Monday, July 12, 2021

Hayley Celebrates 30 Years With Coplus

In June 2021, Claims Process Manager Hayley Burnett, celebrated 30 years with Coplus. We spoke to Hayley about her journey with Coplus; how the company and insurance has changed over the last three decades as well as adapting to work life during a pandemic.

Hayley begun by describing her first role with Coplus (then known as ‘Uninsured Loss Recovery)’ in 1991,”I joined Coplus as an Office Junior 30 years ago. At this time the business hadn’t been trading for all that long, there were only 6 people in the team and the company was based in two spare rooms of the company owner’s house! My role as Office Junior involved a lot of general administration, such as photocopying filing and sending out post… emails weren’t common place at the start of the 90’s!”

From her role as Office Junior Hayley quickly progressed to Claims Handler; “At this point the company was focused on uninsured loss recovery (hence the name), and more and more insurance products and services were added to our portfolio over the years.’ Hayley explained, “Although we now have many more products and customers and technology has changed significantly since those early days people have always been at the heart of Coplus. It’s always been a people focused business, with driven and motivated individuals - and always with an ambition to provide a great service.”

Over the next 20 years Hayley progressed through roles including Accounts Manager, Senior Claims Handler, Senior Team Leader and HR & Training Manager before taking her current role as Claims Process Manager in 2016. “I work closely with numerous departments across the company; one of which is our Quality Assurance Team. Working with QA entails getting feedback from the analysis they provide from audits and investigations, to find ways in which we can improve and develop our service.” Hayley’s role has been particularly pivotal over recent months due to the Civil Liabilities Act which came into force in May 2021. “This completely changed how compensation for road traffic related personal injuries claims are dealt with. Understanding the process was key to ensure our claims management system was configured to handle the changes, and then translating that into a new way of working for the claims team was essential.  My team and I will continue to review what’s happening and change and adapt as we see how claims are working; that’s what makes my job so interesting!’

Hayley has observed a great deal of change in the insurance industry during her career so far, particularly in how performance is measured. “Brokers and insurers are taking more ownership for the outcomes of products and services they sell. We are asked for more detailed MI and for information about the lifecycle of claims. Obviously this is driven partly by the FCA’s focus on value but of course competition is always increasing and we know our partners need more data and understanding in order to keep meeting their customer’s needs.” Hayley continued, “As I put the claims process together this includes what will be measured and reported on throughout the claim.”

As well as being part of the project team for whiplash reforms, Hayley has also led a project to bring full end to end claims handling into the Coplus team for a suite of motor add on products. “The majority of the motor products are now handled to settlement by our claims team here in Norwich. That gives us much greater oversight and control, and it’s part of our first call resolution philosophy.”  Adapting to change has been vital during the past year, with most of the team at Coplus working from home during the pandemic. ”It’s been extremely unusual to be away from our office and the team for such a long time. We are in constant contact throughout the day via chat, phone and email; as well as regular teams meetings. I actually feel like I’m speaking to colleagues even more than I did when we were based in the office. In fact I’ve been involved in meetings that I might not have been if we were working face to face just because of logistics, so I think embracing video meetings has been a big win for us and one we’ll continue going forward.”

Summing up her career so far Hayley reflected, “It is a long time but I’ve done many different things here within a company that has grown in size and complexity. I can see new things around the corner too so I know there is no chance of me getting bored any time soon!”