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Monday, April 15, 2024

Triple-I Weblog | How Karen Griswold Discovered Her Path in Chubb Marine Insurance coverage


By Loretta Worters, Vice President, Media Relations, Triple-I

When Karen Griswold graduated with a B.S. in advertising from Penn State College, her first foray into the enterprise world was to turn out to be an government retail purchaser in a big division retailer.  It didn’t take lengthy earlier than she realized it wasn’t a path for her.

She took an informational interview with somebody she knew on the Marine Workplace of America Corp. who instructed she take into account taking part of their marine insurance coverage coaching program. 

“I didn’t have a maritime background, my household didn’t even personal a ship, what did I learn about marine insurance coverage?” Griswold mentioned.  

“I began as an underwriting trainee assigned to the marine unit,” she defined.  “I did 18 months rotating in inland marine, cargo, hull and marine legal responsibility after which generalized insurance coverage coaching by their skilled coaching program and was assigned to a cargo unit in New York as an ocean cargo underwriter.”

It was a captivating journey, in response to Griswold. 

“As a part of the coaching I discovered about mechanical provides, prescription drugs, equipment, and livestock.  There was no field you would put your self in, it was altering on a regular basis.”

Cargo itself was completely different, Griswold discovered she needed to have a geopolitical sense. 

“At some point China, one other day Brazil, and I had to have a look at how cargo was shipped weighing variables, akin to the worth of freight, the value of the boat, whether or not it can function inland or on the ocean, and the legal guidelines and laws of nations the place the vessel may journey,” she mentioned. “It was fascinating.”

Her profession spanned all the things from cargo to hull and legal responsibility to tugboat and marine amenities.  She discovered about completely different courses of marine enterprise, too. 

Thirty years later, Griswold is an government vice chairman in Chubb’s Ocean Marine Division, and she or he nonetheless finds she learns one thing new day by day. 

“It’s an unlimited insurance coverage world, that’s what I discover so thrilling and attention-grabbing, whether or not it’s the political impacts of delivery, to world commerce legal guidelines, completely different points in distinct ports, it’s continually altering and evolving,” she mentioned.

In her present position, Griswold abroad all of it: ocean marine, hull, cargo, liabilities, and marinas enterprise.  Relying on the day, one is likely to be extra attention-grabbing than the opposite. 

“That’s one of many issues that challenges me probably the most in my place.  “I choose up the paper and discover out what’s taking place on the planet, the political complexities, and the way that impacts the best way we transact enterprise.”

Training is essential to Griswold, which is why she has been concerned with the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) for the reason that starting of her profession.  She began attending their instructional applications as a trainee.  Over time, she has sat on the hull and finance committees and at the moment serves as AIMU’s Director of Funds.

“AIMU’s President John Miklus has been an awesome champion of ladies, and for the business usually,” she mentioned.

Griswold is also concerned with the Worldwide Union of Marine Insurance coverage (IUMI) and sits on their coverage discussion board committee that displays all the worldwide marine points impacting the business. 

“I consider it’s a nice privilege to be a girl within the maritime business; there should not a variety of us,” she defined.  “There’s a pure camaraderie between us.  For some time, I used to be the one lady at numerous occasions, completely different organizations, and committees.  That has modified all through my profession.  It’s an unimaginable subject for folks.  The gender range has elevated over the past couple of years and has been encouraging to see.”

Griswold, who celebrated her twenty-fifth anniversary with Chubb, attributes her success to the mentors and sponsors all through her profession – each women and men. 

“We have to elevate girls, not solely within the marine business however in enterprise general,” she mentioned. “Simply being a feminine in a closely male-dominated group is a problem.  I’ve been fortunate; I’ve been handled pretty, and my expertise has largely been constructive.  Although it has been difficult as a mom, elevating youngsters in a male-driven business, discovering that stability.  However I’ve had an amazing quantity of help.”

Griswold, who spends a good period of time sponsoring girls inside and out of doors the business, famous that extra range is required.

“Being a champion is essential, to showcase a few of that expertise,” she mentioned.  “When girls see others like them, it’s extra empowering to have that bond, that capacity to see folks like themselves and develop and develop and take into account protected areas.  It’s essential to showcase these girls and their expertise.”

Whereas Griswold didn’t take pleasure in sponsorship amongst senior girls, she did have nice male sponsors alongside the best way. 

“These males helped me discover my voice and my path ahead,” she mentioned.  “We should assist different girls to seek out their voices.  We should assist one another, empower ourselves, and never create a aggressive setting.”

Griswold pointed to the worth of Chubb’s enterprise roundtables, that are worker useful resource teams that provide mentoring and networking.

“We have to discover compatibility, friendship, mentoring teams,” she mentioned. “Ladies have to forge their profession paths and discover their area of interest on this subject.  There may be power in numbers.”

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