Rising Star Samantha Bradley on Employee Benefits Trends to Watch and How to Deliver Exemplary Customer Service

Samantha Bradley of HUB International works hard to make her clients feel like they've got an adviser and advocate in her.
By: | May 3, 2024
Portrait of Samantha Bradley



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 throughout the year.

Below, our conversation with Samantha Bradley, senior account advisor at HUB International and a 2023 Employee Benefits Power Broker winner.

Risk & Insurance: How did you get into the insurance industry?

Samantha Bradley: I don’t think that anyone graduates high school dreaming to be in insurance; while I know there are some exceptions to the rule, I think that the insurance industry attracts a very broad stroke of individuals because of the various roles you can hold.

I originally joined the insurance industry on the property and casualty side, working for an insurance company that specialized in farms and equipment. A few years later, I found myself jumping to the employee benefits side, because I wanted a challenge and to learn a new focus, and boy did I get that!

R&I: What do you like about working in employee benefits?

SB: As a consultant, I see myself as a problem-solver and a true extension of my clients. Their challenges and opportunities to grow are my challenges as well.

It’s the partnership and relationships, as well as the ability to be able to find and create solutions, that keep me doing this work.

R&I: How would you describe your approach to customer service?

SB: I’m an extension of the client, who has entrusted me to be their advocate and advisor.

I have always worked hard to make each of my clients feel like they are my only client; this starts with acknowledging questions and concerns as quickly as I can, and continuing to be their advocate until we find a solution. Whether I’m advocating for my clients with their partners or advocating for their employees, I believe that every interaction I have can help solidify our commitment to our clients.

Being an advocate means not stopping with what isn’t a possibility but continuing to identify what is a possibility and how we can get there.

R&I: What are the biggest risks affecting your clients today?

SB: Several risks can impact employee benefits clients today. Some of the most significant are regulatory changes, rising health care costs, cybersecurity threats, employee wellbeing, economic uncertainty, talent retention and recruitment, demographic shifts and retirement planning challenges.

Addressing these risks requires proactive planning, effective communication and a thorough understanding of the evolving landscape of employee benefits.

R&I: What are the biggest challenges facing the insurance industry overall today? What is your company doing to help them handle that challenge?

SB: The insurance industry faces several significant challenges in the realm of employee benefits including cost management, regulatory compliance, employees’ expectations of increasingly personalized and flexible benefit options, and market competition in a crowded landscape.

Addressing these challenges requires a combination of strategic planning, technological investment, regulatory compliance and a customer-centric approach. Insurers that successfully navigate these obstacles will be well-positioned to thrive in the evolving employee benefits market.

R&I: What are some important trends in employee benefits?

SB: There has been an obvious shift over the past couple of years to where employees are now wanting a “voice over choice,” as we refer to it.

Employees, now more than ever, want to be heard and understood and to feel appreciated. This leads to an entire movement of focusing less on the structure of the medical benefit plan and more on the equity of benefits and how the benefits are being communicated. This also creates an opportunity for more and more benefits to hit a health program to try and cover the largest majority of the “wants” within an employee population.

When it comes to cost management, employers are still challenged with getting their employees to have some skin in the game when it comes to their health care, so many are switching to focusing on holistic health rather than just trying to manage conditions as they come on.

R&I: If you could travel back in time to deliver a message to yourself at the beginning of your career, what would you say?

SB: Oooh, this is a good one! And one that I’ve thought of many times. I think I would tell myself that there is always going to be room and space to be 100% my authentic self [in my role], because that’s where I can make the biggest impact. I’ve built my client relationships and rapport in the community by bringing my entire self into my career and how I serve my clients, and I’ll never again think that that isn’t the most obvious and appropriate way to behave in my industry. &

Annemarie Mannion is a freelance writer. She can be reached at [email protected].

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