Joe Wasserman is a key member of the Customer Success team at Embroker, where he provides accountants and lawyers with customized coverage. We sat down with Joe to ask him about his work and discovered a few unique things along the way. From what being your “insurance guy” means to him to his penchant for burritos, read on to learn about Joe the customer success manager.
What experience do you have as a broker?
I’ve been in the insurance industry for nine years. I originally started out working with clients in the senior living industry, and for the past three years, I’ve been working with law and accounting firms.”
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How do you partner with clients to get them the best coverage?
Insurance is complex and there are so many variables to consider, like cost, claims handling, ease of purchase, risk tolerance, policy language, limits/deductibles, and on and on. What might be considered the “best coverage” for one client might not work at all for a different client. I always try to first understand what the client’s unique expectations and needs are. I would love it if every client wanted to build a long-term relationship; learn about the different coverages and work with me to implement a comprehensive risk management program.
However, if a busy lawyer wants to simply “get in and get out” and purchase insurance as efficiently as possible with minimal communication, that’s okay too. Some folks don’t want to think too much about insurance until they have to. I get that. I feel the same way about my homeowner’s insurance. Either way, I’ll be there when you need me. Everyone wants a go-to mechanic, mortgage person, realtor, handyman, etc. A person who you can be confident will do honest work for you. My goal is to be your “insurance guy.
When we spoke to one of Joe’s clients, Rob J. shared:
“Brad Barkin and Joe Wasserman have been excellent service providers for our firm. They have given us plenty of lead time for our renewal and made the process as painless as possible, with very good results. I have already recommended Embroker to several friends and will continue to do so.
“Working with the broker one on one provided the firm with a close point of contact at every step in the renewal process. The broker was professional, polite, knowledgeable, and dedicated to a good outcome. The results were excellent because the broker was there at every step to consult with and support the process.”
What do you like most about working for Embroker?
I like that we’re actively trying to upset the traditional way of doing insurance and leveraging technology to eliminate the antiquated processes that make buying insurance tedious and inefficient. I also really like the people I work with. We all share the same desire to innovate, collaborate, and come up with new ideas. Embroker offers us all the freedom to run with new ideas and try new things. It’s still insurance, but way more exciting and way more challenging.
What’s the most important quality in an insurer?
Probably claims handling expertise and servicing. It’s ultimately what you’re paying for when you buy insurance. Many folks just look at price (which is important), but a partnership with a quality carrier can really pay off in the long run. All carriers have some strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their customer service, claims, policy language, risk management tools, etc. Our team can help you compare and select the option that makes the most sense for you.
What’s the question that clients should ask you but don’t?
“What risk management tools / best practices can I implement or take advantage of?” and “I don’t understand exactly what step-rating is, can you explain it to me?”
What’s your favorite piece of work that you’ve done for a client?
It’s tough to pick one project or renewal. I know clients can be apprehensive when it comes to purchasing insurance or renewing their policies. If time = money, it’s even more true for lawyers and accountants. I’m always excited when I can shatter someone’s expectations and make something they thought would be incredibly tedious, very easy and efficient. Even better if it’s a complex renewal.
What’s your biggest recommendation to clients going through the application process?
Call or email me if you have any questions. If you have to spend more than 10-15 minutes answering a question, that’s way too long. Let me make the process easy on you. Often, insurance applications are not one-size-fits-all and you may have a unique situation. I’m always happy to clarify and/or find a workaround that still satisfies the carrier’s requirements.
What’s been the biggest change in the industry you’ve seen in your career?
The need for cyber liability coverage has really gone up as more and more businesses transact online and store sensitive information digitally. I also think technology is being leveraged more every year to make the insurance buying process more efficient. It’s already happened with personal lines and it’s now happening with commercial insurance. That’s Embroker’s mission and we’re leading the field so far.
What inspires you?
If you wait until you’re feeling inspired, you might miss out. In my opinion, developing discipline as a skill, mental fortitude, and learning to honor your commitments is a more reliable recipe for consistent progress and achievement long term.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
How to handle defeat/rejection and that openness/transparency is the way to go. I’m proud to say I don’t lose many clients, but every broker has some natural turnover. There are a lot of brokers out there to choose from and we’re all competing for business. I try to treat every defeat and criticism as a gift because it is an opportunity to reflect, learn, and get better. Being practical and building real trust is most important in my relationships with clients.
Where are you located?
I live in the west suburbs of Chicago, though I’m originally from Michigan.
- First job: In high school: making tortilla chips at the Qdoba down the street. I hated it, but I did it for the free burritos.
- Favorite vacation spot: Costa Rica
- Favorite music genre: Indie & folk rock
- Hidden talents: If I had one I wouldn’t hide it! No spectacular talents, but I’m a decent cook. I sit in a chair for most of the day so I really enjoy lifting heavy objects and setting them back down. I can throw a football about 60 yards.
- Favorite book: I don’t read much, but I do love podcasts.
- Favorite movie: Interstellar, Dark Knight, and just about all Christopher Nolan films.
- Pets: I have two cats, Rocky and Apollo.
Favorite food: Steak for dinner and pumpkin pie for dessert.