Jo Willaert

Corporate Risk Manager at Agfa-Gevaert

Don’t ask Jo Willaert to define this instinct. ‘It has a lot to do with gut feeling,’ explains Agfa-Gevaert’s Corporate Risk Manager. ‘Vanbreda excels in the technical details, while only rarely advertising the fact. A broker will surpass itself when the joint adventure between insurer and client is successfully concluded.’

As a former broker himself, Jo Willaert knows better than most that the insurance world is a people’s business. ‘You need someone who you can throw in your lot with and who you can trust implicitly. My broker shouldn’t attempt to play up to me. It should tell me straight when I’m mistaken. And Vanbreda is prepared to propose solutions that go against a client’s wishes. It has led to some serious discussions.’

A good example of this is the criminal proceedings insurance. ‘I didn’t see the point of that kind of cover at the time. But you nevertheless convinced us. In the meantime, we’ve had to make use of this policy twice already. This is now dealt with directly with the insurer and not through the broker. Which just goes to show that you put the client first and are not out to get us to pay unnecessary costs.’

Agfa-Gevaert is a Belgian multinational that develops, manufactures and sells analogue and digital imaging and IT systems for the graphic industry, health care and industrial markets. The company employs almost 10,500 people worldwide, of which more than 3,000 in Belgium. ‘Vanbreda manages the hospitalisation insurance of all our Belgian employees and their families, apart from accident and expat insurances. In recent years, I’ve actually been hospitalised a couple of times myself and the service your team provides is really excellent. Your call centre is staffed by caring people who sort out everything to do with a stay in hospital within a few days.’

Jo Willaert particularly appreciates the local approach of Vanbreda. ‘You don’t have to focus on reporting to the head office on the other side of the ocean. You have the freedom and flexibility that other brokers don’t have, making Vanbreda easier to steer than a large international tanker.’

As president of FERMA (Federation of European Risk Management Associations) and board member of BELRIM (Belgian Risk Management Association), Jo Willaert is often in contact with other risk managers. ‘When a colleague asks me which broker could arrange their D&O insurance, I always advise them to also get in touch with Vanbreda.’

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