With almost 40 years’ experience in the P&C industry, Lisa Decker calls herself an “insurance lifer.” She started her career at an adjusting firm and eventually moved into underwriting, honing her skills in both personal and commercial lines and obtaining her CIP designation. The mom of three prides herself in building strong broker relationships using her underwriting knowledge to help deliver top-notch service and solutions for brokers and their customers.
“This honour was truly unexpected, and I’m grateful to be recognized by a brokerage from my hometown of St. John’s, Nfld.,” says Decker about the recognition by Canadian Broker Network member Cal LeGrow Insurance.
Decker says she always knew underwriting is where her heart is and still feels challenged by the ever-changing nature of her role every day. “In addition to all the skills I’ve developed over the years, the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people along the way is what I love most about my job,” she says.
Q: What is the biggest challenge for underwriters?
“Climate change is a big challenge for our industry. In Atlantic Canada, we have seen the impact of hurricanes, floods, and wildfires — especially over this past year. Whether you’re a broker, an adjuster, or an underwriter, we’re all seeing the impact of climate in our day-to-day roles. I take great pride in the fact we’re there to help customers during these times.”
Q: How has the industry evolved, and how do you adapt with it?
“I’ve seen so many changes in our industry over the past 39 years, but the biggest change for me has been automation. I still recall doing everything by paper and having hard files. Today, everything is automated, with technology enabling us to do more, do it quicker, and provide higher levels of service to brokers and customers. New technology also enhances my own role and gives me the opportunity to continue to learn new things.”
Q: What makes for a great broker-underwriter relationship?
“For me, nurturing solid broker relationships is key to my job enjoyment. I consider brokers my customers and always try to provide the best service. Whether I’m underwriting a file, responding to an email, or answering the phone, I keep broker service top of mind. I’ve learned how important these relationships are, especially when you’re having to make a tough underwriting decision. While a broker may not always agree with or like your decision, if they trust you and you take the time to offer your explanation, you are able to move forward and still maintain that strong relationship. With so much being virtual nowadays, it’s important to get together in person to meet new staff or do some training. My focus on broker relationships not only has enhanced my professional relationships, but also has earned me lifelong friends.”