Philip Chandler, Senior Travel Underwriter, has recently joined the Topsail Australia team and is based on the East coast in Sydney, following six years as a Travel Underwriter in the Lloyd’s of London Insurance Market. We took ten minutes and asked ten questions to get to know him better.
When did you start with Topsail? I started with the Topsail team at the beginning of August this year.
Where are you from? I grew up in a little village near Southampton in the UK, then went to UCL in London and lived there for nine years before moving to Sydney.
Where were you working before you came to Topsail? After graduating in Geography at UCL in 2011, I worked for Zurich Insurance in their Global Corporate team as an Assistant Personal Accident & Travel Underwriter, insuring some of the largest companies around the world. After three years I moved to Sompo Canopius which is a Lloyd’s Syndicate as an Underwriter, working in the same class of insurance. One of the schemes we underwrote was the Topsail Travel accounts for the UK and Australia and when I spoke with Topsail Director’s Chris and Rob in the that I planned on moving to Sydney, it seemed a natural fit to come and work with them.
How has your first few months been? It’s definitely been a steep learning curve, but helps that I am very familiar with the travel policy wording having helped to write it! The team who works for Topsail is one of its great strengths and even though I’m the only employee in Sydney they’ve helped me settle in, especially with Dan coming over from the Perth office to join me in attending a very successful Sydney Boat Show. Mark and Cathy have been really helpful in Perth as well and I’m really looking forward to working with them. I’ve also been getting into sailing and have signed up to crew once a week in Sydney Harbour.
Did you enjoy the Sydney Boat Show? It was great to meet and get to know some of our existing clients, and chatting with them was the best possible introduction I could have asked for.
What do you feel you bring to the team? My experience in Underwriting travel insurance and my relationship with our Underwriters at Sompo Canopius in the UK (my former colleagues) has already proven helpful in getting the best possible terms for our clients and I will continue doing this with each and every customer. I’m also hugely enthusiastic about the potential of the Australian Company and this is one of the key reasons I wanted to be a part of it.
What are you looking forward to the most? I’m most looking forward to speaking to customers and brokers, showcasing our excellent range of products and customer service and having the satisfaction of providing a quality travel product specifically for sailors which I think is unmatched in Australia. I can’t pretend I’m not looking forward to a bit of sailing as well!
What are your hobbies? I’m a passionate sportsman, in particular cycling, running and swimming so I’m looking to get involved in some triathlons and other events in Australia. I also like to explore new places, so have a pretty long list to start ticking off - starting with a weekend hiking and camping in the Blue Mountains.
Where is your favourite place to go in Sydney? My partner Samantha have not been here long so still a lot to explore. So far though it would be the 10km Spit to Manly walk with some friends of ours, finishing off with a drink by the beach in Manly.
Tell us something no one knows about you? I ran the Paris Marathon in 2012 and was so tired afterwards I fell asleep for an hour just after crossing the finishing line. I was late to meet everyone afterwards which made me pretty unpopular, but at least I beat my brother…