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Insurance Underwriter Skills: How Putting In the Work Pays Off

Argo Environmental Underwriter Scott Trueba believes in exceeding expectations.

Argo Environmental employee Scott Trueba
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Scott Trueba says his prescription for a successful career involves showing up early, staying late and essentially knocking it out of the park.

In short, the Argo Environmental underwriter considers straight-up hard work to be the surest strategy for those just starting to build their insurance underwriter skills.

Working his way up

A fourth-generation Arizonan, Trueba took a job as a file clerk at an insurance company that later was purchased by Colony Specialty. He worked his way up, taking on roles with increasing responsibility. All the while, he observed underwriters.

“I got to learn a lot about what they do underwriting risk and managing a book of business,” he says. “It really appealed to me to be like them and do what they did.”

Trueba has been with Argo for 18 years. He finds his strengths of discernment and problem solving well suited to underwriting.

“Underwriting insurance risks allows me to use these skills daily,” he says.

Insurance underwriting enables him to work on a team while exercising autonomy within his own territory – another reason why he finds the industry to be a great career fit.

Persisting in a challenging market

Trueba specializes in underwriting storage tanks. He finds the current soft market to be a challenging one for binding profitable business.

“The tanks market is tough,” he says. “The industry is changing, and people are putting in new tanks.”

Having a strong team and solid producer relationships makes a big difference in a tough business climate.

“I have a great team of people I work with in Environmental, and I’ve got a really great group of producers I work with,” he says. “I really enjoy working with them and helping them solve their issues.”

Advice he received early in his career has worked well for Trueba.

“One was to show up early and leave late and add value to the company while you’re there,” he says. “I did follow it. It was really good.”

His own advice is similarly straightforward.

“If you are adding value, that is noticed by managers over time when things realign,” he says. “Managers look to people who are adding value to the company.”

Trueba’s prescription for adding value includes focusing on client needs and responding swiftly to customers.

“Ask for more work and develop interpersonal skills,” he says. “Never give up.”

Thriving with a busy work and family life

Trueba is pursuing his MBA with a concentration in leadership. He and his wife have four children ranging in age from 2 to 19 years old, and the couple are in the process of becoming foster parents with the goal of adopting.

With a packed schedule and growing household, Trueba says he draws much of his inspiration from his family and Christian faith.

“I work and go to school part-time, so that keeps me busy,” Trueba says. “My kids play soccer, we go to the movies, the zoo, and we travel to places like Disneyland.”

He also finds inspiration at work through his team.

“I work with a great group of folks who challenge me and inspire me to be a better underwriter – they set a great example of professionalism in the insurance industry.”

Learn more about Argo Environmental.

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