’It has now become easy to say no to coming into the office and letting that phone ring,’ says chief executive

A shift in expectations over working following the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on insurer service.

That was according to Andy Tedstone, chief executive of Cobra Network, who felt there were still issues when it came to service levels.

Tedstone gave his views during a panel session entitled What Next for Brokers at the 2024 Biba Conference.

He felt that with the pandemic leading to hybrid working, more staff were staying at home and “letting that phone ring”.

“I believe that the service is led by people that are sat at home and are not in office,” Tedstone said.

”This is because we allowed everyone to work from home during the pandemic – it has now become easy to say no to coming into the office and letting that phone ring.”


Holly Shepherd, managing director at Shepherd Global, added there was a lack of communication from insurers and that this was key to improve service.

“We are all trying to achieve the same goal and work to the same needs, so communication is key,” she said.

She also said she would “love to get staff back into the office more”.

“I have told my staff that we can only train new staff by being in the office,” Shepherd added.

Alastair Swift, head of CRB global lines of business and chief executive of Willis Limited, noted that while ”hybrid working has always been there”, it was important to be present to attract the next generation of talent.

”We have always been working out on the road with clients and customers,” he said.

”There have been period of times where we have not been present in the office.

“So, working in a more fluid and flexible and fashion has always been around. However, I do agree that education is important and how we bring the next generation through is going to be harder if people are not present and not learning by being in other people’s company.”