How did you first become involved in the industry, and how did you progress to your current role?
I began with International Citizens Insurance in 2017 after working for a small property and casualty brokerage. I was new to the international insurance space and have loved working in this industry ever since. I started off working with individual health and travel insurance policies for people living and traveling abroad, and for the last six months I have worked in the group insurance space.
What does an ‘average’ work day look like for you?
My work day usually begins with speaking with clients and insurance carriers in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe to provide updates on pending applications and new groups I am working with. As the day progresses, I typically have a few phone calls and video meetings with USA-based potential clients or current customers to help with their existing plans. It is a mix of email, phone calls, and meetings as well as prospecting for new leads.
International Citizens Insurance was launched in 2004. What are the main changes the company has seen in that time?
We have seen an extremely large growth in our book of business and company size since then. I was the third employee at the company. We were very small at that time with only a few hundred leads per month. We have become an Inc. 5000 company for the past three years running and now serve over 3,000 clients per month in over 150 countries.
What is International Citizens Insurance doing differently?
International Citizens Insurance has positioned itself to be a leader in the international insurance space and has formed a strong relationship with many top carriers in the market. Our relationship with Cigna Global in particular has been beneficial for both us and them; we were recently named the number one broker in the USA for Cigna Global plans. We have a truly global approach and leverage our website and partnerships to serve a wide range of clients throughout the world.
Since the pandemic, the rise in digital nomads has surged. How has this impacted your business?
We were lucky to be in a good position when the pandemic started. Travel and trip insurance slowed down, but comprehensive expat insurance plans were on the rise because digital nomads were stuck abroad and needed to make sure they had adequate coverage. We have continued to keep our eye on the ever-changing Covid-19 landscape because as more countries opened, we saw an increased need for travel and international health insurance. We’ve increased our resources for digital nomads so they can learn the difference between travel insurance and international health insurance in order to get a plan that is the right fit for them. We have a great team here that continues to grow and excel in their roles to keep business booming.
What other trends are you seeing in the market?
On the group side, we have seen more companies that want to offer more comprehensive coverage to their international employees in line with what they are offering their domestic employees. This would mean health, life, income protection, and liability insurance. After Covid-19 and with the economy being in constant flux, employees are looking to make sure they have protection in case something happens to them in all aspects of life. For individual plans, we have seen an uptick in people wanting a plan that includes outpatient care instead of opting for an emergency-only inpatient style coverage.
We were lucky to be in a good position when the pandemic started
Attracting and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges employers now face. How is your business responding?
As the hiring landscape has evolved, it easier to hire employees in other countries. One trend we have seen is the rise of global professional employer organisations (PEO). The challenge for companies is to provide adequate benefits to all employees. Companies are coming to us for global insurance solutions for their foreign workers that are comparable to what they are offering to local employees.
We have been lucky in hiring great people over the years to help us grow and succeed. We have an amazing team in place and are actively looking to hire more employees in 2023 to help with the growth in leads we have seen. The team does a great job onboarding new hires and coaching them over the first few years to ensure they are successful and happy.
What has been your biggest challenge and most rewarding moment since joining International Citizens Insurance?
My biggest challenge has been learning about the marketplace and requirements for different countries. Each country typically has its own laws in place or requirements for someone looking to be approved for a visa. On the group side, countries like Dubai have a lot of regulations on the types of plans that can be offered. There’s always something new to learn.
The most rewarding would be the changes and growth we have seen since I started. I have had the privilege to watch new employees grow over their years at the company and watch our book of business and the list of products we offer grow over the years. To be a part of a company that values your opinions and allows you to help with the growth has been very rewarding for me personally.
My biggest challenge has been learning about the marketplace and requirements for different countries
What’s next for International Citizens Insurance?
We are hoping to continue to grow our group, life, and income protection books of business as well as continue the success we have seen with our IPMI and travel plans. We are focusing on not only continuing to sell new policies but also retaining our current customers. International Citizens Insurance has high expectations for 2023 and beyond, and we are very optimistic that we will hit our goals and continue to be a go-to solution for all things international insurance related for individuals and groups.