My name is Christian Howarth and I’m Claims Loss Adjuster for Cunningham Lindsey. My job entails basically on a weekly basis to manage and handle claims from start to finish. I take in claims that need to be assessed for liability issues, and then determine whether or not my company would be liable going forward. And then, take it through the dispute phase to resolve the claim finally, so kind of a three-step process. For want of a better word, I’m almost like a detective at the first stage, so I get all the facts, then I see where we go from there. Then, it gets a little more complicated, then it’s the litigation part, we’re dealing with other insurance companies. How to progress the claim, depending on if we’re liable or not. I guess they’re, the skills you need to
be good at my job depend on what area you go into. So for me, the hard skills that you would need are: teamwork, attention to detail and excellent communication skills. You need to be able to put down what you want to say in writing. Teamwork because you’re always working with different areas – whether it’s finance, loss adjusters you have to give direction to. So you have to be able to convey to other people what you would like them to do. And then I guess the third one would just be an interest in what you’re doing, in the detail and the investigative process. I started my college career in UCD doing an Arts Degree, back in 2008. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and that’s why I went into Arts. Coming out of school I had no real clear idea of what I wanted to do. Arts was a great foundation, it let me do anything: History, Classics, French… You got a broad basis, and then when you’re a little bit older and kind of realised that there’s an avenue that you’re good at. I went down towards the Law Degree. After I finished in UCD, I started my Law Degree in Griffith. It was fun, I mean definitely suggests kind of doing something going into college, to push you out of your comfort zone that
you don’t quite know what it is, to get a broad base as you as a person because you learn about yourself more like that. I did a lot in college, I think that’s important. Join every society, play on any sports team Again getting out of your comfort zone is huge to be able to learn about yourself. I was in the debating society, I played rugby and lacrosse in UCD and I made friends that I’ll keep for the rest of my life doing those things. So being able to be comfortable walking into a new environment. And going, I don’t know anybody, but you know I’m here to do a job and that’s kind of the second nature. What I love about my job is the problem solving and the ability to go in every day, and kind of be set with a different task – it is not the same thing every day, you’re always approached by different
scenarios. Every claim is different so every claim has to be approached differently. You have two different people that you didn’t have yesterday and you have to talk to them and they both have their own side of the story, and you have to get the actual facts out of people’s version of events which aren’t always the same thing. If I were to give advice to my first-year self, I would tell myself to do more. I mean you can’t not do enough. There are so many opportunities in college that I wish I had taken, but now that I’m here, looking back going “oh that would have been so much fun”, or “that would’ve helped me so much more now.” Just to have that under my belt as a learning experience. Don’t say “No” to anything, say “Yes” to everything, try everything once.