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2019 Break Out Awards, Northeast: Michelle Chia

Michelle Chia


Senior vice president, head of specialty products, errors and omissions

Zurich North America

New York

Age: 34

Michelle Chia is senior vice president and head of specialty errors and omissions, overseeing professional liability and cyber at Zurich North America, where she has been since 2009. Before that, she was a professional liability underwriter with Ace Ltd. for over two years. She is the global ambassador for the Women’s Innovation Network for Zurich and has been on the Make A Wish Metro New Leadership Council since October 2016.

What is the No. 1 concern in your specialty?

There is a lot of confusion around what cyber insurance is — how companies are analyzing the cyber insurance perspective, what cyber insurance covers, how the claims for cyber insurance are adjusted. Our goal is to demystify cyber insurance.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?

Learn from your colleagues. The more experience you have, the more relevant you become as an insurance professional. Also, network. Insurance is a relationship business. We conduct repeat transactions with the same people, year after year.

What surprised you about the insurance industry?

That not more people are interested in working in it. We work in such a cool industry; it feels like insurance is the best-kept secret.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I recently started a podcast with three friends called Four of a Kind Podcast.

What would you/do you binge watch?

I love “The West Wing.” It’s witty, concise — the character development is great.

What is your favorite meal?

This is a really hard question for me to answer because I love to eat. I love eating almost all food, but my true guilty/ not-so-guilty pleasure is Domino’s ExtravaganZZa pizza.


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