Canadian Underwriter

Monica Kuzyk | Curo Claims Services

March 9, 2023   by Stacey Hunt

Monica Kuzyk

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Monica Kuzyk, Vice-President, Curo Claims Services

“In my generation, when we began to work in the ’80s, insurance companies were the places that were hiring,” says Monica Kuzyk, “so I applied at a local property and casualty insurer and was offered a job as a claims assistant.”

From there, Kuzyk became an adjuster, examiner, and underwriter before feeling a pull back to claims. That’s where, in her words, her career took off. Kuzyk now holds the role of vice president at Curo Claims Services.

Asked for keys to her success, Kuzyk says her leadership abilities expanded each time she stepped out of her comfort zone. She also stressed the importance of education: obtaining her CIP, FCIP and CRM designations, as well as completing other relevant training, proved an important part of her journey because it gave her added credibility, she says.

“I’ve also been fortunate to work with great people,” she adds. “I’ve built my network, and your network will build opportunities for you and support you.”

Support is something Kuzyk knows more women in the industry still need. Bias, she says, remains a workplace issue.

“I think as senior leaders we need to be cognizant that leadership potential looks different for women. It can be taking care of an employee in distress. It can be connecting regularly with remote workers. Those subtle things also demonstrate leadership potential.

“I also think that push-pull moms feel is still real.”

To illustrate her point, Kuzyk cites the example of a getting a last-minute invitation to play golf. Typically, women with children can’t quickly arrange for childcare. As a result, they lose the chance to connect with senior leaders outside of work – a key to advancing relationships and advancing up the ladder.

Kuzyk shares some advice for women who wish to become leaders in the P&C industry. Find champions, those senior leaders who don’t allow you to be overtalked in meetings. Each time you’re affirmed, she says, it builds confidence and courage. Take chances. Be bold. Ask for a professional coach. If you have done all the learning you can do at one level, don’t be afraid to ask for executive-level learning that makes sense for you.

And if that doesn’t work?

“In my observation,” Kuzyk continues, “women are wonderfully ambitious and they’re loyal. However, never let loyalty keep you in a situation that common sense tells you to get out of. As a woman aspiring to be a leader, if you’ve demonstrated proficiency in your work and you’ve demonstrated value with your organization, and you gather the courage to ask what you can do to advance and to become a better leader, and your organization doesn’t have an answer for you, don’t let some sense of misplaced loyalty keep you from realizing your full potential elsewhere.”

Hopefully, though, any need to move will diminish and eventually disappear. Kuzyk is inspired when she sees the leadership at the levels within the insurers right now, the individuals that have the helm.

“I think our industry is in great shape,” she says. “Can we do better? Sure. But I think we’re well on our way.”