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28 Apr 2022

1.       What’s your role at Cigna and what does a typical day look like for you?

I’m a Senior Underwriter dedicated to supporting the Independent Financial Advisers (Advisers) who work with Cigna. My day usually starts with a strong cup of coffee and a look at my emails before I start working through a mixture of new and pending applications, assessing proposals, customer statements, medical notes and financial accounts. I communicate with Advisers daily, keeping them updated on the outcome of their customers’ risk assessments. I also liaise with their customers and third parties for further information, if required.

2.       What’s your background and how did you get to where you are now?

I studied Anatomy and then Forensic Science at university. I’ve always been curious about how the human body works and initially dreamed of being a Forensic Pathologist.  I ended up falling into travel insurance, which then led to roles at ACC as a case manager, in Claims for a private insurer and then an opportunity for a career in underwriting. The rest, as they say, is history.

3.       What do you enjoy most about working at Cigna?

There’s no such thing as a mundane day at work. I really love my job for the variety it offers and the feeling that I’m helping people. It’s great to be part of a business that invests in its technology. It makes a huge difference when working on the frontline to have efficient processes and less administration to ensure a good experience for everyone.

Cigna has also been a really supportive employer through the pandemic, it’s wonderful to work for a company that really cares about its people.

4.       Why do you think advice is so important?

Advice is really important because, believe it or not, insurance can be quite a dry and complex subject. Advisers have a really important job to do in identifying the need for insurance, simplifying complex concepts, ensuring a streamlined experience and most importantly, ensuring the resulting cover is the best fit for the customer’s needs.

5.       What’s your favourite thing about working with Advisers?

Advisers are a real advocate for their customers and always have their needs at the forefront. They’re an outgoing and passionate bunch and after working in the role for a number of years, you develop a real respect and rapport with each other.

6.       How do you and your team support Advisers and improve their experience with Cigna?

We work hard to always be available to answer questions and make the underwriting process as smooth as possible. Our aim is to offer good customer outcomes while still weighing up all factors and managing risk appropriately. It’s important to be able to clearly communicate and provide rationale for any special terms we may apply to policies so Advisers feel confident communicating these to their customers.

7.       What do you think are the biggest opportunities and challenges in the life insurance industry? 

Technology. Things have come a long way since paper files and 1000-page medical encyclopaedias. We now have access to vast quantities of online data which has opened the doors for incredible tools such as underwriting engines that have the ability to assess and issue cover straight away.

A challenge for the industry would be the management and integration of old legacy policies and systems.  

8.       Do you have any surprising or unusual skills?

I’m fluent in English, can cook 2 minute noodles in 1 min 55 seconds and have a side talent for Dad jokes.

9.       On a weekend, where are we most likely to find you?

I’m lucky enough to live in the southern paradise of Wanaka so you’ll usually find me on a mountain somewhere, hiking or snowboarding depending on the season or hanging with my cute, cheeky little sidekick, 15-month-old Mila.