The Kids Are Alright

The Kids Are Alright

I recently spoke with a group of about twenty young up-and-coming insurance professionals from a dozen or so insurers, brokers and reinsurers, including two from Trisura.  They were participating in a Leadership Learning Circle initially sponsored by Andrew Steen of Berkeley which features monthly networking and joint shared learning experiences including the rather unique opportunity to meet and speak with the CEO’s of the supporting companies.

What struck me right away when I met this group is that if this impressive array of young insurance talent is in any way representative of the future of our industry, then we are in great shape and good hands.  Courteous, attentive, professional, friendly, well-mannered and well educated, intelligent, eager to get ahead, and demonstrating a look you in the eye while introducing themselves and the company they represent while shaking hands firmly kinda group.  Very impressive.

Second, they asked great questions and were genuinely interested in both the industry and even what I had to say.  They demonstrated a passion for the industry, and that alone will take them far, but they showed me even more.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was, by far, the elder statesman in the room.  Of course, I don’t really feel like the old guy, but slowly and surely I am coming to the realization that, unfortunately, I am.  This cohort of young up-and-comers are not from my generation (in the event you care, I am from the tail end of the baby boomers, which was not the end to be at by the way, because most of the good jobs were gone when I hit the work force….but I digress) – they are at least one and more often two or even three behind (or ahead, depending on one’s point of view) – but they clearly now represent the future of our industry.

When I fell into the insurance industry over 30 years ago, I had no idea what a truly wonderful business it was – complex, challenging, interesting, relationship oriented, vital to both the economy and to people who have suffered loss (or wish to avoid it!).  Sadly, the industry got short shrift then, and that stigma continues to some extent today.  Our industry is sometimes looked down upon or looked over by many, primarily because they just don’t understand how great it really is.

However, when I broke into the business in the late 1980’s, I distinctly recall my surprise at discovering that the industry did not always attract A level players, and I remember feeling pretty confident that, given the somewhat shallow talent pool, if I worked hard, here was an industry in which even I could succeed.  By the way, I am somewhat more confident in my abilities today than I was when I was 23 but that’s another story.

Fast forward to today.  In my opinion, the industry is in better shape now than it has ever been.  Today’s new entrants are better educated, more rounded and worldly, and possessing better soft skills (presentation, negotiation, networking and the like) and certainly better technology skills than the average recruit possessed back in my day.  They are brighter, more intelligent and more capable than my generation.  I also believe that the secret is getting out – that more and more young folks are considering insurance as not only a viable and potentially attractive career choice, but also a profession of choice.

My generation is now retiring in droves – those early boomers with the plum opportunities are now heading off for even greener pastures and along with them is going a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience.  This happens to coincide with the greatest amount of change ever seen in the insurance industry with the technological advances now being made that most certainly will impact how the business is underwritten, distributed and processed in the days and years ahead.

The world lost a remarkable man recently with the passing of Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist, who stated “intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”. I believe the opportunities available to the wave of young people who are today entering our industry and making their way through it are boundless, particularly for those who exhibit Stephen Hawking’s “intelligence” and have the attitude and grit to go along with it.  Some of them, including a number of the twenty I met last week, and a whole host of folks I am proud to work with here at Trisura, will shape and change this industry for the better.

The kids are, indeed, alright and, as Nina Simone once sang, “It’s a new dawn…And I’m feeling good”.

 

 

The Crucial Role of HR in Insurance

 

JOE: The crucial role that HR departments play in organizational success is becoming increasingly obvious, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the insurance industry. Having won multiple best employer awards in recent years, Trisura clearly has a good formula for keeping its staff happy and engaged. IBTV visited the Trisura HR team to find out how they do it.

CINDY:  Some of the things that we really value, our value proposition is really important and, you know, it’s how we hire people, we bring in the best that we can find, we keep those people. We listen, really, to what people want. What’s important to them in a work environment. People spend a lot of time here, we want them to enjoy it…and I think it’s things like, without getting too specific on programs,  but it’s things like flexible work, it’s things like, again, really listening to what employees might want.  It’s being able to work with other competent people in the industry. And I think it’s really giving people ownership in the work that they do every day, and people really know that they are contributing to the success of Trisura. We’ve been successful since inception and I really believe comes down to that culture and it comes down to the ownership  and the responsibility that people are allowed to take. We want them to do that. That’s the best way that we can serve our customers is by giving that ownership to people every single day.

JOE: HR teams have much to consider when recruiting new staff. Because making the wrong appointment can have a significantly adverse effect. Weighing out the value of experience and qualifications against things like personality and likability are key considerations.

WENDY: You know, when we’re looking for somebody to join our team,  finding the right fit is essential and that really comes down to values; finding somebody who really can get behind the same sort values we have here at Trisura, that’s the most important thing.  So we’ve really made it a goal of ours to balance finding the right experience, but also finding the right fit for our team…and balancing that out, so finding some people that bring that new perspective, that new energy and don’t necessarily come from within the industry and then balancing that with people that have deep expertise from being in the industry for many years. And I think by doing that we’ve managed to get a really successful team.

JOE: Millennials are known  for wanting to work with companies that share their values, and for companies that want to attract the top talent, this is not something to be overlooked.

JENNIFER: Yeah, within the first couple months, I knew I had made the right choice in joining Trisura. It’s been great since day 1, I really feel part of that family-oriented team. I’ve been included in many meetings, many decision-makings, I know that my opinion has been heard – which is a great feeling for a new graduate starting out their career in such an early stage. I feel challenged everyday which is a great feeling,  and from a career standpoint and a personal standpoint it really makes me fortunate that I work here.

Employee Feature – Patricia Fu

Employee Feature – Patricia Fu

Q: How did you get started in the insurance industry? What drew you in/how did you get drawn in?

A: As with many others in this business, I “fell into insurance”. My mom did not believe in summer vacations. So, over 20 years ago, I started working at my aunt’s brokerage. As much as I didn’t agree with my mom back then when all my friends were enjoying sunny days outside and backpacking trips, I truly am thankful as this road has made me a stronger person every day. When I joined Trisura in 2009 – the early days, I took the plunge and challenged myself to grow together with the young company and am incredibly proud of where we are today. Thanks to the supportive team we have, I’ve seen myself grow immensely!

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing brokers & underwriters today?

A: The never-ending soft market and direct-to-consumer insurance products. No matter what insurance product you are focused on – cyber, technology E&O, D&O, etc, – every day is a challenge. With new market players seemingly around every corner, there is increased competition for market share constantly driving premiums down – even when losses are climbing. With direct-to-consumer insurance products emerging, the challenge for brokers and companies like Trisura who are dedicated to the broker distribution channel, is to create and add value. Many products are becoming commoditized. As a result, brokers and underwriters are challenged to focus on selling a service, creating and adding value wherever possible. I believe the underwriters at Trisura excel by partnering with key brokers in creating value where it is needed most and I am proud to be a part of this team.

Q:  What is the number 1 trait of an underwriter that makes brokers want to do business with them?

A: I believe brokers value product and market knowledge. Knowing your products and understanding how exposures can be covered will enable an underwriter to tailor a solution for the client. Providing the best solution that we are able with our arsenal of products, this will establish a level of trust between the broker and underwriter. In addition, when an underwriter is in tune with the market, they are able to assist the broker in pointing out selling points to convey to their client and help win the account.

Q: What is the most effective strategy for brokers and underwriters to form a successful partnership?

A: Open communication is key to establishing and maintaining a successful partnership. I find that many people hide behind the security of emails but the essence of a successful partnership can lie behind a simple phone call or face to face meeting.  It is easy to communicate key items over the phone, whether it be looking for more information, finalizing the details of a deal or conveying an issue on an account. Communicating over the phone or in person can also can lead to fun conversations where you may learn something about your business partner that you might not have know otherwise!

Q: Ok those were some tough questions, now for a little fun.

Road trip or stay-cation? Airplane to go explore!

Cold beer or root beer? Neither – alcoholized red grape juice.

Netflix or Cineplex? Netflix.

Dogs or cats? Dogs! I have one with quite the personality name Wylie (IG: @wyliefluffpants)

Tim Hortons or Starbucks? Starbucks – currently in love with Teavana’s Defence tea with honey! Or the Matcha Green Tea Latte with almond milk.

Onstage or backstage? Backstage – that’s where the real work gets done!

Peanut butter or Nutella? Nutella.

Pizza with pineapple or Pizza without pineapple? Without pineapple please!

Updates to Trisura’s Contractor Bond Portal

Updates to Trisura’s Contractor Bond Portal

The following updates have been made to the Contractor Bond Portal, and can be seen on the portal effective immediately:

 

Renewals

Accounts on the portal can now be renewed without having to submit the account as new again. All information that was submitted on the initial account set up is now retained, saving duplicate entry efforts. Only the financial information on the account has to be updated to renew the facility.

When an account is up for renewal, you will be notified by your local underwriter. You may also simply log into the portal to see what is coming up for renewal under the ‘Accounts’ tab. To renew an account, simply:

  • Open the account
  • Click the Renew button (shown on the right)
  • Review & complete the application form questions

The account will be submitted through Trisura’s underwriting engine again to determine if the account is approved for the upcoming term.

Accounts are able to be renewed up to 1 year after the account goes DORMANT – that doesn’t mean the account is in good standing and bonds can be applied for. It means that the account can be submitted through the portal up to 1 year after dormancy.

 

Closing Bid Bonds

Bid bonds can now be closed without having to upload any documentation. Simply open the bid bond that needs to be closed and click “Close Bond” under the “What Can I Do Here?” section to close the bond.

Closing bid bonds will close out the balance that goes towards the account’s total limits.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company remains a Full Partner of the Broker Identity Program for 2018

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company remains a Full Partner of the Broker Identity Program for 2018

Toronto, March 5, 2018 – The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) is pleased to announce that Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company has maintained its support of the Broker Identity Program (BIP) at the Full Partner level.

Launched in 1988, the mission of the Broker Identity Program is to raise awareness of the insurance broker distribution network and promote the value and professionalism of brokers to consumers, insurers and governments. The program’s centrepiece is the magenta BIPPER logo, a widely recognized symbol representing the choice, advice, and advocacy that brokers bring to their clients.

“The “Tri” in the name Trisura represents to us the three party relationship between our brokers, their customers and ourselves. We are a broker company because we believe independent brokers are of vital importance to the insurance process and in representing the needs and best interests of insureds. IBAC plays a critical role in supporting insurance brokers across Canada and we at Trisura are pleased to continue our involvement with the Broker Identity Program.” said Mike George, Trisura’s President & CEO.

IBAC Chief Executive Officer Peter Braid added: “Trisura understands the benefits of branding in promoting the value of insurance brokers. Their renewed investment demonstrates a strong commitment to providing excellent customer service through the broker channel, and we greatly appreciate their continued support.”

About Trisura Guarantee

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a Canadian specialty insurance and surety company with offices across Canada, providing customized solutions and expertise through a select broker network. Trisura Guarantee is uniquely positioned to satisfy Canadian risks in Contract, Commercial and Developer Surety, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity, Professional Liability including Media and Cyber Liability and Warranty products.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Trisura Group Ltd., a leading international specialty insurance provider operating in the surety, risk solutions, corporate insurance and reinsurance segments of the market. Trisura has three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Trisura International Insurance Ltd. and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company. Trisura is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “TSU”.

About IBAC

Founded in 1921, the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada is a federation of 11 provincial and regional associations of property and casualty insurance brokers across Canada. These associations represent approximately 36,000 insurance brokers in virtually every community across the country. As a not for profit organization, IBAC is neither an insurance company nor does it sell insurance products or represent insurance companies.

 

For further information, please contact:
Denys Bégin, Manager, Marketing & Advertising
Insurance Brokers Association of Canada
416-367-1831 or dbegin@ibac.ca
www.ibac.ca