After his introduction to the industry during a brief period at a brokerage, Mike Storrey was intrigued by the company side of the business.
A graduate of the Insurance Program at Fanshawe College in London, Ont., Mike applied for the position of commercial property underwriter with Economical (now part of Definity Financial Corporation), where he’s been developing his career with a great team, he says.
He has completed his CRM and FCIP designations. Over the years, Mike has built strong technical knowledge and prides himself on solid broker partner relationships, which he attributes to his success.
Says Mike of his award from Canadian Broker Network (CBN): “I’m not big on promoting myself, but when Huong Nguyen (Lawrie Insurance) called to let me know about this acknowledgement, it felt good to be recognized. That feeling came when she told me about the feedback that was part of this process, hearing the input from the producers, marketers and other staff and the discussion involved – that was the fulfilling part.”
Q: What makes a great working relationship between an underwriter and broker?
“It’s very important to be transparent and working to figure out that need/solution a broker might be looking for. You can’t always be the solution, or right fit, in the end – but making that effort to try will pay off later. It helps build a stronger base to become a reliable market option for who you are dealing with.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge for underwriters in P&C currently, and one thing that underwriters/insurers can do to overcome this challenge?
“Don’t rely on emails for standard discussions. Most people are going paperless as things become more automated – if they aren’t already. We often need an email back to confirm some information, but it’s best to call ahead to talk about it. There are a lot of changes happening in all areas (process, market, business segments) and I find the easiest way is to be transparent, find the ‘need’ in a situation and see if you are able to become a viable option.”
Q: What’s one opportunity underwriters should focus more on in today’s marketplace?
“You can’t avoid change – try to embrace it. It’s a chance to gain knowledge or experience for yourself, and that can pass on to people you deal with. Generally, your current skills in creative thinking, confidence, and how you interact with others will adapt with changes you face.”
Q: “Why did you become an underwriter and what do you love most about it?
“I’ve always been more comfortable in a position where I feel I can help someone. Finding solutions and looking at things differently – I enjoy the creative thinking involved with underwriting.”