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!