Deciding whether or not to join a professional organization can be daunting, especially as a “green” person in the insurance industry. Ed Chadwick, who has been in the insurance industry for less than 10 years is on the podcast this week to share how groups like PIA and YIP can change the game for young insurance professionals. In an industry where connections are “key” being a part of a larger community is priceless. Check out our other podcast episodes here.
Edwin K. Morris (5s):
Welcome to the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things insurance. I am Edwin K. Morris. Ed Chadwick has been in the insurance industry for just eight years, but is already deeply enmeshed. Ed cut his teeth acting as a specialty lines broker for Russell Bond & Company Inc. A member of new York’s young insurance professionals association, ed is what many in the industry say is needed: young, eager to learn and excited to contribute to the community. You’ve been on quite a journey in the insurance world. What have you seen and where have you been?
Ed Chadwick (45s):
I’m relatively, in terms of my colleagues in the insurance business, I’m still relatively green, right? I mean, I’ve been in the business for only about eight and a half years, but even in the eight and a half years that I’ve been there, I’ve seen the transformation and I’m continuing to see where it’s going, even more so obviously with what we’ve experienced, not only as an industry, but just as a society this past year, I’ve really seen how our industry’s really been forced to kind of adapt, embrace technology. It’s crazy. Right. I mean, when I first got into the business, it was a, it was a scrappy fight for everything just because of where we were. And now I’m actually very excited to be part of the industry. Cause we’re starting to get into a point where there’s an opportunity to really show your value in a transaction and with a client.
Ed Chadwick (1m 30s):
And it’s very exciting time.
Edwin K. Morris (1m 32s):
Sounds like the process somewhat has gotten more sophisticated. Is that what I’m hearing? What changed?
Ed Chadwick (1m 38s):
I think the, the, the market has really led us to where we are today. Right? When, when I first started even eight years ago, the market was a much different place where I often, in my earlier days, when I was a bit more naive, I would often tell people that as the market was so soft, I was, it was the race to the bottom. And I, I famously once predicted to one of my markets that there may come a day where these policies are actually free. And we want you to take the policy because there’s going to be all sorts of advertisements. That’s how people would make their money. And at the time, you know, that was, we all worked around the situation we had. But now as we’re starting to see the market change, I think what’s really happening now is when you’re having discussions with your client, you have to, you can’t really talk about the price.
Ed Chadwick (2m 23s):
You can’t talk about premium. You have to start talking about the value proposition you’re bringing to the transaction because oftentimes most people aren’t liking what they’re seeing in terms of the figures after the dollar signs. So you have to be able to prep them for that, so that when, when they get to it, you know, they understand what you’re bringing to the table
Edwin K. Morris (2m 42s):
Eight and a half years. How long did it take you to learn that?
Ed Chadwick (2m 44s):
To learn that? Oh boy, I learned that pretty quick. For those who know me, I’ve, I’ve famously said that I’m the kind of guy that jumps feet first into hell with no boots on and only when I’m on the ground do I realize I’ve made a mistake. I’ve learned the hard way, but I learned quick.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 5s):
That leads me into this question. So how did you decide to become an active member in the PIA and the YIP?
Ed Chadwick (3m 12s):
So this is going to be probably one of the least flattering responses. Yeah.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 16s):
Do we still have the shoes off and you’re jumping in for both of these or is there a different methodology in place?
Ed Chadwick (3m 22s):
Oh no, no, sir. This was, I was already down there. I was already deep down there and looking for some help. No, but honestly, my, my aunt was actually at the time when I first got into the business, she was head of communications for PIA in New York. And I’ll always remember, it was like a Saturday morning. I was actually working, putting in some OT. Right. And I get this text message and she goes, I’m signing you up to become a YIP, with no background. Right. I hadn’t the slightest idea what that meant, but I said, okay, you know, and I went along with it, you know, I actually got involved, you know, I went to an event and met with at the time, the time president Jason Bartow. And he, and I got to talking and through talking with him, you know, I kind of started with a small group out in Western New York where I’m located and we just started to, you know, plan events.
Ed Chadwick (4m 14s):
And I started going to board meetings and really getting to know a lot of people. And when they asked me to join the executive board and, and become a board member, I remember making the decision that I wanted to do it. As I said to my, my boss at the time, you know, that if I do it, I’m going to do it to go all the way. I wasn’t going to do it just to be there. Right. And so, you know, like I said, I do owe a lot to, to my aunt for telling me without any clarification and becoming a YIP. But yeah, it, it was a good, it was a good decision.
Edwin K. Morris (4m 47s):
So how does either one of those organizations affect you or professionalize the insurance person? How does that add value to them?
Ed Chadwick (4m 55s):
So even while the insurance industry is really in this really kind of a bizarre point of flux, because I feel that there’s a lot of sacred horses in our business. And on the other side of the, of the equation, you have the technology coming and there’s still a lot of resistance to that technology. But I do believe at its core, our business is a business of relationships. Technology is a tool that we use that, you know, that that will allow us to be more efficient. But at the end of the day, the business is still face to face, person to person. And so being a part of an organization like PIA and YIP, I’ve really been able to develop my own, you know, kind of network where before I may only be working with, you know, or know people in the Western New York to maybe Rochester, Syracuse region.
Ed Chadwick (5m 44s):
I now have a network of professionals going from, you know, from Western New York all the way down to long Island. And that really is, that’s the real value to anybody who’s getting into the business is being able to have that network build out your professional group of, of contacts.
Edwin K. Morris (6m 3s):
What’s your best advice for getting new folks into the business? I hear you say there’s a lot of change, a lot of transformation. So what are the skill sets organizations you are looking for now?
Ed Chadwick (6m 15s):
Yeah, I think the most important skill is the ability to connect with another person. That’s the thing that cannot be taught. Insurance can be taught. You know, you can sit anybody down and you can teach them the difference in a form, or you can teach them in a, in a specific discipline. But I think organizations are really looking for the person that, that knows how to connect with a person, you know, on a, on a real level. That’s the, that’s what you need to look for. I think. And, and when, when you’re out looking for new talent, it’s a difficult thing because I still think you’ve talked to a young person today. And if you, I I’d imagine if you go onto a high school campus, somebody is making a decision for the rest of their life, where they, where they want to go.
Ed Chadwick (6m 56s):
And you say, have you ever thought about being an insurance broker. The vision that would probably immediately pop into their head is probably somebody wearing a trench coat and a hat knocking on your door and saying, I’m going to sell you some volcano insurance. But the reality of the situation really is very, very different. And the challenge that we in the business have is showing the young person who is making a decision like, yeah, there is some of that, you know, we can’t, we’re not going to beat around the bush. It’s, it’s a sales job, but the people in the job and you can, you can have a heck of a lot of fun in the business, too. It’s really about finding the right person to how they can connect with someone and then just kind of guiding them along the path.
Edwin K. Morris (7m 38s):
So when does it find the individual in this process of getting into the business? What’s the indicator to them that they’re on the right path? When did you know, other than your feet getting really hot?
Ed Chadwick (7m 51s):
That’s a great question, but for me, I knew, I guess that’s a really difficult question to answer. Cause I feel like that’s going to be different for everybody. Right. But for me, I can tell you, I knew when I was able to kind of use what I always felt were my strengths and, and really, again, add that value. I’ve always loved, you know, if, if my wife was here, if she were to do one of these, if you were to ask her, Hey, you know, tell me how ads, like when you got to go buy a new car, man, she would be like, I’m running for the hills, because I genuinely genuinely loved the negotiation. It’s the thing I love most. I love finding that middle ground as a broker, right? I mean, I, I love having my client and, and my company and then finding the wants and needs of both of those and carving out the tiny sliver in the middle and saying, okay, you know, here’s, here’s where we’re going to get the job done.
Ed Chadwick (8m 43s):
And man, the first time I was able to do that, I was hooked and I was like, okay, this is going to be good for me. And I went full speed ever since.
Edwin K. Morris (8m 51s):
What’s the big challenge in 2021, you’re going to tackle for yourself?
Ed Chadwick (8m 58s):
Oh, boy. Big challenge for me in 2021. For me, for my professional development, I would say by the end of 2021, I’d really love to have my, my RPLU designation. RPLU plus actually, my, my designation completed. It’s been the thing that has been dogging me for years. It’s always there and it’s, it’s just nagging at me. And I think in 2021, especially as I think for a lot of us, the workplace is going to continue to be very secluded. The best time is now. So I’m just going to, I’m going to put my boots on and just get to it and get that designation completed.
Edwin K. Morris (9m 33s):
Oh, we wish you a lot of success in that pursuit. And thank you for being here.
Ed Chadwick (9m 37s):
Absolutely. Hey, thanks so much for having me.
Edwin K. Morris (9m 40s):
Thanks for listening to this edition of the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group. Iroquois, your trusted advisor for all things insurance, and remember get out of the office and sell. I am Edwin K. Morris, and I invite you to join me for the next edition of the trusted advisor podcast.