PMC Northeast Regional Broker, Stephen Primiano, was recently recognized as one of New England’s Best and Brightest Young Insurance Agents by The Standard, the trusted source for New England Insurance news since 1865.
Below is the Q&A transcript from the article and Stephen’s insights for other young insurance agents:
Q. Please list any insurance designations you have:
Q. How did you get into the insurance industry?
A. I started in the industry about 11 years ago. My father owned a sales consulting firm (Polestar & Associates) that specialized in coaching insurance producers. I would spend summers interning & traveling with him to various agencies and had the opportunity to meet with producers & insurance executives. During this, I spoke with individual producers and executives and from this experience, I knew I wanted to be in this industry.
Q. What advice would you give to young people considering an insurance career?
A. I would say do it! This industry has so many facets and levels that are often missed by young people coming into the industry. It gives you the opportunity to learn about so many different industries. Unfortunately, there is an inaccurate perception of this industry that many think insurance is a mundane industry with slow-moving, stodgy people. Insurance is fast-paced, ever-changing, and exciting when you think that commerce cannot exist or comes to a halt without it. When you think of insurance from that lens, it’s mind-blowing the enormous role it plays on every business, large and small.
Q. What do you think the industry should do to attract new, young talent?
A. I think colleges should offer more majors dedicated to risk management and insurance. Oftentimes, like myself, college students find insurance after college just by happenstance while at a job fair or simply through a family friend. If more colleges allowed students to explore the industry it would allow them to explore insurance and see if it’s something they really want to do. Those that are interested would continue on and would be more prepared for a role within the industry upon graduation.
Q. Has the pandemic changed the way you do your job? How?
A. The pandemic has significantly affected how I communicate with clients. Traditional methods such as in-person meetings, conferences, and industry events have all come to a standstill. I have to heavily rely on technology to communicate with my current client base however this has also allowed me to engage with a much broader prospect pool.
Q. Do you think COVID-19 will bring any long-term changes to the insurance industry?
A. Absolutely, the workforce has moved to a completely remote environment and many organizations have proved they can thrive in this environment. I predict some job functions will stay remote even after the pandemic. Another significant change will be policy language specific to communicable diseases. Many carriers will certainly exclude the coverage however I also see specialty markets offering some sort of catastrophic coverage to cover such events.
Q. What part of your job do you like the best?
A. Having worked on the retail side of the business, I understand the specific needs of retail agents and have empathy for their never-ending quest to “deliver” for their clients. I will tell you that people in insurance tend to look out for each other – that there is a community aspect and a sense of the “group win”. What I enjoy most is working with my retail agents and doing whatever it takes to close a deal. Working as a wholesale broker, I want to prevent my retail agency partners from having to experience the pit-in-the-stomach feel that comes with having to convey news about not being able to place an account. The best part of the job is being able to deliver good news and celebrate the joy with my agent partners when we win an account due to a collaborative creative approach.
Q. If you could change one aspect of the insurance industry, what would it be?
A. What we need to change is what I call the “ease of doing business”. This industry gets so bogged down in forms, supplemental applications, Acord forms, and just overall requests for information on an account that we get stuck in an underwriting box and lose sight of the true risk itself.
Q. What coverage do you think more people should have? Why?
A. This pandemic has caused many employers to let their workforces go only to bring them back suddenly or at reduced staff with the possibility of the cycle repeating its self. Often times employers will let their Workers’ Compensation policy lapse for months at a time due to payment and cash flow needs. However, where this can be detrimental is when the insured then has an urgent need for coverage. Carriers do not like it gaps in coverage for any period of time and will eliminate many market options. I think more people (companies) should maintain their Workers’ Compensation coverage, even at reduced payrolls, rather than flat cancel the coverage.
Do you have clients that are trying to bounce back from Covid or had a lapse in Workers’ Comp coverage? Contact Stephen Primiano or read about what to do when your client has a lapse in coverage.