For the first Meet Our People segment of 2020, we caught up with Ranjit Jhutty, the Team Lead on our Western Personal Insurance Solutions team. Let’s see what she had to say.
How long have you been at Gore Mutual? Can you tell us a little bit about your professional experience before coming here?
I’ve been at Gore Mutual for nearly seven years now. I started my insurance career back in 2001 on the broker side, as an underwriter for personal lines, commercial lines and auto. This is where I realized my passion for helping clients.
The first brokerage I worked for was small yet very busy. Being in that environment helped me learn a great deal about the industry and gain a lot of experience working with different types of insurance products.
What attracted you to the insurance industry?
One thing that attracted me to the industry is the variety and breadth of work. It’s a very broad industry full of possibilities. There are so many different career paths. You can be an underwriter or a broker and you can even switch between different roles within the same company, whether that’s in commercial lines, personal lines, claims or business development.
I also appreciate not being tied to a desk, and that there are always opportunities for learning and growth.
What are some things you love about working here?
Before coming to Gore Mutual, I had heard a lot of great things about the company. What I love about working here is how our culture, people and working environment really make you feel like you’re part of an extended family – or even sometimes like an immediate family.
It’s a people-oriented organization with a sense of genuine care, where everyone is encouraged to speak out – Gore Mutual truly values everyone’s ideas. I always try to make it a priority to really listen and understand people’s feedback. Even if some ideas don’t fit with what we’re working on, I’m glad to hear them and encourage my colleagues to share their opinions. This is part of what makes Gore Mutual stand out amongst many other insurance companies and helps make it such a great place to work.
What’s your favourite part about being an underwriter?
My favourite part of being an underwriter is connecting with people. In my job I get the chance to connect with our broker partners every day, and while email has its benefits, I always prefer to get on the phone instead. This allows us to brainstorm and discuss solutions that are fair for the policyholder, the broker and our company – it’s a win for all sides.
With this kind of communication, you really get to know people – you build a rapport with brokers and develop strong relationships. I believe that this is one of the keys to our success.
What do you want brokers to know about our Personal Lines offerings?
One of the most important things that I’d like our broker partners to know is that we are here for them. We value our relationships with our brokers and are constantly striving to work together and to help them grow their businesses.
I’d also like to let them know that we have professional, experienced, dedicated and friendly staff waiting to assist them – we even provide training to brokers when needed.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
There’s so much! Work hard and find solutions. Be confident and professional. But most of all, never stop learning, and share the knowledge that you’ve gained. My boss at the very first brokerage that I worked at always stressed the importance of education and continuous learning. He would say, “take the knowledge that you have gained and use it to find a solution instead of focusing on the problem.” I carry that advice with me every day.
Gore Mutual recently announced an ambitious new strategic direction. What excites you about the company’s plans for the future?
I’m very excited for the company’s new direction! It’s the next step for our organization – we’ve been here for 180 years, and we want to ensure that we’re around for a long time to come. This new path is driven by changing customer expectations and technology. The reasoning behind it is very clear as well – to change insurance for good.
All of us here in BC have been looking forward to this new strategy and are eager to embark on Gore Mutual’s next horizon.
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2020?
I have three different resolutions – one for my personal life, one for my professional life and one for my social life. On the personal side, I’d like to make it a priority to have more “me-time” this year, whether that’s relaxing at home or going to the gym with my husband. I set a goal for myself to go to the gym at least five days a week. Sometimes I skipped days in 2019, but I want to avoid that in 2020.
On the professional side, I want to stay focused, connect with more people and enhance my knowledge and technical skills by taking some different computer courses.
Finally, on the social side, I’d like to do more volunteer work. I’ve been an Insurance Institute Ambassador for the last eight years and love sharing my knowledge and experience at events to promote the insurance industry. In 2019, I was so busy that I couldn’t do as much of this as I wanted to – that’s why I want to be even more involved in 2020.