Commercial Surety profileQ: How did your insurance career begin?

A: Honestly, I had never considered a career in insurance during my academic background. While I was finishing my CEGEP in Quebec City and had to enter University in the fall to do a major in German translation, I accepted a summer job in reinsurance. I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience and the management asked me if I wanted to continue with them…and I agreed! Three years later, the company made the decision to transfer all its “international” business lines to Montreal and we had the opportunity to follow or not, which I did. In 1990, following several major losses, management closed the reinsurance department and relocated employees to various sectors, that’s when I started my career in Surety.

Q: What has been the biggest change in the insurance industry since you started at Trisura?

A:  Our industry has changed a lot in the last several years, except our interpersonal relations with brokers, which remains the essential element; the heart of our business relationships. I would be tempted to tell you that everything is very different, especially technologies that have greatly evolved and which have also improved our working methods. It goes without saying that the needs of our brokers / clients are very different and evolve rapidly according to the economic situation, and at the world level. The ways to transact business have been refined and are much more structured: objectives, action plans, business development strategies, education, training and presentation…we must combine our underwriting skills with those of sales in order to maintain profitable growth and to be able to acquire more market share. Competition is a more present element these days. The automation of clerical tasks allows us to devote ourselves more actively to the development of business and the search for new products.

Q:  What is one thing brokers need to learn about underwriters?

A: The principal role of the underwriter is to perform pre-qualification work, deciding which risks to accept or decline according to several criteria, and determining the appropriate premium according to our obligations related to our different products. Our decisions are made according to our different appetites and to ensure profitable growth. Our biggest concern is to listen to the needs of our brokers and find profitable solutions for their clients in order to establish sustainable  relationships and share our expertise to achieve our common goals.

Q: What is one thing underwriters need to learn about brokers?

A: As an underwriter and business partner, we must keep in mind that our brokers expect us to provide excellent service. Speed of execution is essential. We must work to satisfy these requirements, have an open mind and look at all possible opportunities. I believe that our primary concern is to ensure that we get to know each broker firm closely in order to best determine their needs and to be able to provide innovative solutions adapted to their clients. In my opinion,  our approach needs to be more receptive and imaginative, in order to stand out from other markets.

Q: What role will technology have in the future of commercial surety?

A: The pace of technological change, since  the time I’ve been working,  is only a shadow of what we will see over the next 15 to 20 years. This next wave of change will fundamentally reshape all of our careers. Administrative functions as well as production roles will experience considerable declines. Conversely, business and financial operations, as well as computer and mathematical functions, will experience significant increases. Especially in the area of commercial bonds, I believe that Trisura has judiciously positioned the company by developing a portal to facilitate the work of our brokers. We consider this tool to be the best solution for them in order to increase their business volume, reduce administrative burdens while promoting good environmental values. At Trisura, we see ourselves as a leader in how we use technology and we commit ourselves to remain so.  We are positioned for the future, particularly for the issuance of electronic bonds; a practice that will soon become the norm in our industry. Systems such as our portal allow us to facilitate program management and increase productivity with less staff footwork, more cost reduction and increases in growth.

Q: What do brokers need to do to prepare for success in the future?

A: Our brokers will necessarily have to revisit their way of doing things and move on to business at higher speeds by using the advanced technologies we can offer them. Considering that many insurers now offer their products online and give direct access to consumers, our insurance brokers will have to make choices by partnering with the best insurers who will likely be able to help them to conserve and serve their customers well.

 

Q: Finally, what is your favourite thing about the city of Montréal?

A: This is an excellent question, very difficult to just have one favorite! Montréal has so many attractions, all of which are different and interesting, for which we love this city! There is a lot of diversity: gastronomy, wines and nightlife – concerts, shows – parks and nature – Old Montreal, Little Italy, etc …However, since I am a girl who appreciates nature and the outdoors, I would say that Mount Royal would be one of my favorite places! This beautiful natural park allows us to escape in the middle of nature .. and this, in the heart of the city!