Triple-I Weblog | How Karen Griswold Discovered Her Path in Chubb Marine Insurance coverage

By Loretta Worters, Vice President, Media Relations, Triple-I

When Karen Griswold graduated with a B.S. in advertising and marketing from Penn State College, her first foray into the enterprise world was to change into an govt retail purchaser in a big division retailer.  It didn’t take lengthy earlier than she realized it wasn’t a path for her.

She took an informational interview with somebody she knew on the Marine Workplace of America Corp. who prompt she contemplate collaborating of their marine insurance coverage coaching program. 

“I didn’t have a maritime background, my household didn’t even personal a ship, what did I find out about marine insurance coverage?” Griswold stated.  

“I began as an underwriting trainee assigned to the marine unit,” she defined.  “I did 18 months rotating in inland marine, cargo, hull and marine legal responsibility after which generalized insurance coverage coaching by their skilled coaching program and was assigned to a cargo unit in New York as an ocean cargo underwriter.”

It was a captivating journey, in response to Griswold. 

“As a part of the coaching I realized about mechanical provides, prescription drugs, equipment, and livestock.  There was no field you possibly can put your self in, it was altering on a regular basis.”

Cargo itself was completely different, Griswold discovered she needed to have a geopolitical sense. 

“At some point China, one other day Brazil, and I had to have a look at how cargo was shipped weighing variables, corresponding to the worth of freight, the value of the boat, whether or not it is going to function inland or on the ocean, and the legal guidelines and laws of nations the place the vessel may journey,” she stated. “It was fascinating.”

Her profession spanned all the pieces from cargo to hull and legal responsibility to tugboat and marine services.  She realized about completely different courses of marine enterprise, too. 

Thirty years later, Griswold is an govt vice chairman in Chubb’s Ocean Marine Division, and he or she nonetheless finds she learns one thing new on daily basis. 

“It’s an enormous insurance coverage world, that’s what I discover so thrilling and attention-grabbing, whether or not it’s the political impacts of delivery, to world commerce legal guidelines, completely different points in distinct ports, it’s always altering and evolving,” she stated.

In her present function, Griswold abroad all of it: ocean marine, hull, cargo, liabilities, and marinas enterprise.  Relying on the day, one may be extra attention-grabbing than the opposite. 

“That’s one of many issues that challenges me essentially the most in my place.  “I choose up the paper and discover out what’s taking place on this planet, the political complexities, and the way that impacts the best way we transact enterprise.”

Training is essential to Griswold, which is why she has been concerned with the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU) for the reason that starting of her profession.  She began attending their academic packages as a trainee.  Over time, she has sat on the hull and finance committees and at the moment serves as AIMU’s Director of Funds.

“AIMU’s President John Miklus has been an incredible champion of ladies, and for the business normally,” she stated.

Griswold is also concerned with the Worldwide Union of Marine Insurance coverage (IUMI) and sits on their coverage discussion board committee that displays all the worldwide marine points impacting the business. 

“I consider it’s a nice privilege to be a lady within the maritime business; there are usually not quite a lot of us,” she defined.  “There’s a pure camaraderie between us.  For some time, I used to be the one girl at numerous occasions, completely different organizations, and committees.  That has modified all through my profession.  It’s an unbelievable discipline for individuals.  The gender variety has elevated over the past couple of years and has been encouraging to see.”

Griswold, who celebrated her twenty-fifth anniversary with Chubb, attributes her success to the mentors and sponsors all through her profession – each women and men. 

“We have to elevate ladies, not solely within the marine business however in enterprise general,” she stated. “Simply being a feminine in a closely male-dominated group is a problem.  I’ve been fortunate; I’ve been handled pretty, and my expertise has largely been optimistic.  Although it has been difficult as a mom, elevating youngsters in a male-driven business, discovering that stability.  However I’ve had an incredible quantity of assist.”

Griswold, who spends a good period of time sponsoring ladies inside and outdoors the business, famous that extra variety is required.

“Being a champion is vital, to showcase a few of that expertise,” she stated.  “When ladies see others like them, it’s extra empowering to have that bond, that skill to see individuals like themselves and develop and develop and contemplate protected areas.  It’s vital to showcase these ladies and their expertise.”

Whereas Griswold didn’t take pleasure in sponsorship amongst senior ladies, she did have nice male sponsors alongside the best way. 

“These males helped me discover my voice and my path ahead,” she stated.  “We should assist different ladies to search out their voices.  We should assist one another, empower ourselves, and never create a aggressive setting.”

Griswold pointed to the worth of Chubb’s enterprise roundtables, that are worker useful resource teams that supply mentoring and networking.

“We have to discover compatibility, friendship, mentoring teams,” she stated. “Girls have to forge their profession paths and discover their area of interest on this discipline.  There may be power in numbers.”

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