How Jamee's giving our customers a voice where it matters most
Inside the sandstone walls of Adelaide Magistrates Court, Suncorp’s Jamee Punter is negotiating on behalf of customers following their not-at-fault claims. It’s a role she never considered, but leaves her feeling empowered.
Jamee’s not a judge, but she is fighting for fair – and the best part is, she’s winning.
Having worked in Recoveries and Settlements for just shy of a decade, she knows the struggle of not being able to control the litigation outcomes for her customers. In her day-to-day role, she is the negotiator between customers and third parties, trying to claim back the cost of repairs from the at-fault party. Now, she’s giving them a voice where it matters most.
“About a year ago, I moved from Queensland to South Australia and was able to keep my role as a Recoveries and Settlement consultant. About six months later, a leader in my team reached out and said the assessor who had been doing our court work had moved on, and there was an opportunity to take their place,” she said.
These cases are not accompanied by legal representation in South Australian courts, so when it comes to standing up to the tribunal and arguing a case, it’s up to us. A challenging role – especially for those without a law degree – a lot of people shy away from the responsibility. Not Jamee.
“I was so excited. I have been doing my role for a long time and I love my job, but having that chance to break out of my comfort zone like this … I had never even considered it,” she said.
Jamee undertook extensive research and in just a couple of months, taught herself the law lingo, courtroom etiquette, what to do and what not to do.
“On my first day in court, I was so nervous. I had a lady from one of the solicitor firms we work with who had given me some initial training pick me up and take me to court to show me where to go. I had severe anxiety, but I was so thankful to have her there.
“I just had to tell myself, all I can do is present the evidence, and the judge will decide. So that’s what I did.”
A high court case to determine national precedence was happening at the same time, so Jamee never heard the outcome from that first day in court. But she’s won enough cases since to more than make up for it. And it’s not gone unnoticed.
“I have got some really great feedback from solicitors I have worked with, and some have even referred to me as an expert which is just crazy – these are solicitors I look up to. I am just on cloud nine!”
Her work week is now split into a few days in court, and a few in her regular role as a Recoveries and Settlements consultant, of which she says wouldn’t be possible without the support of her team mates and her leader who cover her queues while she’s in Victoria Square.
Jamee Punter, Recoveries & Settlements Consultant
If we couldn’t attend court, our customers would be losing out. If it weren’t for insurance companies like us being able to help, then that’s a direct hit to the customer. It’s our opportunity to achieve fairness for our customers.
“When I leave court, even if I don’t know the outcome yet, I feel very empowered, and I have not experienced that before. Having Her Honour say ‘I agree’ is so uplifting,” Jamee said.
“If we couldn’t attend court, our customers would be losing out. If it weren’t for insurance companies like us being able to help, then that’s a direct hit to the customer. It’s our opportunity to achieve fairness for our customers.”
She’s found her calling in a place she never thought to look, and Suncorp is behind her all the way.