How did you get into the insurance industry?
My sister helped me get a job in the mail room with General Accident. This was the first time I had an opportunity for a career as opposed to just a job. From the onset, I took advantage of every educational opportunity that was given to me and worked my way through accounting, rating and ultimately obtained the Commercial Underwriting position before General Accident was acquired. I was then hired by O’Connor Insurance some 20+ years ago and continued to increase my knowledge. “If you have a job to do you have to do it well!” There is no point at which you have learned all there is to learn.
What is one piece (or a couple pieces) of advice you give your clients?
Know what can happen and then decide how to deal with that threat. To simply hope it doesn’t happen or deal with it if it does can lead to financial ruin. I do not believe in hard selling, but simply try to let you know what can happen and the potential impact so you can make an informed decision on how best to deal with that exposure. If you choose not to insure that is fine, but that choice should be made after a cost/benefit analysis proves the potential impact justifies retaining that exposure. Also, there is no apples for apples. If you go to buy a car and one costs $10,000 and the other $50,000 you are probably getting something much more desirable with the greater cost. The same is true of insurance – focus on coverage first before comparing cost. Savings will be meaningless in the event a claim is denied that could have easily been covered for more premium.
What’s something you do outside of work that would surprise your co-workers or clients?
I consider myself to be reasonably gifted with words and write poetry with children’s poems being my favorite genre. However, I will write about anything that instills passion.