Gore Mutual is filled with talented, ambitious people who are helping our company continue to grow. In the latest segment of our Meet Our People series, we caught up with Martin Yamashita, one of the talented Senior Personal Lines Underwriters in our Vancouver office. Let’s see what he had to say.
How long have you been at Gore Mutual? Can you tell us a bit about your professional experience before coming here?
I’ve been with Gore Mutual for about seven years now. Before joining the company, I worked at some other insurers as a personal lines underwriter. I first started working in the insurance industry in the mid-nineties.
Why do you like working at Gore Mutual?
I’ve been in the industry for quite a while and can honestly say that Gore Mutual is one of the best insurance companies you can work for. It’s a very people-oriented, tight-knit place where your voice is an important factor in the business model, which I think is uncommon among other insurance companies.
You’ve been involved with some of the community initiatives at our Vancouver office. Why is it important for you to give back?
I like to be involved so that I can be a good example to my children. In addition to telling them what the right thing to do is, I also want to do it myself.
Giving back is also an important part of the culture at Gore Mutual, both at a corporate level and an employee level. I think all of us feel it’s important to support our local community and the communities where we do business.
What’s your favorite part about being an underwriter?
A few years ago, we brought in some insurance students from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and I spoke with them about some of the things that makes underwriting interesting. I think this job has so many elements that you can tap into depending on what you like. For example, there’s a bit of an analytical bent to it. Or maybe you’re into law and some of the aspects of interpretation and understanding contractual obligations. And of course, there’s the people factor because underwriting is probably 60% sales and relationship building.
You meet so many people in this job. You’re not always just talking about products and limits. You get to know about them, their lives and their interests. Getting to make these connections is one of the great things about underwriting. If you enjoy connecting with people, underwriting is fantastic and a really good career choice.
What do you want insurance brokers to know about our personal lines offerings?
That we’re here to do business with them and we’re here to listen. I think those are two key factors given the current market in personal lines.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The insurance industry is very small and it’s very common to see people move around. I would say never burn your bridges in this industry. I think that’s good advice in any profession to be honest, but especially in insurance. Be professional, be civil and be kind because the person that you’re working with now could be your next boss or your next co-worker.
What’s something people might not know about you?
I’m probably the biggest Lord of the Rings fan at Gore Mutual. My wife and I even picked a middle name for our son from The Lord of the Rings, Rohan, which also works because it’s a boy’s name in her culture. I’ve collected the books and movies, art pieces and more. I also try to read the entire series each year.
Have a Gore Mutual employee that you’d like to see featured in Meet Our People? Contact your Business Development Manager or email the Editor of Go Magazine here.