Rising Star Sheneen Nicholson Keeps Her Top Clients in Check with Her Dedicated Insurance Prowess
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 2022.
Here, we speak with Sheneen Nicholson, assistant vice president, Alliant Insurance Services, and a 2021 Private Client Power Broker and Rising Star.
Risk & Insurance: How did you get into the private client piece of the business?
Sheneen Nicholson: I began my career while I was in college working at a call center for a direct insurance writer.
At the time, I didn’t think of the insurance industry as a long-term career. In fact, I was mainly focused on my studies, but the flexible work schedule allowed me to successfully complete both.
However, at the time this particular company only focused on one insurance product so there was not much room for professional growth. Therefore, I decided to transition to the broker side of the business where I could continue to learn about the various insurance policies and gain a wealth of experience while completing my college degrees.
Most insurance professionals joke about “falling into the insurance industry,” and it happened to be the case for me.
R&I: What about private client work do you find to be satisfying or fulfilling?
SN: I have always found that I enjoy working with people, however in private client, I am actually helping clients protect the lifestyles that they have worked so incredibly hard to build. The most fulfilling part of my role is getting to know my clients personally and watching their families evolve over time.
When major life events occur, they trust me to make the insurance process as seamless and stress free as possible so they can focus on what matters to them most.
I enjoy providing that relief for them, and I’m happy my clients know it will be managed professionally and efficiently.
I work with quite a few multi-generational families, with each family member presenting their own unique lifestyles and risks. Clients of this stature have different and oftentimes unique exposures that I have to navigate through with their wealth managers and attorneys.
This brings an added complexity that I find stimulating. I certainly feel satisfied when I know the clients are happy and well-protected because of my work.
R&I: What’s one area where your private clients are going to need specialized risk management in the coming years?
SN: With the increased use of technology, cyber coverage will be a huge focus in the coming years.
Clients leave a digital footprint in just about every aspect of life, and that leaves them exposed to multiple cyber threats. Many think that cyber protection is just for large corporations, but individuals are just as exposed.
Many of my clients are high profile and public figures, which makes them prime targets for cyber crimes such as extortion, ransomware, network disruption, breach of privacy and other attacks on their personal digital networks.
Evolving risks such as these is why I stay current in the insurance market, which I believe is vital to proper risk management.
R&I: How is the insurance industry most misunderstood?
SN: Many people fail to realize the complexity behind constructing an insurance policy, albeit auto, home, medical, life and other various policies within the industry.
Therefore, when I am reviewing an insurance program, I not only look at their assets, I review where they are vulnerable and what available coverage can protect them best.
A great deal of information is required in order to create a custom program specific to the client’s needs. It is far beyond obtaining a quote online to get the best price.
This is where my professional experience benefits clients the most, because they do not understand the minor coverage details that can make a major difference in the event of a loss.
R&I: What’s your take on how the insurance industry can attract more talent?
SN: Outside of the funny insurance commercials we see on TV, there really isn’t much media attention on this growing industry that always requires top caliber talent.
I believe that if companies utilize more social media and advertising channels to highlight their own successes, it would attract more talent.
Additionally, no matter the status of the economy, insurance is always required, which makes it an appealing industry for a long-term career. The insurance industry is so diverse in its opportunities that top talent from any other industry can thrive in various departments, benefiting from their experience.
If more marketing channels were geared towards highlighting how many different skillsets can be utilized, I think the industry would see an influx of qualified applicants. &