The family business

The family business | Insurance Business

The family business
Many people either fall into insurance or it is in the blood and for Rhys Mills, managing director of Solution Underwriting, it was the latter.

“For me, I began in insurance when I was all of 19-years of age,” mills told Insurance Business.

I think a lot of people would say that the only way into insurance is that you fall into insurance but you either fall into it or it is in the family and for me it was in the family, it was in the blood for me.”

Mills father was also a loss adjuster but the younger generation had his sights set on one goal in particular.

“My goal was to have my own agency by the time I was 30 and in 2010, I started Solution when I was thirty so I just snuck in there,” Mills said.

Solution has gone from strength to strength since then, snagging three medals in the Brokers on Underwriters awards ran by Insurance Business last year, but Mills said the industry at large face a “million dollar question” on attracting talent to the industry.

“That is the toughest thing that the industry faces and would be a complete change in people’s opinion or mindset of the insurance industry,” Mills continued.

“Most people, unfortunately if you tell them you work in insurance, the first thing they will say is they had a bad experience with a car insurance claim or a house insurance claim and insurance companies are just out there to take your money.

“Generally, the usual man on the street as it were, that is the extent of their experience with insurance is paying their car insurance renewal. As somebody that has worked in insurance my whole life, I don’t like paying my car insurance renewal either but nobody has got a gun to my head as it were to pay it, it is a choice that I make and I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Is there a way to completely, wholesale change people’s opinion of insurance? No, there is probably not.”

Mills, who was one of the last recipients of an undergraduate degree in insurance from Deakin University, said that education of the general public could help the industry attract new talent.

There is only one way to eat an elephant and that is in very small bites so if you can keep chipping away at people, get in the mindset of it being one of those forefront financial services careers that people can actually have and it’s just so varied,” Mills said.

“I think people are unaware of the fact that there are so many different jobs that you can do in insurance rather than just as people think insurance, people think going door-to-door selling insurance but gone are the days. It is actually a very skilled area with very specialist fields within insurance that people can get involved in.”

As a second generation member of the insurance family, Mills stressed that he would welcome a decision by his children to join the family trade.

“I would absolutely encourage it, if my kids decided that they wanted to get into insurance, it has been absolutely fantastic for me and I think it is a great industry,” Mills said.

“My very best of friends, I’ve met through insurance, my partner I’ve met through insurance… if they said one day that they wanted to, I couldn’t support them anymore, I think it would be absolutely fantastic.”

Related stories:
A natural born broker
From the mail room to the board room
Make insurance a profession not 'a relative unknown'