How I Became an Insurance Broker, and Why I Stayed
I started my career in insurance shortly after returning to Canada in the fall of 2019. I had been teaching English as a second language in South Korea for four years and didn’t have a plan for my next step. I heard through the family that insurance brokerages in Ontario were hiring, and I decided to give it a shot; though, at the time, I wasn’t convinced it was for me. isure Insurance broker hired me in October of that year, and within a few short weeks, I was sold: this was the right career for me.
If you have thought about working in the insurance industry, or are looking for a new and interesting opportunity, a career as an insurance broker may be right for you too.
“How did you become an insurance broker?”
In researching this article, I asked my colleagues how they became involved in insurance and received a surprising variety of responses. Some studied business or finance in college or university, or had experience working for a brokerage as a co-op student. A career as a broker was a logical next step. One colleague told me he used to work directly for an insurer, but switched into a broker role because he preferred to work for the clients and provide a service for them. Some colleagues, like me, just fell into the industry, learning of opportunities through friends or family already working in insurance.
The doors of the insurance industry seemed wide open for everyone, whether they intended to begin a career there or just found themselves doing it one day. What interested me was the fact no matter how people started their career as a broker, there was something about the work that made them want to keep doing it. This lead to my next question:
“What made you stay an insurance broker?”
For me, the turning point was the commitment to ongoing development and education. I learned that as an insurance broker, there would be nearly endless opportunities to further my knowledge of the product and the industry as a whole. Ongoing seminars, continuing education courses, and industry designations such as the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) and Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) appealed greatly to me. One colleague commented, “the industry is always changing, and so you are always learning even 10 years into the business.”
Some brokers also said they enjoyed the variety that the job provides. One commercial broker said, “you can learn something new every day whether it’s underwriting related, wording or coverage–related, or even claim related.” As a broker, you are met with challenging situations daily, many of which require creative solutions to help suit our clients’ needs. Insurance is a complicated product and difficult to navigate at times, and being able to help our clients in this way is highly rewarding.
Commitment to helping our clients was a universal response to why my colleagues and I wanted to pursue a career as an insurance broker. As brokers, we work directly for the client, not for the insurance company. We have a fiduciary responsibility to our insureds and put their needs first. Brokers are also committed to ethical principles and codes of conduct: personal values such as honesty, sincerity, integrity and competence.
“What sets isure apart?”
Lastly, I wanted to know what made isure a unique place to work for my colleagues. As a new employee, I was struck by how committed isure was to my personal development. I have access to resources that allowed me to improve in my job performance, and a supportive management team was always available if I had questions or needed assistance. I never felt overwhelmed by the tasks given to me and always felt comfortable in my work environment. isure also sponsored my education and helped me obtain my RIBO license, allowing me to move quickly from an administrative role into the role of a Personal Lines Broker. Today, I am confident that isure considers my goals and is committed to my career advancement.
My colleagues shared my opinion, commenting that isure “has always had a family feel; everyone who works here genuinely cares about each other and tries to help each other out.” Others remarked upon the many opportunities to learn and move up roles within the brokerage. Working in the insurance industry can be challenging and stressful at times, yet isure’s atmosphere has always been one of calm and positivity. One of my colleagues commented on the positive and friendly interactions he has had with his managers, which he appreciated compared to the overly rigid and strict work environments he has experienced in the past.
The key to maintaining this positive environment is isure’s policy of open and honest communication with all employees. Our CEO, Dario Battista, holds regular company-wide conferences in which we discuss the goals of the brokerage, the state of the insurance industry as a whole, and strategies we can all pursue to assist our clients better. Each manager takes the time to meet regularly with their team and ensure they have all the resources necessary to be successful. isure invests in its employees, and so they also invest in their clients.
So if you find yourself looking for an interesting and engaging challenge, a positive and productive working environment and a commitment to professional career development, you may find a career as an insurance broker is where you belong too.
Tags: Careers • Insurance Brokers