If Florida’s Stephens Were Not a Broker, He’d Find Another Job in Insurance
Being a young insurance broker in Florida is never boring for Patrick Stephens, who started in the industry three years ago. Florida’s penchant for storms keeps the commercial lines broker for Hull & Co. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, occupied.
He says while there isn’t much he dislikes about insurance, the thing he enjoys least is handling claims after big loss events. “Insurance exists to make people whole again, but suffering a loss is never a good time,” he said.
He also is accustomed to responding to customers’ requests for coverage as a hurricane approaches the state. “I have seen many variations of ‘What do you mean I can’t buy insurance now?’ when we are under a hurricane warning with 48 hours until projected landfall,” he said.
Stephens finds it so rewarding to be in the industry that if he weren’t an agent, he says he would still be part of the insurance world in some capacity, either with a carrier or in enterprise risk management. “I love the industry and proudly wear the title of being a nerd for insurance,” he said.
Stephens majored in risk management and insurance and went from college to working full time as a wholesale broker. He knows not everyone feels as positively as he does about the industry and some people’s eyes “glaze over” when he talks about what he does. He also hears stories from people having a claim denied or other trouble they have had with the industry. “But my favorite reactions are when I am having a night out or traveling and meeting someone else that is in the industry,” he said. “It is always a good time to make an industry connection and swap stories.”
He said he wishes people better understood insurance. “I believe a lot of the dissatisfaction with the insurance industry comes from insureds having an incorrect idea of how insurance is supposed to work and making incorrect assumptions about the claims process because of it,” he said.
He thinks young agents are bringing change to the industry, particularly with technology. “As the market continues to evolve and insurtech continues to grow, I believe a familiarity with technology is going to become more important moving forward,” he said. “Also, technology is allowing younger entrepreneurs and business owners, and young agents are working to make insurance and risk management more accessible to them all the time.”
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