No Cold Calls! Sales and Service in the Insurance Industry


Sales and customer service units are integral to making any business go and ultimately grow! If you have a knack for building relationships, have strong communication skills, and are excited by the prospect of helping your clients build a strategy that fits with their needs… you might love a career with an insurance brokerage or agency!

In property and casualty insurance, most of our products are mandatory… so that means little to no cold calls required! It’s more about networking and helping your customers find the right coverage based on your expertise and access to the insurance markets they need. You may also be surprised by the variety and stability of roles available in the insurance as the industry is a part of virtually everything we do in life and in business! When you stop to think about it, you can see why this industry is deemed essential and has such a wide array of products and coverages available for its customers.

We recently sat down with two industry veterans to hear about their career journey, what they like most about working in the insurance industry, and their tips for those looking to get a start in the sale and service area of the business.

Meet Nathan LaFayette.

He is a Chief Insurance Officer – Personal and Small Business Insurance with nearly 20 years of industry experience.

Tell us about your career journey to your current role:

My path in Insurance has moved and shaped with me based on my career and personal goals.  I began as a partner in a start-up operation and I received exposure to all facets of the business. We were acquired by a large multinational insurer which then ran into some liquidity challenges. This opened some doors that may not have otherwise opened and I was able to move to New York for a stretch of time. A few years later I returned to Canada and led a team in underwriting specializing in home and auto.  I then moved on to work for one of the largest brokerages in the world and then, after deciding that I would like to spend some time on the West Coast,  took on my current role with a large provincial automobile association with a suite of insurance products focused on personal lines and small business.

What do you like most about your career in insurance and why did you choose this industry?

For a large part of my career, I worked for one company but was able to do many different things and I was able to do it in two different countries. Not many industries give you opportunity to learn a base set of skills then apply those skills across different products and situations. I chose this area of the industry because it rewards problem solvers and has a very entrepreneurial spirit.

What piece of advice would you offer to students and new grads looking to connect to a career in insurance?

If you enjoy solving problems and helping people then insurance is the industry for you – regardless of what your formal background or education is. Since every business and profession requires insurance. it is possible to be new to the industry and still have the relevant applicable experience to leverage.

Next up is Tricia Stewart.

She is a Commercial Lines CSR Manager with 20+ years in the industry.

Tell us about your current role:

I am responsible for the development and implementation of commercial lines (insurance for businesses to protect their property and insure against potential liability exposures) organizational policies, workflow procedures and customer service standards.  I organize and guide Commercial Lines CSRs toward professional, timely and proficient customer service with a focus on remaining relevant in a changing insurance environment.

What do you like most about your career in insurance and why did you choose this industry?

The Insurance Industry has always been supportive of my personal development.  There is always room for growth, and the industry as a whole encourages pursuing opportunities.  Each day has new challenges and I enjoy the variety.  Initially, I wouldn’t say that “I chose insurance” as much as “insurance chose me” but I am sure glad it did!  20+ years later I still feel stimulated and excited to watch how the industry is changing, and how our roles within it do as well.

What piece of advice would you offer to students and new grads looking to connect to a career in insurance?

A career in insurance can provide you with so many great opportunities so don’t be afraid to explore the different avenues of the industry along the way.  Take advantage of professional development opportunities and create a network of people who will provide you with support and guidance in your career path.

To learn more about these and other great career options in the insurance industry – visit Career Connections profile.