantastic technological support, conferencing facilities and remote working it ensures that myself and the team across the county can work and be productive no matter where they are – without the need for lots of travel!
My IPad it provides a virtual office, enabling me to access all head office systems – and occasionally watch Netflix too!!
May be a clichéd response but definitely both! Talent will get you there in the first place, but perseverance will keep you going!
I like to go swimming and to the gym when I can, but I also thoroughly enjoy helping out with my local junior football team where I am club secretary and treasurer.
Work in the insurance sector? Find out how our specialist insurance repair service could help you reduce claim lifecycle times and claim cost.