The insurance sector is highly competitive, which is why it can be difficult to advance your career quickly. However, Austbrokers Canberra broker Emily-Rose Srbinovska seems to know a few secrets about climbing the career ladder quickly.
Srbinovska (pictured) started her insurance career as an assistant underwriter at CGU Insurance. She soon fell in love with it upon realising the diversity of her role and the whole market when she dealt with not only intermediaries but also business owners from various industries.
“Fresh to the insurance industry, my role as an assistant underwriter enabled me to learn the fundamentals of underwriting, assisting underwriters select, price, and assess risks,” Srbinovska said.
Loving her work and being naturally a “numbers person” helped Srbinovska to gain industry knowledge and various skills, which led to a promotion less than a year after she entered insurance.
“I really enjoyed assessing risk through the data, then learning about the business and applying disciplines and underwriting methodology to suitably price an underlying risk profile,” she said.
“My capability had grown in such a short time as an assistant underwriter. Within nine months, I was promoted to underwriter with my own portfolio and panel of insurance intermediaries to service. My responsibilities were price and risk selection, new business growth, retention, and service levels.”
At only 21 years old, Srbinovska grabbed the opportunity to advance her career – accepting the role of senior underwriter at Allianz Australia.
“In an expanded technical role, my underwriting capability evolved significantly across all underwritten jurisdictions: WA, NT, Tasmania, and ACT,” she continued.
“Although scary at first, I was really glad I did as I learned an entire new landscape and approach to the industry and could capitalise on my existing relationships in the market. My move to Allianz was a great time in my career. I also really enjoyed entering more into the world of production, distribution, and sales.”
Srbinovska continued to expand her industry knowledge, and advanced her career further by becoming a personalised insurance broker at Austbrokers Canberra, where she manages her clients' entire business programme, including their property, business insurance, public liability, professional indemnity, construction insurance, and motor fleet, among others. She has also served in various senior roles at Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs).
Speaking about her broking experience, Srbinovska said: “As a broker now, with my experience, I am able to appreciate all underwriter relationships and can explain to clients how we need to work with our insurers, how to work with their profit targets and build networks not only with clients, but we need the support from their insurer to value the harmony of the relationship.”
“I love searching for new skills to master, both technical and professional soft skills, in order to better serve my clients and further my career in the industry,” she continued. “As the president of the Young Insurance Professionals (ACT branch), it's clear that development for young professionals is important to me. My advice is to push your limits, go outside of your comfort zone, stay curious, and ask the question.”
“Go to the events in your area and consider a mentor. You will be surprised when you ask someone if they will officially mentor you – how willing they may be to give you their time. Also, do something scary. I used to be afraid of public speaking; now for two years, I have been the emcee of the annual ACT Insurance ball hosting over 320 guests!”
Srbinovska has also been recognised for her skills over the years, most recently becoming a NSW/ACT finalist for the NIBA Young Professional Broker of the Year Award.
“I'm so happy I made the move to broking. It is by far my favourite role in the insurance industry. I really understood my value and proposition and how I wanted to service clients, and I look forward to furthering my career at Austbrokers Canberra and building long term relationships with my clients and my team,” Srbinovska concluded.