June 27, 2022
Get to know an SFM underwriter: Rick Spaulding
Wisconsin-based Marketing Underwriter Specialist Rick Spaulding has worked at SFM for nine years, and in the insurance industry for 16 years. We asked Rick a few questions about his role and his background.
What was your first job in the insurance industry?
Back in 2006, I was hired by another insurance carrier as an underwriting trainee. I sometimes look back and wonder where I would be today had I not gotten that job — probably not in the insurance world. It is just kind of neat how one little decision can really affect the rest of your life.
How would you describe your role at SFM?
It's a little bit more complicated than a traditional underwriter because we are marketing underwriters here at SFM — so it's a dual role. As an underwriter, I assess risk by determining insurability and then pricing. The other side of it, which is the side I think I gravitate toward and enjoy the most, is developing relationships with independent agents. When you work with somebody who you've gotten to know over the years and you help them succeed, and they help you succeed, and then we see our policyholders succeed by experiencing favorable loss experience, it just gives me a feeling that I’m having an impact.
How is SFM different from other carriers that you've worked with?
I’ve worked with other carriers both as an employee and an independent insurance agent. I would say that SFM stands out the most from other carriers in our service level. We're a lot more hands-on than most. The fact we’re in a dual role as marketing underwriters is also unique in the field. Being a marketing underwriter at SFM, I'm able to not only develop those relationships and make promises, I'm able to fulfill those promises and follow through with what I say I'm going to do.
Is there a time that stands out to you when your job was particularly rewarding?
This past year when a survey from one of our agent partners showed us among their top preferred carriers, that was very rewarding. It was really a testament to the hard work we've been putting in over the last decade. To see those survey results just praising how much they love working with our claims department, our loss prevention department, and working with me on renewals and new business just made me feel really good about all of the hard work that we’ve put in.
On a related note, we’re part of the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association, and when we’re at their annual conference, numerous policyholders come up to us and thank us for what we do. They mention all the loss prevention services we provide them and how well our claim reps handled certain claims, and just really express how much they enjoy working with us. That's a really, really neat experience to see coming from the customer.
What do you like most about your job?
I love having the ability to make decisions. I've worked myself to a point now where my manager trusts the decisions that I make, and I trust him as well, and we have open communication.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I kind of have a crazy household. There are six of us – including four kids, so it makes for interesting and fun times. We're constantly busy doing sports and being involved with the school. My unique hobby that I've taken up in the last year is Brazilian jiujitsu, and it has really just given me something to push myself outside of my comfort zone.