Across Admiral Group, we have an 11,000-strong workforce powering various businesses and departments like Admiral Law, Admiral Money, the Contact Centre, and Claims, our team thrives on diversity and talent. Each person brings their unique touch, making a difference in their own way. But today, we've got a spotlight on someone particularly special from our Claims team - Jemma Porter. She's our go-to Complex & Serious Injury Operations Manager, and she kicked off her Admiral journey 14 years back.
Jemma's story is a distinct mix of triumphs, bumps in the road, and lifelong bonds. Curious about her career's early days and the journey that led her to where she is now, we sat down for a chat. And we sure uncovered an inspiring retelling of resilience and progress that defines her incredible professional journey!
Can you tell us how your journey at Admiral started?
I started as a Frontline Call Handler in what was then called FROB (First Response and Outbound). I remained in FROB for two years, where I got confident speaking with customers and learnt how Admiral operated as a business.
The whole time, I had an eye on a Trainee Large Loss Handler role, and I went for it. I didn't have enough experience at the time, but the hiring managers saw my potential and offered me a position in the Bodily Injury department. After a few years, I had the right experience to confidently apply for the Large Loss handler role, and it was a success! This was a huge achievement for me, and the next two years proved this was the career for me. My passion for dealing with high-value complex injury claims really started to come through, and so did my confidence to lead.
What was the next move for you after this?
My first few years in Catastrophic and Serious Injury (CSI) were a success. Not only did I win multiple awards, but I proved I could train and develop people, and shortly took on a Trainee Large Loss Manager role. With excellent support from my managers (some of whom I still work with now and remain great friends), some maturity on my part and a desire for success, I continued to push on for more.
We rebranded from Large Loss to Catastrophic & Serious Injury, and I spent the next five years focussing on my leadership and technical knowledge. I won more awards, such as CSI Manager of the Year, but that wasn't my main achievement. My team were performing well and some were moving into management roles themselves.
In 2021, it was time to hand over the baton as CSI Team Manager, allowing me to step up to the CSI Operational Role I'm in today.
What initially sparked your interest in the Claims department?
I came to Admiral when I was 18 years old and had just finished my A-Levels. I had a placement at Liverpool University to study History, which I deferred for a year in favour of taking a gap year. That gap year turned into 14 enjoyable years at Admiral and, hopefully, many more to come.
Speaking honestly, I joined Admiral because I wanted to earn some money and take a break from studying. I had no plan to stay. I soon realised just how many opportunities there were at Admiral, not only within Claims but outside too.
What is your favourite part about working in Claims or at Admiral in general?
The people make you feel so welcome. There's a family feel to the company, and I have made some great friends in my 14 years. I've been to more weddings for Admiral colleagues than I have my own family and friends, which tells you enough about the culture in the Claims Department and Admiral as a whole.
I feel safe here. I've been supported through some challenging times over the years, and I have been equally supported by colleagues through challenging times.
If someone is considering a career in the Claims department, what advice would you give them?
Don't think twice about it. There are endless opportunities for progression, endless success stories like mine and the chance to build a happy career here.
It would be wrong of me to say it's easy. You need to be driven and determined for success. You need to want it just as much as it's available and be confident in yourself. Being brave and coming out of your comfort zone is one of the key qualities. Putting yourself out there and believing in yourself is the other. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place, just like it did for me.
Reflecting on your career progression at Admiral, what are you most proud of?
I have a number of proud milestones, my promotions, for example. But securing an Operational Role in a department I thought was out of my reach has to be the biggest - particularly at the age of 28. I didn't make it to university after my 'gap year', so I never had a degree. I had to work hard to prove I was just as worthy as those that did. I'm one of the very few in my department who doesn't have a degree, but it just goes to show that CSI, Claims and Admiral are willing to give everyone an opportunity, no matter their background.
While I did get promoted from FROB handler to CSI Operations Manager, it was not seamless. I had setbacks, and I wasn't successful on the first application for a few roles. But I never gave up, and neither did those around me. And that's why this is such a great place to work.
Explore more careers at Admiral
Jemma's lengthy tenure at Admiral isn't an isolated case. The impressive careers our team members have built are a testament to our culture - one that people genuinely want to be a part of.
Like Jemma, many find their place in Claims, but it's not a one-way street. Lilly's path from Claims to Talent Acquisition is another inspiring story that shows there really are no limits.