22 September 2020
If you live in or around Gawler in South Australia, Damian Brook is probably a familiar face. A home-grown insurance expert, known for his integrity and commitment to his clients and community, it’s clear why Damian is so well-recognised and respected in his hometown.
Damian said, “My approach is pretty simple – treat people with respect and provide them with honest advice and you can’t go wrong.”
It’s a philosophy that has served him well over a 35-year career in insurance, which began after he took up a job in the city fresh out of high school.
Damian’s hard work fuelled his success across a variety of insurance roles in the years that followed, including one role that saw him help pioneer insurance protecting Australia’s sporting community.
“I was lucky enough to be part of the team that set up the first national insurance program protecting Australian Rules Football clubs and their players. That was almost eighteen years ago, whilst working for an international broker. Soon after, we used the same model to create programs for Netball Australia and Cricket Australia.”
Damian returned to Gawler in 2007 and joined the Elders Insurance team in his hometown. Today he and his business partners run Elders Insurance Gawler, Barossa and Clare Valley alongside their dedicated team, where getting to know their clients is at the heart of what they do.
Damian said, “There’s no typical client we deal with – we’re a diverse community so it’s really about genuinely getting to know each client and their business. Growing up and living here, I know the area and its people well – I think that makes a big difference.”
Supporting his clients through the tough times is both the “hardest and most rewarding part of his work,” said Damian.
“One recent Sunday morning my phone rang at about 1:00am. I just knew something wasn’t right. When I picked up, it was one of my clients – he had been asleep in his truck, in a parking bay during a long haul, when he was side swiped by another truck. The accident caused a fair bit of damage”
He was okay but understandably rattled, said Damian who provided support through the emergency response and claims process.
“I was glad to be there to talk him through it, I think talking to someone he knew and trusted in a situation like that was a relief,” said Damian.
He was also there every step of the way for his clients impacted by the 2015 Pinery bushfires.
Damian said, “It was devastating to see the aftermath of those fires. I worked with families through the rebuilding process – you do everything you can to help get them back on their feet and you really form a special bond. It’s unimaginable what they went through.”
Supporting those families was one of the most meaningful times of his career added Damian.
Recently, Damian’s been concentrating his efforts towards supporting customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been doing everything we can for customers that are struggling – things like reducing and deferring premium payments - but it’s also been about being there to listen and talk things through,” explained Damian.
Damián’s commitment to his community also extends beyond insurance – Damian and his team are well known for supporting local clubs and initiatives in the area, including the Gawler Central Football Club where he volunteers.
“These days I’m Secretary of the club, which is an honour after working with and playing for the club for many years.”
When Damian’s not volunteering at the Gawler Football Club, you can find him spending his free time with his wife Louise and three grown kids, Caitlin, Bailey and Lachlan.
If you live or work in the Gawler area and would like to discuss your insurance needs, you can email Damian here.