Lorna Larke, Insurance Manager

Part of a series to celebrate 20 years of Hamilton Fraser, introducing you to the people behind the scenes

“Only three months at most,” is how long Insurance Manager Lorna Larke thought she would stay when she first started at Hamilton Fraser. The company had just bought the broker Lorna used to work for close to her home and the long commute all the way from Essex was a worry. But 17 years later she is still here and absolutely loves it. Despite the morning traffic on the M25.

“It’s such a supportive environment. Working here feels like being part of a big family, and I’ve learnt from the best over the years.” Lorna has continuously improved herself since she first started as an Account Handler, and is particularly proud of passing her insurance exams a number of years ago. “It’s important to be a good role model for your staff and lead by example.” And she certainly is: Lorna knows the business inside out and has experience across a number of departments, including Property, Cosmetic and even Claims.

In her role as Insurance Manager, Lorna knows that supporting managers – even if they don’t admit that they need it – is very important. “It is ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. I really enjoy giving people the confidence to do the work they are doing, giving advice and helping others grow.” She brings people together in monthly division meetings and makes sure everyone feels part of a bigger whole. She compares it to being a conductor in an orchestra.

“I often come in to millions of emails, but I love working here – everyone is open and approachable and you get given so many opportunities to grow.“ But Lorna also takes pride in the achievements of others. “There are people in this company who I remember when they first started as Account Handlers and now they have risen through the ranks to become team leader. That is incredibly rewarding.”

She mentions that it’s important to be able to guide staff as it’s equally important for them to be able to offer that support and guidance to customers. ”Giving advice is such an important aspect of our jobs as brokers - after all, we are the experts. For customers, it’s important to get the answers they need, rather than to sit back and worry that they may not be covered. We often highlight that reading a policy wording is essential – you need to know what you are covered for and it’s amazing just how many people don’t. That’s why we will always say no question is a stupid question - give us a ring, we are always happy to help.”

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