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Stone Manor - There Were Probably Six Staff In Each Of The Fire, Motor, Accident
There were probably six staff in each of the fire, motor, accident and life insurance departments, and most of our claims were dealt with through the local claims bureaux. I knew my training would include a period in each of the major underwriting departments and in claims.
I had an induction course when I started that was fairly inadequate, although I found meeting people on other courses quite stimulating. I was also educated through the professional exams, which the company stipulated I should take. At the end of the two - year period I completed my training, and was offered a range of possibilities: a job at any of 14 branches in the Southern region; a job at the claims bureaux in Reading or Croydon; or a position at head office, which is the one I chose. Head office is a technical advisory department for claims bureaux throughout the country.
I was given a number of claims to handle for employer's and public liability in which legal proceedings had been started. I also did a lot of work on industrial diseases and on noise - induced hearing loss. At the time we knew very little about that, but the unions were introducing a campaign for compensation and we had to set up guidelines to handle claims.
During this time I was made a Senior Technical Officer, but then my boss thought I should get some experience on the sharp end, and I was made a Claims Inspector which is really being a claims investigator. To give you some idea of my job I'll describe a recent day.
I started at a factory in Wolverhampton, where a foundry worker was claiming continued loss of earnings after an accident because he could not work near heat. However, after talking to management and supervisors, it transpired that he had been transferred to another job.
After that I went to see a solicitor in Wolverhampton to explain why we were not paying a claim for injuries to a boy who ran out in front of a car. Then I saw a woman in Wolverhampton who was injured by slipping on a defective pavement. We insure Wolverhampton Council, so we are liable to pay compensation.