Canadian Underwriter

2022 Underwriters of the Year | France Bourgeois, Personal Lines Underwriter, Wawanesa

October 3, 2022   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

France Bourgeois

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France Bourgeois joined Wawanesa in 2012 after working at a brokerage for 21 years. Fluently bilingual, a seasoned underwriter and a self-professed workaholic, she has a keen sense of the pressures brokers face and works hard to make life easier for brokers and customers.

France loves the rewarding work of being an underwriter, she says, as it gives her the opportunity to work with people and understand complex challenges, working as a partner to create positive and trusting relationships, and helping people get the right coverage for their needs. “I have great respect for the brokers I work with, and the fact I was nominated for this recognition by brokers means the world to me.”

Q: What makes for a great underwriter/broker working relationship?
“After the last couple years, it’s more important than ever to support brokers and be deliberate about building strong relationships. Brokers have gone above and beyond to help our customers and, as underwriters we need to make sure we’re there to support them. Every new conversation is a chance to build a new relationship.”

Q: What is the biggest challenge for underwriters, and one thing that underwriters/insurers can do to overcome this?
“We all work hard to meet evolving customer needs and expectations. Speed today is more important than ever, so is building trusting relationships. We must set clear and accurate expectations, communicating in a respectful and empathetic way… make sure we’re fast, accurate and easy for brokers to do business with, while also never forgetting the importance of human interaction.”

Q: What’s one opportunity you think underwriters should focus more on?
“Building good relationships has always been a core part of my work. I want to be there to support our broker partners and give them the best possible advice, which in turn means our mutual customers are well-served. Insurance is about people helping people and underwriters are a key part of that.”