I am writing to publicise the dreadful way that I feel I have been treated by a leading insurer. I joined the company in 1996 before its merger with another large insurer. It was a good company to work for. I worked in various personal lines areas of the business.
In 1999, I completed my ACII, becoming the youngest of only a few of the staff in the branch to attain this qualification.
In December 2000 I had to go through a nerve-wracking selection process to obtain a job in the commercial department, as the personal lines (plus accounts and finance) staff were all to be made redundant from July 2001.
I was successful in this process and in March 2001 I started in the commercial department as an underwriter. The number of staff wanting to stay in a job at the branch exceeded the number of positions being kept on, and a number of quality, experienced staff were very upset at thus being made redundant against their wishes.
In August 2001, the company decided on a national reorganisation, and it was announced that more branches were to close. It was decided by management that the commercial department was over-staffed, and that a further five underwriters would have to be axed at the end of the year.
Four underwriters left of their own accord almost immediately, more than partly due to the disgusting way they had been treated, such as having to apply for their own jobs again so soon after the first reorganisation.
The company decided it still needed to lose the extra one underwriter, in order to comply with the original reduction of five.
The selection process was by means of each underwriter completing a whole series of questions (such as, give an example of how you have shown professionalism in your role), with the answers being scored in total to give a final score for each individual.
We were given two weeks to complete the form (of which my manager was on holiday the first week, and I was on holiday the following week).
A few weeks later I was surprised and devastated to be told that I had been unsuccessful in applying for my job, and was to be the sole underwriter to be made redundant at the end of the year.
I was told by the branch manager that I hadn't scored enough points with my application form "and that it was just a question of numbers", despite my qualifications, excellent conduct and outstanding sickness record.
I worked all of my redundancy notice period as professionally as I had done for the previous five years, and finally left at the end of December 2001.
Imagine my disgust when a friend told me on 11 January (and I was shown a memo, sent by the branch manager) that the regional manager had agreed for my branch to go ahead and recruit two new underwriters. This was less than two weeks after I had left, and followed the resignation of a further underwriter (who'd been successful in being awarded his own job.).
Throughout these turbulent times, staff, brokers, customers and shareholders have experienced a dramatic decrease in customer service standards, morale and share value.
I myself am not sorry to have left the insurance industry, but am still bitter at the way I was treated.
Name & address withheld