The Lasting Impact of Cyber Insurance from One Broker’s Point of View
The cyber insurance market is ever evolving and so is Andrew Laubmeier, a broker with Marsh’s JLT Cyber Center of Excellence.
“I started my career as an intern in the marketing and public relations department at a large broker. After my internship ended, I worked fulltime in that department,” he said.
“In my role, I constantly read about the risk management and insurance industries, which got me interested in learning the business side of things. In 2014, an opportunity presented itself on the small but growing cyber/E&O brokerage team. I jumped at the chance and began my broking career.”
Now, Laubmeier says he loves the dynamism of his job.
“Insurance always had a connotation as being boring and ‘very vanilla.’ This was immediately proven to be false after my first few months on the job,” he said.
“Given the constantly evolving nature of cyber risk, it is a dynamic line of insurance to work in as the policy forms and coverages change to keep up with the emerging exposures and loss trends.”
Laubmeier’s focus on cyber insurance is one of the reasons his job is constantly evolving. Cyber risks emerge everyday as we become more and more technologically connected. Companies also stand to suffer business interruption and reputational losses if they’re subjected to a cyber attack.
“As business interruption losses stemming from cyber incidents begin to mount for organizations in industry classes that do not hold large volumes of third party data, our group has been busy educating companies on this exposure and consulting them on the risk transfer tools that exist in the insurance marketplace,” he said.
It’s not just the ever-evolving nature of cyber risk that keeps Laubmeier’s job interesting, however. Brokering deals with clients also poses unique challenges day to day.
“I love seeing a deal through from start to finish. While there is a general roadmap on how to get a placement or renewal done, every single one presents its own unique challenges and obstacles. Navigating and overcoming these is what makes the job exciting,” he said.
“Consulting with a client on an upcoming renewal and agreeing on what approach to take tests the broker’s strategic side of their brain while negotiating the nuances of the policy language, terms and pricing tests their analytical side. When these two sides come together for a result that the client is happy with, it makes for an extremely rewarding feeling.”
As he has grown in his career, Laubmeier has become increasingly interested in helping the insurance industry improve its image. He wants young people to know that this can be a really fulfilling career choice as insurance is right next to the pulse of many current issues.
“If there is a news story where there could be a financial loss to an individual or organization, insurance is involved. Whether it be a natural disaster, a cyber-attack or large drop in stock price, insurance is in the background, which keeps the industry relevant and engaging,” he said.
“The industry needs to cultivate and build an image that excites and resonates with future decades to draw in talent. As more and more universities develop risk and insurance curriculum, I think this will change, but we are still a ways away from realizing the full potential of where the industry could be from an image standpoint. This potential could significantly impact the way future workforces view a potential career in risk or insurance.”
If Laubmeier could give one piece of advice to high school and college students trying to decide if the insurance industry is right for them it would be “not to judge a book by its cover.”
“By far the biggest misperception about the insurance industry is that it is boring and consists of nothing but paper pushing. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The reality is that insurance is a dynamic and constantly evolving industry that requires a wide-variety of skill sets. From building relationships with clients and carriers to learning the nuances of policy language, to negotiating a deal, it is an industry that is anything but boring,” he said.
His interest in encouraging young people to consider insurance as a field is born out of the fact that he had his own mentors to help him learn the industry.
“I had a number of mentors who helped me when I began. With regard to learning the technical side of broking, one of my colleagues who was a former attorney was instrumental in helping me learn the ins and outs of policy language and how to strategically put together a deal.
“From the general career development side of things, one of the VP’s on the team pushed me to get out of my comfort zone on numerous projects to expand and build my skills in various areas of the broking profession,” he said.
While Laubmeier wants to emphasize insurance’s ever-evolving nature, there is one thing in life that he is not interested in changing: his career path.
“Risk is something that is industry agnostic and will never completely disappear. So long as organizations are conducting business, there will be risks that go along with that. This means that the end goal of mitigating, managing and transferring risk will always be something that is strived for,” he said.
“These risks change and evolve, which means that as a risk advisor, you are always working to stay on top of these trends in order to help your clients understand the exposures they face. This makes risk and insurance areas that are constantly evolving.” &