How did you get started in the insurance industry?
I had an initial interest in statistics in high school which led to an interest in actuarial science. I ended up landing an underwriting internship with CNA, then chose pivot into underwriting after realizing it was a better fit for me. After graduating from college, I completed an underwriting trainee program where I was already assigned to my current professional liability team.
Can you give a description of your current role?
I am an Underwriting Specialist for Accountants Professional Liability at CNA Insurance. Our program is the market leader for Accountants Professional Liability, and we are on the carrier side of an MGU relationship. We underwrite CPA firms across the spectrum, from the top 50 firms in the country to sole practitioners working part time performing tax services. I have been with the team for just over three years, and while I do not currently have a territory, I continue to strengthen my underwriting discipline by working with my coworkers, and have worked on a multitude of projects to support the program, including a countrywide filing for three new endorsements, providing training for the MGU underwriters and account executives, and revising marketing materials and applications.
What are the most relevant/important skills someone looking to follow your career path should work on developing?
Communication is key- both with your writing and verbally! Analytical skills, reading comprehension, and the ability to quickly pick up underwriting or CRM systems comes in handy. General insurance knowledge is also helpful, and an attitude to continue to learn about the industry and the risks you write.
What advice do you have for someone not currently in your career field that has an interest in following your career path?
While an underwriting trainee program is not required to enter this career path, I think they are a really strong option- especially those that have longer than 6-12 weeks of devoted training. Going through the program allowed time for me to build a really solid foundation of insurance knowledge, and kept me from feeling overwhelmed when I earned my authority.
Is it a good time for someone new to join the industry?
Definitely! The industry is evolving, and there is a lot of movement and available roles.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love being able to focus in on a single industry of insureds, CPAs, and develop deep knowledge as a specialist rather than a generalist. I also enjoy working on projects with individuals from many parts of the company, including Legal, Marketing, IT, Actuarial, Claim, Risk Control, and more!