The first in a series introducing the people who provide services to our Care and Charity clients
Paula Capell has been with Bollington Insurance for over 22 years. She’s seen a great deal of positive change in the business, but she is convinced that the core principles of looking after clients and providing a personal service have always remained at the heart of the company.
We caught up with Paula to discuss her role as National Development Manager for the Care & Charity team at Bollington, including how a typical day looks for her, her relationships with clients and insurers - and why each day begins and ends with a ‘jog with the dog’…
How have things changed for you over the years?
I have literally lived half of my life at Bollington, having arrived at the age of 22 back in 1997!
As you can imagine, I have seen massive changes in the business, all of which have been positive in keeping up with the times and moving the company in the right direction.
When I started, there were 25 staff and the care insurance department of the business was just being established as a specialist team. Fast forward to the present day and there’s over 400 staff and offices and account managers across the country, so it’s a much bigger place!
While the company has grown a lot, what has remained the same is the culture, which has always looked to place clients and staff at the heart of what we do. Business directors still know who everybody is, and we offer an individual service that is tailored to each client’s needs.
What makes Bollington different to other brokers?
I enjoy the fact that Bollington is innovative and never stands still. I can work with our directors and directly with insurers to develop new markets and schemes for our care and charity clients, for example.
We don’t wait for insurers to dictate to us – we directly feed back what our clients need and where we’re struggling for cover or on the cost of the premium. We can look to insurers for different levels of cover, for example where local authorities request higher cover or different levels of cover for providers.
We meet with key insurers at the start and end of each year, talking about mutual plans to assist our clients. Our knowledge and experience allow us to be pro-active with insurers in meeting client needs.
A good example of this is that I have been asked to join a small panel of experts for a major, international insurer, to influence policy wordings and what should be included in them. There are a series of meetings taking place between now and Christmas where I will get to have a say on what is happening, what clients want and what things may look like in the future.
I’m honoured to be involved with this, as it shows that our business is trusted to make the right decisions for everybody and has a unique opportunity to have a level of influence with a well-known insurer.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m up and about at 5:30am, taking my cocker spaniel Dudley for a morning 5km jog. A jog with the dog, if you like! It keeps us both as fit, active and healthy as we can be, and is a good way to start the day.
After returning home, I’ll be setting off for anywhere in the country to see a client. It could be Edinburgh, Birmingham, Southampton or Belfast!
It might seem funny to say this, but meeting with care and charity clients doesn’t feel like work – it feels more like meeting with friends. We’ll catch up in general on what is happening and put the world to rights, but I’ll obviously be offering my professional advice and helping out wherever I can.
After that, I will hit the road and do battle with whichever part of the motorway or road network I happen to be joining at that time!
When I am not on the road, I will be in our lovely office in Adlington Court, catching up with the care broking team, other insurers, my emails and paperwork
Evenings recently – when I am not catching up on emails or paperwork after being out of the office all day – have often involved networking with insurers or attending charity events. I’ve got the All-Star Ball coming up at the Hilton in Manchester in early October, which this year is raising funds for a client of ours, Together Trust. There are likely to be a few celebs from Coronation Street in attendance, no doubt!
I’ve also been involved in a recent ‘It’s a Knockout’ event, a fun day to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society through Insurance United against Dementia, which brings together insurers and brokers in support of the charity. That is not a typical day, I hasten to add!
Anything you would like to say to your clients?
It has to be a massive thank you for many reasons.
There’s their loyalty and support, with many of my clients remaining with us for 10 years or more, and their understanding and trust, which I never take for granted. My clients always seem to know and trust I’ve done my absolute best, which means a lot to me. In return for their trust, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to make sure they are adequately protected with the best possible terms.
I also value their friendship, which makes nearly every client meeting I have enjoyable.