In this edition of A Day In The Life, we aim to give readers an idea of what life looks like in the typical day of an insurance broker
. To that aim, we have surveyed Albert Peterson a wholesale broker working for Burns & Wilcox Ltd, the largest independent insurance wholesaler and MGA in North America. We will discuss Albert’s role, what a typical day looks like, what traits lead to success as a broker and give a snapshot of a typical day in the life of an insurance broker.
are responsible for facilitating insurance transactions. Typically, this involves assisting a potential insured with their purchase of insurance coverage from an insurance company. Insurance Brokers can work for retail insurance agencies, wholesale brokerage companies, among other areas. Brokers aim to ensure that insureds find insurance coverages that appropriately match their needs and exposure, based on the insured’s business operations. Wholesale Brokers
work with a retail insurance agents, rather than working directly with individual insureds.
What is your current position? How long have you been in it? How did you find it?
- Wholesale Brokers work with insurance agents rather than individual insureds.
- Wholesale Brokers typically have access to dozens of insurance carriers to help find coverage for hard-to-place clients.
- Key traits of a wholesale insurance broker:
Communication, to detail, organization, and competitive drive
I am a Broker, specializing in Professional Lines (E&O, D&O, EPLI, Cyber, Fiduciary, Crime, etc.) I work for Burns & Wilcox Ltd. I am based out of Minneapolis, MN and have worked for Burns & Wilcox for 6 years. I began my career by working into a Commercial Underwriter position. In that position, Commercial Lines included General Liability, Property, Inland Marine, Excess Liability and Professional Lines. I gained experience working with various lines of business and had authority to underwrite with a variety of carriers. Through my work with all of the various lines of coverage, I discovered that E&O, Cyber, D&O, EPLI were the most interesting to me. I engaged in the RPLU designation to learn more about those coverages. Pursuing the RPLU designation further expanded my interest in Professional Lines. From there I began to focus on Professional Lines and transitioned into the role of Broker.
My role as a wholesale broker is to help independent insurance agents find coverage for their Professional Lines clients. That means utilizing my relationships with various insurance carriers to help get quotes for different insureds. Typically, independent agents will try to place coverage with their direct markets (those that they can contact directly or have authority to bind business with). If the agent is unable to place an account directly, they then send the account to their favorite wholesale broker(s). A broker’s ability to quickly find coverage for an account and effectively communicate with the agent is what separates good brokers from mediocre ones. Brokers must also act as an expert by helping break down the differences in quotes from various companies. Analyzing each insured’s exposure and helping to find appropriate coverage for them is very satisfying.
Snapshot of a Typical Day
8AM – 9AM |
Arrive at desk. Review my submissions inbox and work on New Business quoting and follow-up on the inquiries I sent to my markets yesterday.
Catch up on industry news.
Follow-up on last week's accounts.
10AM – 11AM |
Open inbox and check emails. As a broker, I typically send/receive over 100 emails in a day; so waiting to open my inbox until I have already completed some tasks is a great way to make sure I am productive but also responsive.
11AM – 12PM |
Call clients. I try to call 10 agents per day to touch base, give market updates, help solve problems, etc. During the pandemic, this has proven to be a very important habit. I also try to schedule 2 video meetings per week with my clients.
12PM – 1PM |
Continue working on responding to emails, handling new business submissions.
1PM – 2PM |
Eat lunch. Take my dog for a walk around the block. This helps me reset for the afternoon. After walking my dog, I typically look at my inbox and then try to tackle any urgent tasks.
2PM – 3PM |
Most of my video conferences are scheduled for the afternoon; this tends to be the best time for my clients. If I have a video conference, I will prepare beforehand by looking at the recent successes our office has had with this client, the history we have had for the last 2 years and using that history to get an idea on the market trends that I should discuss.
3PM – 4PM |
Respond to more emails or phone calls.
4PM – 5PM |
Check my inbox to make sure all urgent tasks have been handled and submissions have been forwarded to my carrier partners so we can receive quotes in the morning. I make sure all of my new submissions are addressed before signing off for the day.
What does your day typically consist of?
My days vary drastically depending on what calls I am making, what accounts I am working on and what meetings I have. Typically, I go out and physically visit 10 agencies per month, updating them on market trends, what areas I can assist them with and asking if they have any accounts I can help them place. I have been working remotely for the last several months so my days have changed to making around 10 phone calls to my various clients per day, rather than visiting in-person. Aside from phone calls, I send and receive a lot of emails each day. As a wholesale broker, I am communicating with various insurance carriers and independent insurance agents on each account I work on, so clear communication is very important for me. One of the most important aspects.
What is one misconception about your position?
The biggest misconception I see is often from the independent agencies that don’t trust wholesalers. Until we have a strong relationship and I have proven that I can be a valuable asset in the marketing process, many independent agencies have the perception that wholesalers are trying to sell the most expensive products available. In reality, my goal is to help find the best option for each individual client. If I can help my client place an account, everyone in the process wins.
How do you achieve work life balance?
We are in a work-from-home model currently so I try to take my dog for a walk most days and try to go outside and play fetch with her if I am feeling distracted. She helps me mentally reset and brings a lot of joy to my day. She can also be distracting and sometimes speaks out of turn during phone calls and video meetings; but you take the good with the bad.