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Our Data & Analytics whizz Rachel Pearson blogs on the best things about working at the ABI

RachelPearson240x273.jpgTell us about your role at the ABI – what do you do and why?

I work in the Data & Analytics team, and my role is to oversee all of the General Insurance data collections. The stats we produce are used by the ABI for lobbying and comms work, and also by our members and subscribers for their own interests. It varies from our regular data collections – estimating the size of the market, or looking at what the average driver pays for their motor insurance – to more ad-hoc collections needed for a specific policy, or event.  

Most of my time is spent trying to understand what is happening in the market, and why. I work closely with our members to gain their perspective, and also spend time researching and using other data sets to build a better picture of the market. Turning a data set into an engaging and interesting output is really rewarding, particularly when you see it in use in the media!

What’s been your highlight and what’s been your most challenging moment?

I’m going to cheat here and say that the most challenging moments are actually my highlights. When the Civil Liability Act was going through Parliament, figuring out how to assess the various possible financial impacts of the Act was incredibly challenging. It was brilliant to work on something that has such an impact on not just the insurance industry, but also to anybody who has been injured in an accident. The times where you are approaching a problem for the first time, where you are building something from scratch and you have no idea where to even start are massively challenging, but when you manage it and reach the end the payoff is incredible.

Where did you work before, how and why did you come to join the ABI?

Before joining the ABI I was working at a start-up called ZipJet, which was essentially the Deliveroo for dry cleaning. I was working in operations, so was involved in a little bit of everything, but my favourite part of the role was looking at our performance and how we were doing over time. I knew I wanted to spend more of my day working with data, so was really just looking for somewhere that would give me that chance. To be completely honest, I had never considered working in insurance – it was the role and the opportunity to build up my technical and analytical skills that drew me in.

What’s the best thing about working here?

I really, really don’t want to go cliché here and say the people (although I have met some incredible people). Therefore I’m going to say the copious amounts of free food, e.g.

  • When you get in early enough in the morning and get a banana from the kitchen before they all go
  • When there’s leftovers from event catering and you get pastries (and other extras)
  • When anyone bakes
  • When people have a birthday and bring in doughnuts
  • When people come back from holiday and bring sweets
  • Generally any other time that people bring in food (HR and Finance always seem to be well stocked)

The slight downside to this is that my desk is right in front of a snack table, so resisting the urge to mostly exist on treats is challenging.

What surprised you most about working here?

Before joining, I thought the insurance industry was:

  1. boring,
  2. full of middle-aged white men,
  3. heartless.


  1. I hadn’t considered the impact that insurance has on other industries – it impacts everything, which means there are constantly things to be aware of and to keep up with. Once you get started, the range of things you can look into and learn about and get involved in is a bit of a bottomless pit.
  2. The ABI constantly impresses me with its efforts to be inclusive and diverse, and to make the industry inclusive and diverse. Looking around at the ABI, it is full of diverse, interesting people.
  3. The ABI and the industry have surprised me about how much they care about its employees. There is such a focus on mental health and wellbeing – we’ve all done Mental Health Awareness Training and I’m a part of the ABI’s Health & Wellbeing group.

Describe your team in three words.

In no particular order – patient, intelligent, bonkers.

What does #OneABI mean to you?

It means helping out your colleague when they need it, and knowing that they will be there when you need it.

If you weren’t working at the ABI, what would be your second career?

I would love to set up an animal refuge for all of the pets that people don’t want to adopt/can’t look after anymore. I love a scroll through the Battersea website, or the Blue Cross, basically any website with animals on it!

Are you interested in joining the ABI team? Find out more about our current vacancies here.

Last updated 05/08/2019