Whereas insurance coverage broking and danger administration are associated, working within the two fields requires a distinct approach of issues, in keeping with somebody who has labored in each industries.
Company Threat and Insurance coverage caught up with Sharon Xu (pictured above), director for Asia-Pacific insurance coverage at Marriott Threat Administration, on how she made the transition from broking to danger administration, and the assorted challenges and rewards she encountered alongside the best way.
Xu started her skilled profession by becoming a member of a London-based worldwide insurance coverage dealer agency after graduating from college. She began by servicing the dealer agency’s international purchasers’ native operations in China, together with inserting property and legal responsibility insurance coverage for big international firms like Avon, B&Q, Koch, Nokia, Monsanto, Tiffany, Wrigley. Throughout her time there, she gained a number of firm awards in consumer retention and excellence in compliance. She was even named the corporate’s finest worker in Asia.
“I spent two years in Shanghai, from 2005 to 2007, and moved again to Beijing to determine from the bottom up a reliable North China workforce,” Xu mentioned. “I had the privilege of working with completely different international purchasers’ danger managers and insurance coverage officers. From there, I’ve acquired understanding about how danger administration seems to be at exposures and the way they strategize on their firm’s insurance coverage construction.
“Since then, my function expanded into the power insurance coverage sector, specializing in oil and gasoline refinery and manufacturing tasks. I used to be head of the power downstream division and deputy basic supervisor of power division between 2008 and 2015, once we positioned building and operational property and legal responsibility insurance coverage for a variety of giant refinery tasks that had been the primary of their form in China, all together with overseas direct funding.”
Xu mentioned that in 2015, Marriott was on the lookout for somebody to deal with its insurance coverage wants in Asia-Pacific, so she utilized and was accepted.
“I used to be chosen because of my sound expertise of servicing multinational firms and my technical expertise of dealing with a number of strains of protection for purchasers throughout varied industries and international locations,” she mentioned.
In keeping with Xu, the transition from insurance coverage broking to danger administration was “difficult”, as a result of industries’ completely different views.
“For instance, a dealer’s job is making proposals to the consumer on completely different choices, based mostly on info they’ve collected from consumer,” Xu mentioned. “The dealer obtains essentially the most aggressive insurance coverage protection phrases for consumer’s finest curiosity. The dealer explains a proposal’s execs and cons to their consumer, which facilitates consumer’s insurance coverage procurement choice.
“However, a proactive company danger supervisor is aware of very nicely the corporate’s enterprise, and they’re very clear concerning the precise danger exposures that influence the corporate’s operation. Threat administration drives insurance coverage procurement by educating the dealer of the dangers which have already been filtered by the chance administration perform, guiding the dealer on which gaps of protection to take care of, modelling charges and deductibles (if the corporate has giant sufficient historic knowledge), and recommending its most well-liked premium allocation methodology. Threat managers present clear steerage for brokers to supply a extra focused insurance coverage proposal that particularly addresses the corporate’s involved key danger exposures. Each events work towards the identical clear purpose.”
Xu mentioned the hardest challenges she faces as a danger supervisor for one of many largest resort manufacturers on this planet is recovering from the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many inns out there had been compelled to shut down or to shrink operations,” she mentioned. “The highest problem, in my opinion, is brought on by the headwinds within the insurance coverage market, particularly the hardening casualty insurance coverage market following COVID. This has added pricing stress throughout the board, together with the first layer and extra umbrella layer legal responsibility insurance coverage markets.”
Xu mentioned that the hospitality enterprise encompasses all kinds of segments, every so technical and profound in its personal nature, that even one small loss prevention challenge entails professionals from completely different backgrounds.
“For my part, danger supervisor is the one who is aware of every thing concerning the firm and who has connections with each self-discipline of the corporate,” she mentioned. “Solely by this manner can a danger supervisor proactively mobilize its inner sources to execute the corporate’s danger mitigation plan, improve its operation security and enhance its insurance coverage claims file.”
“My most rewarding second is receiving my enterprise accomplice’s suggestions after coaching about how they imagine they will do higher in stopping an incident, together with even the smallest issues like sporting PPE when utilizing sharp objects,” Xu mentioned. “This implies far more to the group, once we see insurance coverage claims efficiency bettering by way of loss frequency and loss quantum on account of [a] resort implementing our beneficial loss mitigation measures and after our continued coaching about actual insurance coverage claims examples.”
Xu has the next recommendation for her fellow danger professionals.
“First, construct up your individual insurance coverage technical data and skillset as a result of these are the basic bases to turn out to be a certified danger supervisor,” Xu mentioned. “Second, all the time carry on studying issues which are past your space of experience. By no means keep in the established order as a result of the businesses that we’re working for and the insurance coverage market are evolving so quickly, so a danger supervisor should even be very adaptive to new environments.”