Commercial Property Adjuster
Sedgwick International UK
Layal is from Jordan and has been living in the UK for six years, and working for just under two. Choosing to pursue a career in the insurance sector after a successful and enjoyable internship, she took CILA exams while still studying at university and subsequently joined a graduate scheme in the loss adjusting sector.
Layal’s views on the insurance world as a career choice:
“The insurance industry is a hidden gem. Most people fall into the profession rather than plan it like I did, and as a result, you meet people with a varied skill set that can be transferred between different roles. From my experience in other sectors, insurance also proved to be one of the most welcoming industries, especially for networking. We have a saying in Arabic, if you want to try something, talk to someone who tried it, not an expert. Everyone I reached out to when I was in university accepted my emails, agreed to meetings and made introductions to other valuable connections.”
“Everyone I reached out to when I was in university accepted my emails, agreed to meetings and made introductions to other valuable connections.”
…on growing the number of females in the profession:
“In the Middle East, at least in Jordan, where I’m from, the equality in managerial roles is much higher. But here, the demographics for loss adjusting were particularly stark. My background and identity as a female in a male-dominated field has motivated me to work harder and strive for excellence, with a desire to break barriers and pave the way for other women in the industry. There are two sides to it, recruiting new talent and retaining talent. In recruiting talent, there’s a very big difference now from a decade ago, in bringing in females. On my graduate scheme, eight out of 13 people were women, so the current gap at senior level will improve. However, I think the problem is retaining existing talent. There’s not much by way of support or initiatives in place for females to build on their skills or stay in touch when they’re on maternity leave, or to be able to return to the same position, and that’s where there is room for improvement.”
“My background and identity as a female in a male-dominated field has motivated me to work harder and strive for excellence, with a desire to break barriers and pave the way for other women in the industry.”
…on the importance of staying alive to the human consequences of our work:
“I help clients navigate the claims process and understand their cover, at what can be a confusing and stressful time for them. Part of my job is to help people whose homes have become uninhabitable, with finding hotels or rental properties while their homes are being repaired or rebuilt. They may have children enrolled in schools in the area, or might be vulnerable customers. I also help them understand the timeline of the repair and keep them updated and help them navigate the process of working with contractors and other service providers. In loss adjusting, you become a little bit desensitised towards losses because you see them every day. But something you deal with daily could be a once-in-a-lifetime event for your customer, so it’s very important to be connected to the human element and put yourself in their situation.”
“I also help them understand the timeline of the repair and keep them updated and help them navigate the process of working with contractors and other service providers.”
…on how to move up the career ladder:
“Professional qualifications have been a valuable asset to my career. They have helped me gain a deeper understanding of the technical aspects so I can provide more accurate and effective assessments of claims. They help me stay up to date with the latest trends and gained me recognition and credibility in the industry. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a loss adjuster, my advice would be to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible through internships, professional qualifications and on-the-job training. Additionally, it’s crucial to build a strong network of professionals by attending industry events, joining professional organisations, and volunteering for projects.
Insurance is a good industry. Friends of mine applied for hundreds of jobs in finance, accounting and management and would often not hear back. I heard back from every single application I filed. My career goal is to progress from my current role as an insurance loss adjuster to an insurance consultant within the next ten years, and I believe my experience to date will provide a strong foundation for this.”
Outside of the office, Layal enjoys trying out new foods, working out and meeting friends, and makes sure to schedule these activities into her weekly routine.
“Professional qualifications have been a valuable asset to my career. They have helped me gain a deeper understanding of the technical aspects so I can provide more accurate and effective assessments of claims.”