Servicing the Latino business community in Los Angeles

Underwriter is working hard to understand and assist her home community

Servicing the Latino business community in Los Angeles


By Sam Boyer

Maribel Arias, a second-generation American from Mexico, was born and raised in California. Now with Chubb, she’s helping out the Los Angeles Latino community.

Arias, SVP and executive field underwriter for Chubb’s North American Commercial Insurance Division, was instrumental in a company initiative in Los Angeles to serve the Hispanic Business Owner community, by better understanding the market, their buying habits, and important community organizations.

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“Working on the Latino business has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career,” Arias said. “As a Latino … you tend to cover it up a bit, to assimilate, to succeed in the corporate structure that exists. So to be able to really bring that out, and have it supported by the organization you work for – not just in talk, but also in dollars – it’s extremely rewarding and energizing.

“I came from a very modest beginning. My parents were first-generation, and I was the first generation to graduate from college, and I feel like I’ve been fortunate in the opportunities I’ve been given.”

A graduate of UCLA, Arias gained an internship at Bank of America out of university with the help of INROADS, an organization that seeks to increase workplace diversity by assisting Blacks, Latinos, and Native American students into the ranks of major corporations.

After four years at the bank, she moved to Chubb, where she trained as an underwriter working in the P&C middle market. Fast-forward 20 years and Arias jumped at the chance to work in the Los Angeles Latino community.

“[Now] I’m giving other people a leg-up and an opportunity to succeed,” she said. “I feel like it’s the best way to give back to the community.”

According to the US Census Bureau, the number of US residents aged five years and older who spoke Spanish at home rose 120% from 1990-2013, increasing from 17.3 million to 38.4 million. Latino business owners have been a community that may not have been targeted or adequately served in the past, although that’s beginning to change.

A Chubb subsidiary, Combined Insurance, last year launched a Latino Sales Zone to better understand the Latino market and offer insurance sales in Spanish.

“Combined Insurance offers an opportunity for agents to engage with members of their communities and provide meaningful services to families and individuals in the language they prefer,” Combined sales exec Modesto Flores said. “We are building a team of leaders and are hiring insurance agents who represent a new evolution in how our community is served in this industry.”

Related stories:
Chubb firm hiring 300 agents for new Latino zone
California broker acquired by East Coast holding group

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