How to Be Successful in Insurance

Stay Current to Stay Ahead in Insurance

Walt Weimar’s advice for how to be successful in insurance: Stay engaged in current events and be eager to learn.

Walt Weimar and his wife posing in front of the London Bridge

Walt Weimar chose his accounting major because he was good at math, but once he was in college, it just didn’t add up.

So he took an intro to risk management class and listened to the advice of his volleyball teammates, who happened to be his aunt and her insurance colleagues. Their insights and his research convinced him to switch his major at Temple University to join the well-regarded risk management and insurance program there.

“You can’t just sit there in a bubble and underwrite. This job makes you learn. There is never a quiet day.”

Now AVP, Underwriting, for Argo Pro, Weimar has come full circle in his career: His manager at Argo, Vice President Stephen Scheier, was his manager when Weimar interned at AIG during college. That connection made more than 20 years ago brought him to where he is today, Weimar says. And the small world of insurance is why he urges those new to the industry to take the long view and always treat others with respect.

How to be successful in insurance

Based in New Jersey, Weimar serves as a team leader in the mid-Atlantic region and underwrites private and nonprofit D&O, employment practices liability and fiduciary liability. He appreciates the challenge of staying current that specialty insurance demands, enjoys learning how companies grow and relishes underwriting interesting policies – including one for a professional sports team.

“You can’t just sit there in a bubble and underwrite,” he says. “This job makes you learn. There is never a quiet day. There is always new business or renewals to work on.”

The D&O market in particular requires underwriters to constantly learn about policyholders and stay on top of the news. “You have to stay up on current information because it trickles down to the insurance world,” he says.

Something else Weimar has learned is the necessity of never burning bridges in an industry in which people often encounter each other again and again throughout their careers.

“But you never know when you will run into people again,” he says. No matter how unhappy you are at the time, take the high road.”

A family career

A Philadelphia native, Weimar grew up around insurance professionals. In addition to his aunt, his mother worked in insurance, and he met his wife, also an underwriter, at an insurance event.

When he isn’t working, Weimar enjoys playing golf and poker, watching Philadelphia sports, traveling, and taking walks with his wife and their border collie. The couple recently hiked the Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He’s inspired by his wife’s work ethic.

“I’ve learned a lot watching her work, day to day and now back to back,” he says of the pair’s remote working arrangement due to COVID-19. “She has a passion for her job and is not afraid to work late hours and do what she has to do.”

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