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No Longer Alone


Have you ever felt alone in the world?  I recently had a conversation with a co-worker that shook my perspective and made me realize that I am no longer alone.  While this may make you want to burst out in song and unleash your inner Barbara Streisand, let me explain.

Becoming a licensed insurance broker requires dedication to get through the grind of a series of exams before we are licensed to assist customers.  Once a new insurance broker is licensed and starts working with the general public, I would say their education starts all over again.  While there is good technical information, that we learn while completing training, on the history, details and coverage within the insurance industry, the next step in success is translating that information to our clients who come with questions, concerns and at times, frustrations with their insurance coverage.

I say this to point out the obvious fact: there are some things they just don’t teach you in school.  One of the unwritten things I believe we are simply expected to learn on our own are the perils of being an insurance broker.

It may start innocently enough with a paper cut, or an office injury while tripping on our own feet.  Enter in one of the scariest questions we are asked as insurance brokers – “can you please stop by this yard, home, business, office, etc. and take a few photos for their insurance company?”  While this seems like a very innocent request, I will now chuckle every time I hear a new staff member getting asked to take a few photos, as I know what is about to transpire.

I have been in the insurance business for eleven and a half years and there is seldom a time when taking a quick photo or two doesn’t turn into a much more entertaining story.  It starts with the homeowner charging out of their house asking what you are doing with a camera on their front lawn (even when you called five minutes before to get permission).  It then progresses to getting chased around a farmyard by an ambitious chicken named Roger whose only goal for the day is to prove who the real chicken is. It then elevates to the level where you have to pause photo-taking to allow an employee working in the facility to remove a brad nail from their finger.

While I had heard stories from a retired colleague of getting chased by a broom wielding client who did not appreciate the requirement of photos while out hanging laundry on the line, I questioned the validity of this story and thought it was likely too much of a stretch to actually be true. However, it wasn’t until last week when I finally realized that these stories are true, and I am no longer alone in my world of fear of taking photos.

Last week we had the opportunity to ask one of our new team members to stop by a few sites to obtain photos for the insurance company.  He came back to the office a day later still slightly terrified with a series of photos, and a treasure chest of stories.  Welcome to one of the scariest perils of being an insurance broker, if he can survive photo-taking, he is going to do very well in this business.

Is there something to learn from these light-hearted examples of the daily grind of being an insurance broker? The insurance industry is in a challenging place right now, and more than ever, we are being asked to provide information to insurers.  When insurance companies are working to improve profitability, one of the solutions they implement is increased scrutiny and accountability for their underwriters.  This is causing underwriters to want to fill in every detail and leave no stone unturned when looking to complete their work.  And you guessed it, one very common requirement we are being asked for is to provide updated photos.  Stay tuned for more stories as they unfold.

Is insurance simple? Do you have questions? Work with someone who will explain the differences and options to you to make the best decisions for your operation. Rempel Insurance Brokers Ltd. is open for business and glad to assist you with your insurance needs.

David Schmidt is an Account Executive at Rempel Insurance Brokers in Morris, MB, specializing in insuring farms and businesses across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. 

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