BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Jennifer Wilson, Director of Risk Management, SVP, HUB International, Risk and Insurance Broker

What is your name?

Jennifer Wilson

What is your occupation?

Director of Risk Management, SVP

What is your business name?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women’s Member?

Less than a year

What is your linked in URL?

Were you born and raised in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

I’m a native New Englander. I grew up in central Massachusetts and moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts over 2 decades ago and have never left. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Tell us more about your job or company and what led you to your career?

My role at HUB International is to provide insurance coverage advocacy with respect to employment related litigation; and to provide harassment awareness training; and contractual risk transfer analysis and negotiation. I started my career providing these services in house to one of the largest and most respected real estate development companies in New England. I established a self-insured/self-administered insurance program that saved the company $1M in combined premium and claim costs annually. When the company sold the business sector that I worked in, I decided to transfer my expertise to the insurance broker side and advocate for multiple clients spanning all industries. This combination of contractual risk transfer with in depth coverage advocacy did not exist in the brokerage industry decades ago, and it took some time to convince a firm to invest in this expertise, however the resulting cost savings and client satisfaction turned this niche into a competitive advantage.

What would your clients say about you and your company?

The risk management tools that I offer provide a second layer of risk transfer that has saved my clients a great deal of costs and expenses. Additionally, claims advocacy is much more than reporting of claims. It is understanding the insurance coverage terms and intent of the policy and knowing how to negotiate coverage of the trigger terms. Once the insurance is in place, it is critical to have a coverage expert to ensure that the coverage applies as it was intended. HUB International invests in subject matter experts from the marketing and placement of insurance coverage, to industry specific loss control experts, and claims advocates. This sets us apart from brokers that focus on generalized placement. The industry knowledge and experience that we offer on all levels of the business has been a game changer for our clients. HUB International is a leader in providing women with advancement and opportunity. HUB supports a national women’s network internally that boasts membership across the country and in Canada. I am the regional connector of New England which currently serves over 200 members. This group offers education, promotion, and mentorship to all of the women of HUB International.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Advocate for myself as ardently as I do for my clients. + Manage expectations.

What is currently your favorite book?

It’s a tie between Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, and The Big Potential, by Shawn Archor

What is your secret weapon? An app, a tool, a organization method, anything?! (Can be a personal or professional life tool)

Saying “NO” with a smile. Managing my client’s expectations up front is a very key part of my success. We all want to give our clients everything and we want to say “YES” when they need us. However there are times when an insurance claim, or some part of it, is not covered and the best way to address this is to be clear and fact based at the onset. I have found that if I have properly managed my clients expectations of coverage, and I can point to the language in the policy that supports the declination, our clients are usually satisfied. The same goes for response time. I am clear with my turnaround time up front. I don’t make promises that I can’t keep. When faced with the choice, I have found that most people want the job done right, rather than rushed.

What is your most recent WIN? How are you slaying it in your career or business?

A Landlord client of mine was able to tender a $300k claim to their Tenant based solely on the insurance terms that I negotiated on their behalf within their Tenant Lease. Direct quote from our client: ``The transfer of a $300k claim to the Tenant is due solely to the language that Jennifer negotiated on our behalf. Without Jennifer's language and negotiation efforts, we would have been stuck paying the full cost of this claim.” || I also recently turned a declination of coverage around on a significant claim on behalf of my client. Not only did I get the declination overturned, but I discovered that the policy language was counter to the intent of the coverage and was able to convince the insurer to: 1) amend the policy language, 2) identify every one of our client's with the same language on their policy and 3) get the insurer to amend every single one of those policies.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always bring compassion to the table. My negotiation skills became much more effective and successful when I learned to negotiate with respect and compassion. This carries over to all aspects of my life. Leading with compassion is critical.

How do you enjoy your free time?

I live in a beautiful part of New England and enjoy walking with my dog and listening to a great book on audible or a compelling podcast. My 10 year old daughter and I love to scooter downtown for ice cream. I enjoy volunteering my time as a board member for the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center.

What is something that not many people know about you?

I successfully completed not 1, but 4 marathons - Boston (3) and London (1)

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