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After taking on the role of Head of Claims, A&NZ in October last year, Simon Priebbenow has certainly been thrown in the deep end. The first half of 2020 has arguably been one of the most challenging in history for businesses in A&NZ, and around the world. We sat down with Simon to find out what he has learnt from his experience so far, and what he hopes to achieve going forward.

Chubb Head of Claims, A&NZ

After working for Chubb overseas, you have now been back in Australia for 8 month now. What have you discovered about Chubb in Australia that you didn’t already know?

I have been with Chubb for 15 years now but back in Australia, in this role, for almost 6 months.  From afar, the Australian Claims team had a reputation for their excellent service delivery and technical expertise.  Having had the opportunity to work with the team and get to know them, I have certainly found that to be the case.  Across all lines of business, it is a great team to be a part of.  The culture is a good one and it is strong, not just in Claims but in the overall Australian operation.

What was your role prior to this one?

I left Australia in 2012 to lead the Claims team in our Latin American operation and was based in Santiago, Chile, before the regional office was relocated to Miami, USA.  It was there that I moved into my prior role.  That job focussed on Claims Service Development.  The role oversaw our Technical Services (Vendor Management, Fraud and Recovery), our Multinational Claims offering as well as the development of metrics to aid the ongoing improvement of our Claims service, across LATAM, EMEA and APAC.

What have been your biggest challenges so far in 2020?

It has been a hectic first half of 2020 with bushfires, hail storms, flooding, a cyclone in WA and then the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  That necessitated us making plans to ensure a smooth transition for all our staff to work from home safely and productively while balancing out-of-work challenges like kids being home from school. The challenge was to do that without disrupting the usual level of service our customers have become accustomed to.

What are you most proud of the Chubb claims team for in 2020? 

Without a doubt the commitment and energy the team have shown at every step. The challenges have been different in each line of business, but all have been overcome.  As a result, the transition to working from home went very smoothly and continues to operate almost as normal. But it isn’t just Claims.  I’m proud of the overall Chubb culture.  Every function contributed as a broader team to getting us into the position we are now – HR, Operations, IT etc.

What have you and the team learnt over the last few months?

What we can achieve as a team. It has not been an easy year but with resilience and teamwork we continue to box on.  And we have never lost sight of the customer in our Claims service.

What would you say has been your career highlight? 

There have been so many during my time at Chubb.  I have cherished the opportunity to live in a number of countries and work with fantastic people across the many places where Chubb operates.  That has been a really rewarding personal experience and one I have learned a lot from.  I think the thing that will always feature on the highlight reel is when I see team members get opportunities to grow and advance their own careers.  It is great for them and it is great for the company.

What would you like to see the A&NZ Claims team achieve in the next 12 months?

We have a busy year ahead of us.  With the mantra of ‘improving customer experience through a better employee experience’, we have targeted a lot of the administrative work in the Claims team to be either removed or automated.  We also have a new system to roll out to all Claims handlers across all lines of business.  This includes retiring an old platform and enhancing our payments platform to provide customers with more flexibility in how their claims are settled.  Of course, we will not lose focus on our people.  We want to seek more ways to provide opportunities for career development.

What is something you have seen from Chubb in other countries, that you think you can learn from or adopt in A&NZ?

The Chubb network is large and there are lots of things underway that we can tap into.  We are actually running some trials at the moment with some predictive modelling to assist us in identifying missed recovery opportunities and also potentially fraudulent claims.  Both models were deployed in Europe with considerable success and it would be great to stand them up here, locally as well.  In Singapore our colleagues are launching a new Customer Service Portal and this will have tremendous application in Australia and New Zealand and has scope to be modified for a variety of different claims.