Navigating the insurance world can be a challenge.
The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. At SELCO Insurance Services, we look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience to make your way forward easier. In this issue, we talked to SELCO Insurance Customer Service Representative Eric Medrano about educating customers as a front-facing employee, the many benefits of being a one-stop shop for insurance, and his experience-of-a-lifetime in South America.
Your main focus is providing customer service for SELCO’s insurance policy holders. From the sound of it, that only scratches the surface. Could you describe what all your role entails?
Eric: In addition to providing service to our policy holders, I also service existing policies, process changes or updates, maintain records, and handle policy renewals. As a backup to our producers, I provide auto and home insurance quotes for new and existing clients. I also provide assistance with our other insurance products sold through the credit union—for example, GAP and Payment Protection.
And so, you end up helping a lot of people either over the phone or inside the Gateway Branch. Would you say this was your calling?
Eric:I find it to be a rewarding position. I get to interact with different kinds of people every day, and it helps me use and develop my problem-solving skills. I also enjoy knowing that I’m able to help someone.
You’re well-versed in many different facets of the insurance business, including policies and procedures for more than a dozen insurance companies. What are the advantages of providing customers with so many options?
Eric: Working with many different companies enables us to be a one-stop shop for all insurance needs. We don’t just sell auto and home insurance, but also plans like renters, health, life, and business insurance. Also, it gives our customers choices and enables us to offer a wide variety of coverage options and price points. When you work with one insurance company, you’ll often have limited options. There’s also no need for a customer to spend time filling out many different online applications to get a quote comparison. We have the ability to quickly check prices and coverages with our many insurance companies that we work with and get the best deal for our customers.
You began your SELCO career in 2007 as a Member Service Representative. When did you join Insurance Services, and how did you get there?
Eric: I joined Insurance Services in March 2017. When I started my SELCO career, it was my first time working for a credit union. The experience made me aware of the many advantages and services that we offer our members, one of them being insurance products. Although I didn’t work directly with insurance, that first role gave me an insight into this industry. When I was informed a position was available, I was intrigued by the prospect of learning a completely different industry and the challenge that came with it. But this position also offered the flexibility to continue the volunteer work I do in the community.
Over the years, we've touched on some misconceptions about life insurance. In your experience, how have you allayed people’s fears about life insurance or any other type of insurance?
Eric: Although I’m familiar with the credit union industry, I’m fairly new to the insurance world. So, I understand very well why many view insurance as abstruse—as it can be. I can empathize with those who feel this way, and one method I use to try to diminish people’s fears is by being as knowledgeable as possible and trying to explain the complexities of insurance in simple terms. Once someone comprehends something, I’ve noticed they’re no longer intimidated by it.
You took a hiatus and lived in South America for a while. Could you share a little bit from your experience?
Eric: In February 2015, my wife and I packed up and moved to South America. We spent two years living in Ecuador and Peru. Although moving can be difficult, especially to a different country, it was truly an unforgettable experience. Our main focus was to do some educational volunteer work in a rural community of Ecuador. But we also took advantage and did quite a bit of traveling, visiting Ecuador’s breathtaking Andes mountain regions and beautiful warm beaches. We spent several months living in Peru, enjoying their exquisite gastronomy and visiting Machu Picchu and northern Peru’s famous beaches.