Q&A with Emily: How Coalition’s Business Development pros guide brokers to cyber insurance success
We are a technology (and data) company at heart but an insurance company by trade. Because our business is unique, we search high and low for experienced individuals who are experts in their field to help us on our mission to solve cyber risk. In this series, we speak with the people who make Coalition special and successful — a face to the email, so to speak.
Meet Emily Agramonte, a key member of our Business Development team. Emily is unique in the insurance industry, having majored in risk management at the University of Georgia. She’s had a passion for helping people manage risk from day one. Watch the video to get to know Emily yourself, or scroll down to find out why she loves working with brokers at Coalition.
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What’s your story? Tell me about your life outside of Coalition.
My name is Emily, and I live in Venice, Los Angeles. I grew up in Georgia but have been in LA for about eight years. My partner and I have two toddler boys, who keep us very busy, and we also have two rescue dogs from South Korea; a golden retriever and a corgi.
How did you end up in cyber insurance?
Unlike most people in this industry, who seem to have fallen into insurance, I majored in risk management in college at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). I landed an internship at a wholesale brokerage in Atlanta, and I worked under the company’s biggest broker for about a year. During that time, I really gained an interest and appreciation for professional and financial lines of insurance. I knew that was the area I wanted to focus on.
Why did you want to work for Coalition?
In my experience, the traditional way of underwriting cyber insurance was flawed. I spent so much of my career underwriting cyber insurance off-paper applications and sitting in on underwriting calls. When I heard Coalitions story — how they underwrite differently, how they take into consideration real-time security data in their underwriting process, and how that translates into lower loss ratios, I said, “This is a place I want to be!”
I love the value add Coalition brings to a policyholder throughout the policy period. Few carriers can detect malware and prevent a ransomware event before it’s on a policyholder’s radar, which is profound for small and mid-sized businesses.
What is a day-in-the-life of a Business Development professional like at Coalition?
I tell my brokers that I’m their very own cyber consultant. I assist them sometimes before they even have the account in their hand. That can be discussing a prospect, talking through exposures specific to that risk, letting them know how we underwrite differently, and all the value add that we can provide their client.
I assist my brokers through the quoting process, which can include policy comparisons and coverage interpretation. I go over security vulnerabilities with them or contact the right team at Coalition if their request is more technical. I’m still with that broker when the account binds and throughout the policy period.
At Coalition, we have so much more contact with our insureds once a policy binds. Our job doesn’t stop when a policy binds, and cyber risk doesn’t stop when a policy binds.
I might be on a call with my broker six months into a policy period, asking them for help to get in touch with an insured so we can take care of a security alert that just went out. In addition to all that, I’m responsible for bringing in revenue — telling Coalition’s story to new brokers and developing stronger relationships with the partners that we have.
How has your life changed over the last year?
Professionally, I always worked remotely with Coalition, but I can tell you I miss seeing my brokers in person. A lot! The dinners, happy hours, travel, the conferences, those are things I’m really looking forward to. Personally, our kids are still in daycare which has stayed open this entire time. I can’t complain. We have it really good.
What are some of the biggest challenges cyber faces in 2021?
Since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and companies are still having their employees work remotely, I imagine bad actors will continue to take advantage of all the security vulnerabilities related to remote access. Business email compromise and social engineering will stay at the top of the list. It probably won’t come as a surprise when I mention ransomware right now. Carriers are reevaluating their books of business and making significant changes when it comes to this coverage. We see nonrenewals, cut limits, and co-insurance.
Since we underwrite differently and more effectively, fortunately for us, we haven’t had to make any drastic changes. It’s been great to be able to come through for our brokers since they’ve been in a pinch over the past couple of months.
What is unique about selling cyber insurance?
The coverage is constantly changing. New endorsements are being released. Policy form updates come out once or twice a year. That has become the norm in the market. On top of that, every carrier has to call the coverage something different. There is no policy standardization. That’s always a challenge for people new to this space.
What do you tell brokers who are hesitant about selling cyber?
There are so many resources available to our brokers these days. I love all the content we have; industry-specific marketing materials, case studies, rebuttals for all nine million objections to buying cyber that brokers have to deal with, benchmarking, and our Coalition Risk Assessment (CRA).
I train my brokers on this tool all the time. They use it as a door opener. It lets them develop a new relationship with a prospect. I think what I’d say is you only need to know a little bit to be dangerous, so check out the broker resources page! We have everything in there.
What do you love most about your relationships with brokers?
Many of my brokers are now my dear friends, having worked with these people for so many years. I love this industry because you can work with someone ten years ago, not keep in touch, move to a new shop (like I did when I moved to Coalition), and that person will take your call. It’s a relationship business. It’s great that people remember you, and you can continue to do business with them.
If you could talk to the person reading this, what would you like them to know?
I know that there are 100 markets in this space, and it can be exhausting trying to keep up with every carrier’s differentiator. I spent five years on the wholesale brokerage side and the other five years on the traditional carrier side, where I was underwriting middle market and national accounts cyber and tech E&O.
I sat in your shoes as a broker. Give Coalition a shot! I wasn’t interested in making a move until I heard Coalition’s story. I was like, wow, that carrier is doing something different. They really have the policyholder in mind.
You have to think, what does an insured want? They don’t want to be dealing with a claim. They want to be up and running. We have a solution where, in addition to the coverage we are offering, we are actively trying to prevent an incident from happening. That’s huge and exactly what a policyholder wants.
Get in touch with Coalition
If you’re interested in getting appointed or have any questions about Coalition, feel free to contact us. And, if you’d like to join Emily and help brokers sell more cyber, check out our career page to view open opportunities!