How a millennial intern changed my business for the better

Twenty-year-old gave president of a specialty wholesaler some food for thought

How a millennial intern changed my business for the better

Insurance News

By Bethan Moorcraft

Interns have more to offer than just copying, filing and coffee runs. They’re a fresh pair of (often) millennial eyes looking at a somewhat stale insurance industry and wondering what might hold their interest.

One answer – technology.

Technology is a hot topic in the insurance industry all around the world,” said Robert Sanders Jr., president and founder of Preferred Specialty LLC. “From a technology standpoint, millennials tend to be fresh with ideas and fairly savvy.

“We all know the insurance industry has a technology challenge that has to be addressed. So why not ask the incoming millennial workforce to help us take our established business to the next level with technology?”

Register for our Millennials in Insurance event being held in New York City on February 08, 2018

That’s exactly what Sanders did with Preferred Specialty LLC, an excess and surplus (E&S) lines wholesaler, based in Columbia, SC. The agency took an insurance intern from the University of South Carolina, who spawned a major business revelation on her very first day.

When Sanders asked the intern to sort a check for a direct deposit payment, she replied that she had never written a check in her life, didn’t have a check book, and only really used debit/credit card and other types of e-payments.

Her response threw Sanders off course but then forced him to admit that he rarely uses checks for personal transactions any more. He approached his business accountant to find out how Preferred Specialty LLC’s agency partners pay the company. For the most part, they use agency checks, she said.

“I immediately said – we need to change that. We’ve got to start exploring other payment options today because I just spoke with a 20-year-old intern who has never written a check before,” Sanders told Insurance Business.

Since one memorable engagement with a millennial insurance intern, Sanders’ company Preferred Specialty LLC is now taking Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments and accepting payments via credit card. Many of the wholesaler’s clients have switched to using these easy-pay systems, which Sanders described as “an example of how a millennial has helped me change my business.”

“We have a wonderful foundation and a well-established insurance industry - but at the same time, we also have adjustments to make,” Sanders commented. “Engaging with millennials and the incoming workforce, asking for their opinions and thoughts, will not only help bridge the insurance workforce gap but it will also help with the business as well.”

Has a millennial helped your insurance business? Share your story in the comments section below.     

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