Taking care: how Sara goes the extra mile to help
AMI lead of technical claims Sara loves nothing more than helping others when things go wrong.
It's a good thing Sara likes taking care of people. As a mum of two and a lead of technical claims for AMI in Christchurch, caring for others is something she does every day.
Sara lives in the South Island city with her husband and two kids (aged 10 and seven), with two sets of grandparents nearby.
"I’m a great family person," she says. "My parents are 10 minutes away and so are [my husband's] so we spend a lot of time with them. We also enjoy mountain biking and going on rides with the kids and swimming."
Gum boots and all
At the time of writing Sara's been in a new position as lead of technical claims for just over a month, but she's been with AMI for over 20 years. She says the reason she enjoys her job is simple:
"I really enjoy being able to help people when things go wrong. Sometimes it's as simple as showing people that we understand and can help talk them through the claims process."
While she's still getting her feet under the desk in her new position, she's seen plenty of action in past roles - including time spent as part of the AMI emergency response team.
"We'd go and see [customers] gum boots and all, and wade through the mud, silt and water that had gone through their homes," she says. "It was about helping them with their claims, but also to support people and show we were there for them."
The career events that stick out in Sara's mind always seem to involve relationships formed on the job. One instance was when an elderly couple in Christchurch suffered a house fire and lost everything, including their dog.
"We offered a lot of support to them," she explains. "And we got to know them quite well, in the following weeks, as we managed the claim."
The couple were so happy with their experience with AMI they later introduced their new puppy to staff and delivered chocolates as a gesture of thanks.
"It was a very rewarding experience. Something horrible happened to them, but what came of it was really nice."
Being on your side
Sara's got dozens of stories after decades working in the industry, but after all these years she reckons her job is simple. It's all about being there for people when times are tough, and they need support.
"We have the contacts and the people to help, and if we can't directly help or don't know the answer we'll go away and find out," she says. "That's something we all do."