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Insurica’s Michael Banks Talks Workforce Struggles & Cybersecurity

3 min read

Michael Banks joined Insurica in 2017 and provides an array of risk management resources and services to more than 200 public water utilities and privately held construction companies in the Midsouth.

Banks earned a bachelor of professional studies, organizational leadership and public relations degree at Arkansas Tech University and attended the Travelers Commercial Insurance School in St. Louis. He has a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS) designation.

What are the biggest challenges facing your industry?

Like many sectors, the insurance industry grapples with an aging workforce. Yet our unique hurdle is that young talents rarely gravitate toward insurance as a first career choice. Furthermore, the threat of cyberattacks is increasingly prevalent, with even well-established and “secure” organizations falling victim this year.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

In my role, I view it as more than just a job; it’s comparable to running a business with genuine stakes involved. It’s crucial for me to have skin in the game, ensuring that my success is directly linked with that of my clients. I take pleasure in understanding their primary objectives and key performance indicators and helping them achieve these without insurance or bonding becoming an obstacle. Our unique RM4U process is designed to optimize their total cost of risk, rather than merely processing paperwork and PDFs. Those “aha!” moments, when clients realize the distinct value we provide and subsequently thrive, are the moments I treasure the most. Every day, I’m driven by the opportunity to contribute to their success.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

The best advice I’ve received can be distilled into several key insights that have stayed with me over the years: 1) Philippians 4:6-7. 2) You must learn to fail to win consistently. 3) Our lives will be changed in the next five years by the people we meet and the books we read. 4) There are no perfect solutions; there are only trade-offs. 5) Thou shalt not quit.

What are some insurance trends that everyone should know about?

Captives: More businesses are gravitating toward captives and group captives, veering away from traditional insurance. Property insurance: Brace for increased costs, steeper deductibles, tougher terms and limited options. Cybersecurity: With ransomware attacks skyrocketing by more than 90% in 2023, it’s a paramount concern. Generative AI: Watch this rising trend closely.

What attracted you to the insurance business?

In 2016, I faced a layoff from my role as an oil and gas crane operator due to market conditions and external factors. This unexpected turn prompted me to pivot into the insurance industry by obtaining my license. Growing up, I had the privilege of closely observing my father’s business, Randy’s Collision Center, which gave me unique insights into the inner workings of the auto insurance industry. What attracted me to the insurance industry was the allure of greater career stability and control, especially compared to the unpredictability I faced in the volatile oil and gas sector. I recognized the profound importance of this field, not only for my family but also for my father’s employees, our clients and the broader economy.

Who are your mentors, people who made a difference in your life?

There are too many to list, to be honest. My support network comprises family members, teachers, coaches, clients, coworkers, friends and, most importantly, my wife, Kirsten. There isn’t a scenario in which I would be where I am today without her.

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