"A lot of places are now adapting, creating their own apps and understand that a lot of users are more receptive to technology," says Vivian Tran, independent agent. "They want that easy access."
Associate Financial Analyst
Parker, Smith & Feek
Recently binged TV show: Tiger King
In your earbuds: Crime Junkie podcast
Most used app: Facebook
When I was finishing up my degree in finance, I was working at a retail store and a customer said, “Oh wow, I love your customer service. I work at Symetra. If you would like a job after college, let me know and I would be happy to help you.” So I sold her a pair of shoes and that's how my insurance career started.
WHAT’S TO LOVE?
I had a moment of realization helping a group with their benefits and their renewals. We got so many messages from their employees thanking us because we got them really great rates and they were happy because, prior to that, they weren't able to put their spouse on their plan or even afford the medical benefits. That was a big change for them; to have access to health insurance that’s affordable and covers their spouse or their kids. Being able to do that is really nice because you're impacting someone's health.
I learned so much from my peers at Symetra. I am still learning so much from my peers at the brokerage I'm at now. I feel like all my coworkers are definitely role models. They're constantly teaching me every single day.
For the most part, I have a really great work/life balance. It definitely gets crazy during the fourth quarter. There have been times where I've been at the office a lot later than I wish. But that being said, the company is really great about working from home, which is good for people who have families or pets and they can’t stay later in the office than their schedule allows.
One of the big challenges that we have been talking a lot about at our company is prescription medicine because it's so expensive. You hear all the time about how there's a medication that will cost $2 million. It brings up questions like, who's going to pay for it? How are we going to pay for it? How are the payment plans going to work? That's a really big struggle for everyone working in the health insurance industry. We're trying to figure out how to navigate through that.
Our company just came out with an app. All employees have it downloaded on their phone and it will let you know where you're at with your deductible and can help you find your closest in-network providers. A lot of places are now adapting, creating their own apps and understand that a lot of users are more receptive to technology; they want that easy access.
FUTURE OF INSURANCE?
The coronavirus pandemic will impact the future. I think it definitely exposed some of the weaknesses we have, not only in the healthcare industry, but in insurance as well. I hope that after all this is over, we'll be able to reassess healthcare and if something like this happens again, we won't have to be as reactive next time.
Will Jones is IA managing editor.
This interview is the third in a series that profiles 10 millennials in the independent insurance industry, based on Independent Agent magazine’s July cover story.