Shannan Gardner

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Tell us about yourself and your business

I have worked in the Insurance industry for over 15 years and my current role at Guardian Insurance Brokers sees me working as an Account Executive managing a large portfolio of SME and Corporate clients. My client base ranges from large property developers to electricians to engineers, so I have had the chance to learn a lot about many different industries.

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What was the journey that brought you to your current role?

I fell into insurance as most people do at the age of 18 working in the SGIC call center. From there I undertook a traineeship at IC Frith as a Junior Broker Support and progressed from there. Having worked from the lower tier up including in claims to now an Account Executive, I have developed a good skill set that allows me to maintain my portfolio efficiently and to a high standard.

What’s behind your success?

I have been lucky to have worked with some great insurance brokers over my career and this has really provided me with the foundations to build my own presence within the industry. The client is always number one priority as a broker and I strive to achieve great results for them acting as their voice when required.

What’s a mistake you’ve made that you’ll never make again?

Probably leaving the industry for 12 months. I decided I wanted to try something else other than insurance and went into real estate. Within 12 months I realized how much I loved insurance and I was quick to get back into the industry.

What’s the one secret about your field or industry you wish everyone knew?

That the broker is the advocate for the client. I think sometimes the general public sees a broker as the enemy that works with the insurer. Our role isn’t always clear to people and this is proven whenever you are at a BBQ and you tell someone you are a broker and they respond with “So who with CGU, QBE?”.

What are your predictions for the industry for the next few years?

I see a rise in otherwise usually hard-to-sell policies like Cyber Insurance. There will be more of an online presence for domestic insurance however I see people needing the services of a broker even more particularly in the Commercial sector.

What’s your main goal for the year ahead?

To continue to learn more. I want to increase my product knowledge and undertake more training, particularly in the Cyber Insurance field. Personally, I want to travel and I am planning a holiday to Europe towards the end of the year.

What are the biggest problems you face when dealing with MGAs, underwriters or insurers?

Response times. I am seeing a big delay with the larger Insurer and when you do get a response it is more often than not pushing back on something. Gone are the days of insurers looking for ways to get something across the line. Now the broker is begging an Underwriter to take their business.

Follow Shannan on LinkedIn and Guardian Insurance Brokers