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Insurance panel seeks recruits as nearly third of workforce expected to retire soon

Nicholas Rahmon, Biz/Tech Reporter

Humber students and faculty heard from a panel of insurance experts from an industry shrinking in size.

Almost a third of those employed in the field are expected to retired within the next five years, and the drive is on to find their replacements.

Organized by Program Coordinator of Insurance Management John McNeil, the Feb. 11 event encouraged students in property and casualty insurance and others to learn more about the insurance industry and hear from those climbing the ladder to success.

“The industry is also in a talent shortage with over 30 per cent of the current workforce (expected) to retire in the next five years,” McNeil said.

Trevor Butler, manager of Career Connections, said there are opportunities in property and casualty insurance, a sector of the industry Humber keeps its focus on.

“It’s a place where you might be able to find your passion, your skills, and your experience all come into play and add up to a really great and rewarding career path,” Butler said.

The five guests on the panel sought to inspire students and fill the inevitable job openings. 

Amrit Singh, a Humber graduate and now an insurance adjuster with Crawford Canada, said the college’s program offers a global overview.

“It gives you an idea of how the world works and what it’s like in a different framework, plus the program gets you ready for dealing,” he said. 

Vinita Jajware, president of the Toronto Insurance Women’s Association, said a career in insurance offers variety.

“No two days in our industry are the same,” she said. “I can say that from the perspective of being a risk manager and leading an organization through their risk management strategy.”

Jajware said her field strives to make the world a safer place while protecting everyone’s livelihoods.

Sam Jazayeri, a broker at Prime Service Insurance Solutions, said the community aspect of the industry is what keeps him motivated.

“That gives me the most pride and joy, and how I’m enabling people, either to start their business or get their keys to their unit or their house or pick up their new vehicle,” he said.

Daiana Steele, vice president of commercial underwriting at Northbridge Insurance, said the certifications in the industry rely heavily on building and maintaining interpersonal relationships.

“I think the most daunting thing is the amount of information that you will walk away with,” she said.

Travellers Canada’s vice president of claims Gavin Mascarenhas said the two most important personal skills needed to sustain success develop over time.

“Time management and organizational skills. You can’t teach that,” Mascarenhas said. 

“And to me, that’s when I can see one person supersede over another because those skills teach you how to figure things out,” he said.

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