Hitting That High Note: How G2 Insurance’s Lauren Erickson Gets Her Clients Covered While Letting Her Passions Thrive
It’s common to hear the tale of a broker who stumbled into their career, never once having thought that the world of commercial insurance would be the place they would set their roots. If this is the case for many, then Lauren Erickson’s story is an amplified example.
When she graduated college in 2008 into a grueling recession, Erickson knew it was a less-than-optimal time to secure a job, especially in the field she was passionate about.
“I am a professional opera singer — that is what I went to school for,” she said.
According to Erickson, taking a day job in insurance was simply a means to make her monthly rent and student loan payments.
Her career in insurance began with Gallagher, working on publicly traded technology firms and saving her vacation days to attend auditions in New York.
“It really was just a day job, which was very common in the arts world,” she said.
The shift came when a colleague took Erickson under her wing. The colleague-turned-mentor ran Gallagher’s nonprofit practice, and Erickson took great interest in seeing the client pool.
“Her clients ranged from homeless shelters to schools to performing arts organizations and everything in between,” Erickson said. “Once I started seeing that side of the job, I thought, ‘This isn’t so bad.’ ”
Since then, Erickson has climbed the ranks, and she now serves as the nonprofit practice leader at G2 Insurance, a Relation Company. She was recently recognized as a 2023 Nonprofit Power Broker. And as she’s grown professionally, so has her brokering philosophy and her approach to her work.
“Any time I start working with a new client, I don’t assume anything about their business,” she said. “I have a very open conversation with my clients, asking them ‘What are your real exposures?’ and ‘What do you think is misunderstood about you in the insurance marketplace?’ ”
Through these conversations, Erickson is not only able to gain a clear picture of her client, but she’s also able to accurately depict it to underwriters as well.
Putting Passion Into Play
While Erickson’s full-time job is working as a nonprofit broker, her personal love for the arts (and particularly opera) never dissipated. In fact, her passion for the arts, coupled with her brokering philosophy, resulted in a crucial save for a client.
One of Erickson’s clients is the San Francisco Symphony, which she has coincidently been a part of in the past.
“I’ve sung for the Symphony, and I volunteer for their fundraiser gala; I’m very involved with them,” she noted.
A main component of the Symphony is what Erickson described as “a really expensive, beautiful organ from Germany.”
As part of her brokering method, Erickson reviews a new client’s insurance policies and coverages from front to back. When the Symphony became a client of Erickson’s during the pandemic, she did as she usually does. However, because of her deep knowledge and long-term experiences with the Symphony, she was able to understand its exposures very intimately. This became especially useful when Erickson turned to the policy for the pipe organ.
When looking at the policy’s expense, Erickson immediately knew that it couldn’t cover the pipe organ in its entirety.
“I told the client, ‘That’s not [the policy] for your organ; that’s [the policy] for your bench and keyboard,’ ” she said.
After more investigation, Erickson discovered that the organ pipes of the San Francisco Symphony, which comprised around $5 million of material, were uninsured. Erickson credits this save to her background prior to working in insurance.
“Because of the wording in the policy, any other broker would have seen the word ‘organ’ and just assumed that the whole organ was covered,” she said. “Because I’m a musician, I knew that was not the case.”
What Keeps Her Here
Though Erickson never could have pictured herself in a career with commercial insurance, she’s had the benefit of witnessing how the industry and personal passion can easily coincide.
What’s really kept Erickson working at — and enjoying — her career is the opportunity to teach. Whether it be teaching her clients or teaching younger team members, Erickson revels in every chance.
“I want our nonprofit clients to know that even if they leave [G2 Insurance] and move on to another [brokerage], they have a better understanding of insurance because they were with me,” she said.
“I love to teach them so that they feel empowered.”
Additionally, Erickson fondly remembers the chances that others took on her early in her career, which encourages her to pay it forward and do the same for the next generation.
“I feel like I owe it to the next group of people who are just starting out to mold them and teach them that this can be a worthwhile career,” she said. &