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'The insurance industry provides opportunity for young individuals to build a long and rewarding career'

About Gaurav Puri

I am an Account Broker, Corporate Risk at Edgewise Insurance Brokers. I started my journey as a Bachelor of Science graduate at The University of Melbourne. I then completed a Graduate Diploma in OH&S Management at RMIT University before commencing insurance education through ANZIIF (The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance) in 2012.

My interests range from playing tennis and golf to travelling, French culture, volunteering with NGOs such as Camp Quality, cooking and Foreign Policy.

What does your current role entail?

My role at Edgewise encompasses managing a portfolio of SME clients to providing support to the Account Director in servicing corporate clients. I enjoy the challenge of dealing with a variety of clients with differing needs as this gives me an opportunity to:

  1. understand client needs and provide optimum insurance solutions
  2. manage claims and achieve the best possible outcome for my clients
  3. transact through online platforms such as Steadfast Virtual Underwriter and Faith Insurance.

Can you explain what the role of a broker is in relation to insurance

The key role of the insurance broker is to act in the best interests of the client by understanding the client's business then seeking the best and most relevant insurance products.

Insurance companies sell their insurance products in the insurance market to insurance brokers. Insurance companies' objective is to write risks within their capacity and at a sufficient premium to maintain their profit margin. Their success is driven through negotiations with insurance brokers. The success of insurance brokers is primarily based on their relationship with their client to ensure the client is satisfied with the insurance program.

Insurance brokers also act on behalf of clients when handling claims. Again, the insurance broker will act in the best interests of the client to understand the circumstances of the claim, the relevant insurance policy wording and argue the case in favor of the client where applicable.

How did you get started in the insurance industry?

Insurance is practically in my DNA! With both parents from the insurance industry, you can say I was destined to land here!

The road to becoming an insurance broker really started when I was working as an OH&S Consultant at an international insurance broking company.  It was in this role where I found my passion for client service and winning new business. As I intended to build greater trust with my clients through establishing long term relationships, I considered moving into a corporate general insurance broking career.

While working as an OH&S Consultant, I commenced a Tier 1 Insurance Broking course with ANZIIF and then went onto complete a Diploma in Insurance Broking in 2016 after joining my current employer. The Diploma together with my previous education and skills in OH&S consulting enable me to provide a holistic approach to client service.

You're interested in becoming a mentor later in your career to other young people entering the industry. How important is it to have a mentor and how do you think someone should go about finding one?

In 2017, I participated in the NIBA mentoring program and am due to complete another mentoring program this year. As an insurance broker, a mentor provides me the opportunity to:

  • establish a career plan to fast-track my development
  • develop skill to build a solid network of insurers to help me deliver optimum results for my clients and employer
  • learn about the future challenges in broking and gain relevant skills to remain successful
  • discuss my broking challenges, concerns and interests with an objective person who is not directly aligned with my employer and who can enhance my skills beyond what i am regularly exposed to
  • receive general constructive criticism and guidance.

Mentors commit their time as volunteers and are seeking an opportunity to help young and enthusiastic mentees. Build you contacts within the insurance industry and express your interest in acting as a mentee either through an established mentor program or through an informal arrangement.

What advice would you give someone looking to get into insurance?

Consider making an investment in your education, either in Tier 1 Insurance or Tier 1 Insurance Broking. This will show your commitment and interest in building your insurance career when networking and seeking a job. The insurance industry provides opportunity for young individuals to build a long and rewarding career.

I understand it may be difficult at first to determine where you may fit into the insurance industry, but research, reading and networking will help build your knowledge and understand of the opportunities.