Rising Star Jack Kurcab of Gallagher Talks to Risk & Insurance About Education Sector Brokering
Come see the Stars! As part of our ongoing coverage of the best brokers in the commercial insurance space, Risk & Insurance®, with the sponsorship of Philadelphia Insurance, is expanding its coverage of the Rising Stars, those brokers that represent the next wave of insurance brokering talent.
Look for these expanded profiles on the Risk & Insurance website and in your social media feeds now and continuing into 2022.
Here’s a look at Jack Kurcab, area assistant vice president, Gallagher, and a 2021 Education Power Broker.
R&I: What was your biggest win as an education sector insurance broker in the past year?
Jack Kurcab: It’s been so rewarding to work with a team that develops solutions to those who are in need — especially school districts that are so focused on education and stability for future generations. I’ve had the chance to be innovative and creative in the midst of a challenging market, but I know that nothing worth doing is ever easy.
I am especially proud of the work we were able to do for a school district that was left without insurance solutions this past year, when a carrier suddenly left the market. Working with my team we were able to get a renewal solution in place for 70 schools, and we increased that to 85+ over the past year.
For me, a big win happens when we can give comfort and peace of mind to clients that they are insured by the broadest available coverage and lowest rates in the marketplace.
R&I: How did you come to work as a broker? How would you describe your journey in insurance so far?
JK: While I was a student at Illinois State University, I participated in the world-class Gallagher summer internship program in 2014.
I was so inspired by the work that we did and by the leadership, mentors and fellow interns who showed me that insurance is not just a job, but a career about teamwork, creative problem solving and relationship building.
After the economic recession, I was looking for a career that would weather any economy and help others when they needed it the most. I was all in when I heard Pat Gallagher’s welcome speech to the interns, where he stated, ‘insurance is the oxygen of commerce, it’s what pieces lives back together.’
R&I: As we come into the 2021-2022 school year, what do you think the most pressing issue for many of your clients will be?
JK: Cyber coverage is going to continue to be a concern for everyone as the market is very challenging, but we are working with carriers and our clients to institute pre-incident protections to mitigate risk.
The excess liability capacity for Sexual Abuse Molestation continues to be a challenge in 2021. Insurers are reducing capacity and imposing coverage restrictions in response to the continued increase in frequency and severity of claims.
R&I: What advice would you give young people who are trying to break into the insurance industry?
JK: Find a mentor, or a few mentors and stick with them. Find a niche that you’re passionate about, learn all you can about that industry and stick to it. Build a network within that industry by attending conferences, making a point to connect with people while you’re there and stay connected with them.
Lean into your desire to help your clients, be proactive with them and nurture the relationships you have established. Learn from and ask questions of everyone in your network, and use this to build your own personal work style.
R&I: When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, what should the insurance industry be doing more of?
JK: It’s really important to create a culture of two-way learning in order to attract new talent.
My generation has so much to learn about the industry, its historical context and how we have successfully navigated challenges in the past. But we also have access to more advanced technology, data, analytics and networks that can manifest new creative ideas and solutions to these same challenges.
That’s the basis for Gallagher’s internship program – we allow interns to experience the fast pace everyday life of a broker, client meetings, carrier conversations, conference, dinners, industry events, etc.
It’s also important to educate potential talent on the value of the industry, support their preference for a flexible work structure and show them how they can pair their excitement for an industry from an insurance perspective. &