A close-knit, supportive team that values helping older Australians and each other – that’s among the reasons why Karen loves coming to work at COTA Insurance each day.
What’s your role at COTA Insurance?
I’ve worked in sales and customer service in our general insurance area since October 2012. I give customers information about the policies we offer when they’re looking to insure their house, rental property, car, caravan, trailer and even their boats!
Why did you choose to work with us?
I lived in Melbourne when I was younger and worked in sales and customer service roles at Westpac, Telstra and Optus. When my role was made redundant at Westpac, I spent about 3 weeks looking for another job, trying to find the perfect one. I really love sales and I wanted to join an organisation that let me do that and also help people.
I knew that COTA was not-for-profit and it matters to me that we raise funds to help older Australians. I got lucky when I applied to work at COTA – it was the first job I applied for after leaving Westpac and the same afternoon, I found out I’d won the role.
What do you like doing when you’re not at work?
Like many Australians, I like to travel. In 2008 I spent 7 months seeing the world, including all around eastern Europe, skiing in Canada and a road trip through New Zealand. I really had the time of my life and I will never forget it.
More recently, I’m settling into my new house close to the city fringe. It’s a great spot to enjoy coffee and eating out with friends in nice restaurants. And on my list for this year is to get back into Rock n’ Roll dancing again.
What makes COTA Insurance different to other insurers?
I know it’s cliché, but we really believe in old fashioned customer service here. I’ve spoken to many people over the years who say they like being able to ask for me by name – not calling and having to speak to a random person off-shore. I look forward to chatting to my ‘regulars’ as I know they do.
I also find our close-knit team incredibly supportive. It makes it easy to come to work each day when you’re part of a team that cares for each other and our customers – we don’t treat anyone like they’re just a number.
What might people not know about COTA Insurance?
We understand the loss of ‘small things’ can have a big impact. So we offer cover for portable items like glasses, hearing aids or mobile phones. And in the case of accidental loss, theft or damage – home or away – you can make a claim and pay no excess for around $4 a month.
Was there a time you were really proud to work with us?
It was when I won a ‘Monkey Award’ in 2017. We have a team building exercise where we recognise colleagues who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to help customers. We award each other a plastic monkey and the person who gets the most monkeys after the 6 months, wins. I won in June 2017 – I even got a trophy – but it’s really about being part of a team that values great customer service.
What can people expect when they talk to us about their insurance needs?
Everyone here is great: friendly, efficient and patient. We are very experienced in talking to the over 50s and really take into account the needs of the person on each and every call. We also don’t rush the calls – we take as long as the person needs to answer their calls.
What would you say to someone considering using COTA Insurance?
If you are after friendly, efficient customer service then our COTA Insurance team will take as much time as you need to answer questions and explain anything you aren’t clear about. We will help you tailor a cover that suits and make sure you have all the information you need to decide if the cover is right for you.