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DAS Employee Spotlight

At DAS, our employees are just as important as our customers. Find out how they got into insurance and what drives their passion.
Shaleena's Story
Shaleena is a Bilingual Claims Analyst at DAS with 5 years of experience in the insurance industry. We interviewed Shaleena to find out a little bit more about her role and why she chose to go into the insurance industry.

1. How did you get into insurance? 
 
I always wanted to do something meaningful as a career, and my passion for insurance all started when I began working at my university’s Health Plan office. This is when I realized the importance of having insurance. Eight years ago, I flew to Halifax from Mauritius as an international student, and back then international students did not have the provincial health coverage. So by having the health insurance, students were provided with the “peace of mind” in the event that they experience high and unexpected medical costs. Through this experience I developed a passion for helping provide that peace of mind for others, and that’s how I found myself in the legal insurance industry.
 
2. What do you love most about insurance? 
 
What I love most about insurance is that I come across different scenarios every day, and my role directly impacts the lives of people. I also love how insurance helps people get back on their feet when they suffer a loss. DAS offers unique products which has enabled me to be exposed to unique scenarios and develop high critical thinking skills to analyze each situation in a fair and rational manner.
 
3. What is the biggest misconception about insurance? 

I think one of the biggest misconception about claims is that we don’t like to pay out on claims. This is not true because at DAS, we peer review to ensure that the policies are being applied accurately. It’s important to manage the expectations of the clients early on and focus on the positive impacts that you make.
 
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring insurance professionals? 

While everyone is striving for excellence at work, I believe it’s also important to keep balance in your life and acknowledge mental health as work is not only a source of economic well-being, but also impacts our mental well-being. We’re constantly exposed to a range of emotions and it is important to always check-in with ourselves and be aware. Self-care and maintaining healthy boundaries are key to a long career.

In my free time, I volunteer as a crisis counsellor. Being a claims adjuster and crisis counsellor at the same time has provided me with the right tools and techniques to better attend the needs of my clients.
 
5. What is your favourite thing about DAS?

I really like how unique DAS is in the sense that our staff is composed of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and countries. Being from Mauritius, I feel very welcomed and valued at DAS.
Janu's Story
Janu is a Business Development Specialist at DAS who supports our broker partners. We interviewed Janu to find out a little bit more about her role and why she chose to go into the insurance industry.

1. How did you get into insurance?

I initially worked for a mortgage securities company, and I found that I didn’t feel much fulfilment with spending my days in front of a computer screen using excel formulas. At a certain point, I realized I wanted to do something more social and that my interests were in building relationships and collaborating with different team members.

Like many others I didn’t intend to get into insurance –but I’m deep in and loving it! After going through the interview process with DAS, I instantly knew this was an organization I wanted to be a part of, and that this role would definitely tap into a career path I wanted to be in.

2. What do you love most about insurance?

There’s a place for everyone!

The insurance industry is much bigger and more innovative than most people think it is and because of that there’s a job for everyone. If you’re creative you can dive into the marketing side, if you’re analytical you can look into being in underwriting or finance –and if you’re like me who loves relationship building and collaborating, then business development would be the best place to start. As there are many different skill sets in the insurance industry, you constantly meet people from different walks of life which gives you the constant opportunity to learn.

3. What is the biggest misconception about insurance?

Many people tend to think that insurance professionals are dry. Contrary to that popular belief, the truth is insurance professionals are social, cultured, and take any chance to share a funny story paired with a drink. As a business development specialist I’ve learned that brokers are social, have a great sense of humour, and majority of their interactions involve learning about their clients –it’s really a relationship business.

It’s also quite smaller than you think it is, everybody seems to know each other –it’s a very close-knit community. Although there are many moments in our day-to-day jobs where we are buried in emails and policy wordings, I think to balance it all we become passionate about having fun during our down time.

4. Do you have any advice for aspiring insurance professionals?

I still consider myself an aspiring insurance professional as I’m still growing and learning! But I would say if you don’t know an answer –ask!

Everyone in the insurance industry has a different story and different experiences. Prior to this job, I had no previous knowledge about insurance, so most of it came from picking up my phone and calling –and I still do! Now that we’re in the world where we are all connected, feel free to reach out to other senior professionals for advice, you would be surprised as to how many people are willing to lend a hand.

5. What is your favourite thing about DAS?

We’re all passionate about what we do, and although we might be a small team, we’re a strong one. When it’s a half-day Friday, half of the company is still sitting at their computers working! It’s funny that our managers need to push us and tell us to go home, I don’t think that’s the case in many other companies. The DAS team has a lot of passion and everyone here takes ownership in being a subject matter expert.
Breann's Story
Breann is a Business Development Coordinator at DAS who works with the broker channel. We interviewed Breann to find out a little bit more about her role and why she chose to go into the insurance industry.

1. How did you get into insurance?

I can’t say insurance was a career path I envisioned for myself, as like many other insurance professionals, I fell right into it. After graduating University, I found myself in a field of work which wasn’t very fulfilling. I knew that whatever I chose to do moving forward, I wanted stability within the job market, a career which offered multitude of career paths, and an opportunity to learn something completely new. This is how I stumbled on insurance.

Legal Expense Insurance was of particular interest to me as I studied Criminology in school and was looking for a position where I could help others. For me, that was having the option to help provide access to justice to Canadian individuals through DAS.

 2. What do you love most about insurance?

While people may think of insurance as a sales career, there are so many different career paths you can choose within the industry. Insurance gives you the opportunity to try new things, while sticking within an industry that you know and love. Whichever path you chose within the industry, your end goal is always the same, it’s about making communities safer and more secure.
 
3. What is the biggest misconception about insurance?

There is more to insurance than people think!

Before falling into the insurance industry, whenever I thought of insurance, I would think of auto, life, and home insurance. I underestimated how large the industry really is as a whole, and how much opportunity there is. If you try a certain line of insurance and you’re not passionate, there are so many options out there and so many other career paths you can choose from within the industry.
 
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring insurance professionals?

If you fall into insurance like I did, don’t be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. Take the opportunity to advance your skillset, network, meet new people and build relationships. Insurance isn’t all about one streamlined career path, remember that you always have option to move around and try something new.

5. What is your favorite thing about DAS?

This past summer I attended my first conference –The Young Brokers Conference of Ontario in Niagara, in which I had the opportunity to learn the Broker world of Insurance and connect with Brokers from across the province! It’s so great to know that DAS supports their employees and provides them opportunities to grow and advance in their line of work –it’s truly something special.
Alexandrea's Story
Alexandrea is a Marketing Coordinator at DAS Canada. We interviewed Alexandrea to find out a little bit more about her role and why she chose to go into the insurance industry.

1. How did you get into insurance?

I fell into insurance when I got a temporary job as a receptionist at a brokerage. I realized that insurance was a really interesting industry. I expressed my interest in getting licensed, but instead I actually ended up falling into the marketing department at that previous company. So although I technically didn’t get into “insurance” per se, I am still very passionate about the industry and truly believe in the products and services that insurance provides.

2. What do you love most about insurance?

Working in the industry helped me see the reality of it –specifically how people’s lives were improved by insurance, and how it helped them in their time of need. Also, I really like how diverse the insurance industry is in terms of all the products and services it offers. Working at a legal expense insurance company made me realize that I love being able to communicate to Canadians that access to justice doesn’t have to be hard.

3. What is the biggest misconception about insurance?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s not a trustworthy industry. I think some people don’t realize all the factors that go into insurance premiums, what it costs, and what it does –because at the end of the day it costs money to give money. Especially having worked in a brokerage as a somewhat removed party –as in being the marketing department and not dealing with clients directly, you really do see how genuine agents are and how much they believe in the product that they’re selling.

4. Do you have any advice for aspiring insurance professionals?

Although I’m more involved in the marketing side of insurance, I think the biggest piece of advice I would give is to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Don’t always stick to what you know, for example I never imagined myself to be working in the field of legal expense insurance marketing. This all stemmed from me landing a temporary job at a brokerage, so it was all by chance. Had I not worked at a brokerage, I would have probably never explored a career option within the insurance industry.

Sometimes you need a little push to explore new options –for me it was the temporary job, but for others it could be something completely different. Leverage your social media to connect with people who can help you out by giving you insights into a particular field that is of interest to you. Who knows you may find yourself in an industry that you never thought you’d find yourself in! 

5. What is your favourite thing about DAS?

Hands down the culture and work environment. I feel like at DAS we’re all one big family and our passion and desire to help Canadians gain access to justice is transparent through the work we all do. We’re all working towards a product that we each believe in.
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