She has a laugh you can hear all the way from Far North Queensland and a personality to match, it’s safe to say that if you’ve ever met or spoken with Karen Hardy, you won’t soon forget it.
Principal broker of Acme Insurance Brokers, based in Tully, Hardy made the jump from banking to insurance and has never looked back as she believes she was born to be a broker
“I was bored stupid working in a bank when my mother-in-law told me about a job going at the local insurance multi-agency,” Hardy told Insurance Business
“I got the job and fell in love with the challenges and diversity that is the general insurance industry. The rest is history!
“I'm a Gemini - easily bored, two faced and tough talking, so I was born to be an insurance broker!”
Hardy said that the importance of insurance needs to be drilled into younger generations as education around the industry could lead to the birth of more insurance careers.
“Without it the wheels fall off,” Hardy said of insurance.
“The world does not turn without insurance. No-one can afford for it to turn without insurance and that is the saddest part about it, they all just think that it is an imposition.
“I actually think that insurance should be taught in business principles in high school so that there is a clear understanding of your obligations in society, of why you need insurance and the importance of it.
“Maybe that may feed into young people thinking ‘there’s a career there.’
“We really should have a degree in general insurance, that’s for sure.”
It is the educational side of the industry that keeps Hardy coming back for more as she says: “You’ll never learn it all, you’ll never remember it all, that’s for sure.
“I never stop reading, I never stop trying to learn because there are always new products, there are always different scenarios and there is always someone who knows more,” Hardy continued.
“It is fascinating. There is never anything the same.”
Insurance is often portrayed as a boys club and Hardy said that she has not met many challenges on her path to the top.
“I think they’ve all gotten used to me,” Hardy said. “In all honesty, I probably have balls of steel as far as that goes.
“I shouldn’t come across as such an ocker but I have always found that you can’t beat them so you join them. I swear, I curse, I act like a bloke and it works well because I am just one of the boys so that’s my take on it and they’d probably say the same because I’m a bit rough around the edges.”
Jokes aside, Hardy stressed that helping people is the real nature of the insurance industry.
“Helping people is a great ego-trip, I suppose, and I’ve done a fair bit of that up in this neck of the woods,” Hardy continued.
“It is really satisfying to assist people in their time of need.”
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