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Director, retail property
Everest Insurance, a unit of Everest Re Group Ltd.
Sarah Wander’s first experience in the insurance industry was during her junior year in college via a Willis Re internship in San Francisco, followed by an internship with Towers Watson & Co. in London after graduation. She then accepted a position with American International Group Inc. in Los Angeles, becoming a global marine underwriter and ultimately a commercial property underwriter.
What is the No. 1 concern in your specialty?
In relation to property insurance, a very real concern right now is climate change and its effect on the frequency of severe natural catastrophes around the world. It has really been an unprecedented past couple years in terms of cat and noncat losses.
How do you see your job changing over the next 10 years?
Even though the industry is investing more and more in better technology and underwriting tools to make our jobs more automated, I do not see the role of an underwriter ever going away in an industry that relies so heavily on strong relationships with clients and brokers. Models and pricing tools are very helpful, but when it comes down to helping a client with an issue or concern, it takes creativity and flexibility to solve that issue.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Get involved in your local insurance industry committees, networking groups and charitable organizations. The more you feel connected personally with your work and with those who you work with, it’ll not only make your job easier but more enjoyable.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am pregnant with identical twin girls right now!
What is your favorite app or gadget?
Instagram. I do most of my social media and communication with relatives and friends on there.
In the insurance industry’s battle for talent, there are plenty of incumbents to fight over.