Steve Purser, an account executive with Austcover in Brisbane, and Chair of the NIBA QLD Young Professionals Committee, talks about disruption, competitive eating and Lara Croft.
I am very fortunate to have family working in the insurance industry which helped me obtain my role as an assistant underwriter. I wasn’t too sure what I really wanted to do at that stage in my life but after starting out, I realised how our industry has great career path potential and haven’t looked back since.
How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Knowledgeable, personable & resilient
How would you change the industry?
As a young professional, I am keeping a very close eye on technological and social developments as I believe our industry is at risk of being disrupted. I would put greater emphasis on how we communicate with our clients to ensure they fully understand their insurance needs.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
You don’t need to know everything. What you do need however is a network of knowledgeable people on your side.
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
In a highly competitive market with more and more players, I believe brokers need to look outside the box to see what value adds they can provide to prospective clients.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
I wouldn’t exactly say it is strange, but I arranged the cover on a zoo which included a lion safari. It was something I hadn’t had much exposure with and really enjoyed the process of reviewing the business and ensuring all the client’s needs were met.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Provided I could make it through the whole day without somebody replacing me, I would make a mandate for daylight savings in all states!
What has been the highlight of your career?
It is hard to say but it would have to be all the interesting and intelligent people you get to meet. Whether it be leaders in the insurance industry or your clients, it is great to deal with them on a professional level.
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
Definitely other. I really enjoy some of the unusual sports out there such as the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating).
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
I know you are looking for something inspirational here but I am going to let my inner geek shine.
Joss Whedon - Writer and director of popular television series and movies such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and both the Avengers movies. I was obsessed with these shows as a teenager and would love to discuss his inspirations and ideas.
George RR Martin - I just really want to find out what’s going to happen next and if Jon Snow is really dead!
Angelina Jolie - She played Lara Croft! Enough said.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
Hopefully employed at an event planning company. I enjoy organising seminars and networking events with the NIBA YP committee.