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Co-founder, president and CEO of Insurance Licensing Services of America Inc.
Creator of “Spot On Insurance”
Humacao, Puerto Rico
Arleen Taveras started out in the banking world but moved into insurance and hasn’t looked back.
At 18, Ms. Taveras worked at Chemical Bank’s finance division as an administrative assistant while attending Jersey City State College at night majoring in economics. She was soon promoted to the position of junior accountant.
By the late 1980s, she moved to Minet Group, a London-based broker that was later bought by Aon PLC. She attended the College of Insurance in New York, and soon she was guiding operations concerning broker licensing.
As a Latina woman of color with Dominican heritage she stood out in the insurance world at the time, she said.
“I really wasn’t what they were expecting,” she said, laughing. “The brokers would look at me and say, ‘But honey, I’ve always done it this way.’ It was a challenge to help them understand that they had to adhere to new regulations and this young woman was going to teach them how, but they usually came around.”
In 1997, she started Insurance Licensing Services of America Inc., which provides a full complement of licensing and related services to retail and wholesale insurance agencies and insurers. Over the next 20 years, she and her partner and husband, Ted Taveras, grew the business from a three-person shop to a company of over 60 employees, serving thousands of agencies and tens of thousands of producers nationwide.
“Creativity, innovation, empathy, tenacity, intelligence and drive are the key ingredients making up Arleen Taveras,” said Christa Rapoport, senior vice president, chief legal officer and chief compliance officer at health and life insurance agency Insurance Care Direct in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
She and Ms. Taveras worked many years ago on a large project for American International Group Inc. and are still friends.
“Arleen is the very definition of a can-do woman. I am continuously inspired by her entrepreneurship in an industry where prominent women of color are still rare,” she said.
After to moving Puerto Rico in 2016, Ms. Taveras and her husband started the weekly podcast “Spot On Insurance.”
“The podcast is all about educating insurance professionals, and people in the business listen to it all over the world,” she said.
The 2019 Business Insurance Women to Watch Awards showcase another outstanding group of female executives in the insurance and risk management sector.