Meet Stephen Cho
I’ve been in insurance for over 18 years. My first job was in long-term disability claims. When I was ready for a new challenge, I started studying for insurance exams and got into an underwriting trainee program. I learned the business and moved to another company working on the National Accounts Casualty team, where I stayed for seven years before wanting to move again. I heard within the industry that Arch was doing fantastic work and in a growth mode. I reached out after noticing an opportunity in the Southeast region. I was impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity to make an impact on the High Excess Compensation team. Our services protect employers (such as public entities) when something happens to one of their employees that exceeds their insurance coverage; it reduces the client’s insurance costs by providing a means of paying worker’s compensation.
Listen, Then Deliver
Arch emphasizes an entrepreneurial spirit that is nimble in its approach. We have profitability goals and retain a connection to leadership all the way up. This connection goes further than an open-door policy – they are listening to employees and striving to be better because of what they hear. I see these values in how Arch listens to employees about our training and skills development needs and creates programs to fit those needs. That translates and extends into to how we operate and do business with our customers – listening and building based on need.
I am unwavering about Pursuing Better Together. My customers present opportunities to be meticulous about details. My internal customers are colleagues in claims and actuarial, and I work with them by always giving them the time to review each opportunity in full, with the right price and structure. This allows us to leverage the best of each other and to work hard and smart.
Staying Close To Customers
My customers are our brokers, who are the bridge to our external customers. Our brokers’ knowledge is a vital part of our ability to develop the right products or solutions for their clients, so we strive to keep strong working relationships with them. This allows us to be ready for opportunities as they develop. Recently, a broker we work with was managing a difficult renewal with a client, and their current carrier couldn’t respond the way they needed them to. The broker reached out to me; I learned what the issue was and found a reasonable quote. While our price was similar to the other carrier, the fact that I listened and provided a solid solution quickly got us the business.
The Personal Touch
The coverage we provide isn’t that different from other carriers, mainly because worker’s compensation is governed by state law. What differentiates us in this commodity-driven field is our personal touch: It comes out in every aspect of our customer service and informs every interaction. We build this into our work by communicating up front, early and regularly, and trying to figure out solutions as different needs emerge.
Relentless about Improvement
I am constantly learning; insurance has so many different areas I can focus on to be better and to give more to my customers. I try not to stay comfortable by living the Arch value of being relentless about improvement. How can I develop new skills and challenge myself further? The advice I give to others is to go outside your comfort zone to improve yourself. Learning from others is great but the best learning is from your own experiences, including mistakes. And be sure to network. Insurance is such a small world and having these small, good connections helps spread your brand.
It is reassuring to know we have senior leaders encouraging us to be bold and push the envelope. In underwriting, we are entrusted to go after something that makes sense to us, with guardrails and guidelines to keep us grounded, and being confident that mistakes are an opportunity to learn.
The best thing about Arch is the people who work here. Everyone is approachable, down-to-earth and feels empowered in their roles, to ask questions and be better versions of themselves. It’s what attracted me to Arch, and it’s what keeps me challenged, fulfilled and looking forward to the future.
AVP, High Excess Workers’ Compensation
Arch Insurance | Alpharetta, G.A.