With eight years of professional experience and a CIP designation, Ashley Folk is dedicated to making an impact through her positive attitude, empathy, and sincere approach to the service she provides and the relationships she has built and maintains with brokers. She joined SGI CANADA in 2015 and worked her way up to her current role as a personal lines multi-line underwriter in Alberta. In her spare time, she enjoys concerts, yoga, and outdoor activities, and travelling to warm destinations.
“I feel extremely honoured and proud to be recognized,” says Folk of her award nomination by A-Kan Insurance, a member of the Canadian Broker Network, Canada’s largest network of independent brokers.
Q: What is the biggest challenge for underwriters, and how do underwriters or insurers overcome this?
“All-time high inflation is currently one of the biggest challenges for us — this economic volatility puts additional financial pressure on both insureds and insurers. We are seeing increased requests as insureds are making changes to their current insurance policies to help them cut costs and underwriters feel added pressure to maintain great service level standards. The way to overcome this challenging time is to continue to focus on our great broker-underwriter relationships. We’re here to work together, and patience and understanding go a long way.”
Q: How has the industry evolved, and how do you continue to adapt as an underwriter?
“The demands for the industry have evolved greatly from when I first started. With the industry standard having become multi-line underwriting, we need to be experts in both personal auto and personal property — so there is a lot of information to know. Accepting this change, being agile and pivoting easily when required, and focusing on finding reasonable solutions when unexpected issues arise can be a great way to maintain a positive attitude — no matter what comes your way!”
Q: Why did you become an underwriter?
“Because I enjoy helping others and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with the job. What I love about my current role is talking with our brokers, establishing relationships with them, and being able to help them with their new business needs, to make their experience of placing risks with SGI CANADA seamless and enjoyable.”
Q: What makes for a great working relationship between underwriter and broker?
“Collaboration makes a great working relationship between an underwriter and a broker. A strong working relationship allows us to solve problems more efficiently and overcome challenges together as a team.”