Rising Star Steve Miller on What Excites Him About the Technology Sector, How to Attract the Next Generation of Talent and More
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.
In this installment, we talk to Steve Miller, broker and innovation lead at Insurance Office of America, and a 2022 Technology Power Broker and Rising Star.
Risk & Insurance: Describe your journey into the brokering space. What led you to your career today?
Steve Miller: There’s always an origin story, and mine is common.
My mother-in-law spent her career as an account executive. She introduced me to her agency manager and got me an entry-level job. Mostly I filed — paper files! I steadily moved upwards to account management and sales.
I was lucky to have several fantastic mentors that taught me to be a trusted advisor, educating and collaborating with my clients. As I’ve grown into leadership and sales in my 18 years of insurance, my servicer background has really helped me understand the challenges our team faces.
R&I: What about the technology sector excites you? What challenges you?
SM: I focus largely on emerging technology.
It’s a deliberate decision to take on difficult tasks. If something is truly new, there is not actuarial data to project losses and determine pricing. That means extra efforts need to be taken to truly understand a client’s technology, its impact and risk, and explain that to our carrier partners in a way that makes them want to invest in an emerging space.
Seeing and learning about new technologies is endlessly fascinating.
R&I: In your opinion, how could the insurance industry do a better job of attracting talent?
SM: Training and opportunity are key factors.
Our industry does a poor job of promoting young talent. The entry-level positions are so hard to fill and retain that there is a reluctance to promote out of them. That forces qualified employees ready to advance to job hop for the promotion they deserve.
We need to provide a roadmap to advancement that will retain and grow talent within brokerages.
R&I: What advice would you give to a young professional just starting out in their brokering career?
SM: Find a good mentor. The person in your office that exudes integrity, respect and transparency.
Watch how they work in partnership with their clients and their underwriters. Build partnerships with carriers and underwriters. Avoid bullying brokers at all costs.
R&I: Looking ahead, which trends should be top of mind for the rest of 2022 and heading into 2023?
SM: Cyber liability continues to harden. We’re seeing reduced capacity, stringent underwriting requirements, and increased pricing. It’s going to be the top concern for the foreseeable future. &