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President and head of public entity risk solutions
Munich Re Specialty Insurance
As she moved from being a federal attorney to a claims attorney and eventually an underwriter, the common thread for Erin Fry was taking on challenges outside her comfort zone.
“When you’re able to rise to that challenge and show your colleagues and management that you can go outside of that comfort zone and succeed, that’s where you can accelerate your career,” Ms. Fry said.
“You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” she said. “That’s also how you grow in your profession. If you’re looking to progress in your career, I think you have to be able to pull in different experiences.”
After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, she became a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.
She then moved to the insurance world with what was then XL Insurance, now Axa XL Insurance, part of Axa SA, as a claims attorney for environmental claims.
“I interviewed with law firms and I interviewed at XL and just felt like I clicked with some of the people there during the interview process,” Ms. Fry said, adding, “Environmental law was always an interest of mine.”
Claims experience helped the move to underwriting. On the claims side, she said, “you get to see the fallout of the situation. You have a good understanding of what the exposures are, what the downside to the underwriting potentially is.”
She called moving into underwriting a “natural fit,” even down to the interviewer for the position, a former claims attorney.
Ms. Fry credits “really strong sponsorship throughout my career” as a key element of her success. “It’s not just a solo journey.”
Ms. Fry said she sees more awareness around diversity and inclusion than when she entered the insurance industry, but added, “I still think we have a lot of opportunity ahead of us to continue pushing diversity and inclusion as an industry. There’s a lot of opportunity in the insurance industry and a lot of exciting roles women can take on.”
The Business Insurance Women to Watch awards program highlights the achievements of female leaders in the insurance sector to celebrate their success and promote gender diversity in the industry.