Rising Star Megan Pittelli Seeks to Protect What Clients Value Most
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 who 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 2023.
Here’s our conversation with Megan Pittelli, account executive, Aon, and a 2022 Private Client Power Broker Winner.
Risk & Insurance: What led you to pursue a career in brokerage, and then from there, how did you get into your current focus on private wealth?
Megan Pittelli: My insurance career began within the life insurance realm as an administrative assistant. Our department was next to the Personal Insurance Group, and I realized quickly that I appreciated the conversations [with clients] and daily pace. I was drawn to the high-touch approach. Working within the private wealth industry, I gained personal enjoyment knowing that I was assisting my clients in protecting what mattered most to them every day. I still feel this way now.
R&I: What do you think is the most pressing issue in insurance and risk prevention for the private wealth category?
MP: I believe limited capacity will be the most pressing issue for the private wealth category. Successful individuals who own properties in catastrophe-exposed areas may need to take on more exposure — whether it is through higher deductibles, sublimits for catastrophic perils or stronger risk mitigation planning. As their personal risk advisor, it is our duty to explain these trends well in advance of any changes to their existing program.
R&I: What are you doing to prepare clients for this hard market?
MP: In this historic hard market that we are experiencing, rates are increasing, overall capacity is limited and remarketing is not the answer it once was. Now more than ever, we need to be proactive about having difficult conversations with our clients and be very creative in our approach to maintaining a holistic program that fits their unique lifestyles.
R&I: What are conversations like within the private wealth category?
MP: The conversations within the private wealth industry are fast-paced and solution-focused. As a personal risk advisor, I take a multifaceted approach to any situation presented. This means connecting with multiple carriers, the client, and their other trusted advisors — attorneys, wealth managers and so on.
On any given day within this space, we are conversing with these various parties to find a solution for the matter at hand. Personally, I enjoy this aspect most. The crux of my role is balancing being empathetic and satisfying my clients’ needs while managing business relationships with carriers, claims representatives and all of the individuals that help these organizations keep moving forward.
R&I: What is an example of how you’ve gone above and beyond your normal duties on behalf of a customer?
MP: For me, insurance is really about protecting what matters most to our clients and being there for them in their time of need. I love the idea that, in a very small way, what I do in providing risk management for my clients allows them to continue doing what matters most to them.
Recently, a client whose New York City unit suffered a very large water loss felt overwhelmed by the claims process. In tandem, she was also a few months away from her daughter’s wedding and traveling often to finalize plans. She called asking for advice on how to balance all of the moving pieces that suddenly encroached her daily life.
First, we spoke about the importance of special event insurance and placed a policy insuring her daughter’s special day. From there, I took the reins on the claims process — scheduling the remediation services and mold inspection, coordinating advance payments with the claims adjuster and providing the client with daily updates on all developments. This allowed her the peace of mind to fully enjoy time with her daughter. For both of us, it was a win.
R&I: Who has been a mentor to you in your career? What advice did they give that stuck with you?
MP: My first boss was a mentor to me during my early years of working within insurance. She helped me as I navigated this new world of networking and cultivating relationships with clients. Her advice was to always be responsive — whether you know an answer or not — and let your personality shine. No one wants to build a relationship with a robot.
R&I: What was your biggest win as a broker in the past year?
MP: While it is not my biggest win, over the past four months of this year I have been successful in placing business for exposures that have been non-renewed as a result of carriers reconfiguring their overall book in light of recent catastrophic losses. We never want to tell our clients that we do not have an alternative option. Creativity and communication have been key factors in transitioning business. The goal is to ensure that our clients’ programs remain strong and valuable for their existing lifestyle.
R&I: What advice do you have for young people entering the industry?
MP: Be curious. Do not neglect to ask a question out of fear that others will think less of you. Read articles, attend webinars, talk to colleagues and keep yourself immersed in this ever-changing industry. &