Get to know our team: A passion for delivering exceptional client service – Dawson’s Rotorua welcomes James Smith

Working as an insurance broker can be a tough gig, from navigating legalese in policy wordings, to understanding client exposures and balancing these with risk appetites and insurers, its not all sunshine and roses.  That’s why it’s always so refreshing to have a conversation with an insurance broker like James Smith, and be reminded of why brokers do what they do – because they love to help clients through the good and the bad times.


With more than twenty years in the insurance industry, James has experience on both sides of the fence so to speak, being employed by various local and international insurers at the start of his career, and then moving into insurance broking in 2013. James saw the move to an insurance broker as the next logical step in his career.
“Having a great technical understanding of insurance and what covers a client might need from my time with insurers gave me a great launch pad to becoming a broker.  I developed good relationships with brokers and through this gained a better understanding of what they did and how they help clients,” he said.

Being a people’s person, James saw how brokers were able to connect with and help clients and this really appealed to him. He had this to say when remembering the change:
“Starting out as a broker did come with some nervousness, because there is of course a lot of responsibility that comes with advising someone about their risks and insurance. I realised early on that building a relationship with a client as a trusted advisor was and is so important.”


Developing client relationships is a highlight for James and when asked to reflect on his broking career is an aspect he still places at the core of what he does:
“I still love to help a client with a new venture or project. Getting involved from the start of something and watching it develop and change over time, and being there to help manage the risks along the way is something I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed.”


The insurance market is changing, and it can be challenging to stay up to date. “In the current financial environment its more important than ever for clients to regularly check their sum insured. Previously, clients with property could obtain a valuation every two years. I’m now advising clients to get a new valuation every year. I aim to be in touch with all my clients on a regular basis, its great to catch-up and also make sure that I’m up to date with any recent changes in their circumstances and new purchases.”


“We’re delighted to welcome James to the Dawson team. It’s really exciting to have a broker of his calibre join and add to our great crew and we look forward to introducing him to our clients in the coming months,” said Dawson’s Managing Director, Denis Marriner.

If you’d like to chat to James about your insurance needs, big or small, you can reach him at 07 348 0479 or on

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(07) 348 0479

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Lakesyde Business Centre
1182 Whakaue Street

161 Commerce Street

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