My name is Janice Chrysler. I’ve been an insurance broker for 12 years and with Newman Insurance for 7 years.
I was raised in Marmora where I met my husband when we were 11! We’ve now been married for 43 years and have two children and two grandchildren. I’ve lived in this community all of my life and feel a strong connection to our clients and what they need.
WHAT I DO AT NEWMAN INSURANCE
I’m an Account Manager, which means I look after the day-to-day responsibilities of accounts. I am the primary contact for clients and connect with insurance companies on their behalf to find the best coverage and rates. Essentially, Account Executives bring in clients and Account Managers ensure clients are satisfied with their coverage on an ongoing basis. We work with clients to determine if the coverage should be adjusted or maintained, or rewritten with another insurance company.
WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT INSURANCE
Most people may not realize that to be an insurance broker, you have to pass a course and be accredited by Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). It is a broker’s responsibility to get quotes from a variety of insurance companies and present the best options to clients.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT NEWMAN INSURANCE
Most of our offices are in smaller areas so we know our communities and the residents very well. This allows us to offer a truly personalized approach to customer service. I also like that Newman Insurance is a family-run business, which has an open-door policy and is very caring about family situations. As an employee, I know that if something comes up and I need time off, everyone is very understanding. That means a lot.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT WORKING WITH CLIENTS
We help our clients through some very difficult situations. I think of an elderly man who lost his wife and everything they owned in a house fire. It was such a tragic situation. He had no children and few friends. I had only met him once in person, but I wanted to make sure he was okay so I called him quite a bit. I became someone he felt comfortable talking to about what he was going through. He needed to talk and I wanted to listen for as long as he wanted. I think he took a great deal of comfort in those conversations and I felt like I helped someone well beyond anything to do with insurance.
WOMEN IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY
Despite my experience and expertise, there are still men out there who question my ability to do my job because I’m a woman. They will walk in and ask to speak to someone who is ‘more qualified’ – a man - even though I’m sitting there with a diploma behind me on the wall. This has been a challenge my entire work career, but thankfully, this type of mentality is changing and Newman Insurance and my co-workers don’t tolerate this type of behaviour.
In our community, I started a holistic care business outside of Newman and helped create a Women in Wellness event in 2015 in celebration of International Women’s Day. (That event is March 3 this year.) We then approached the municipality to declare International Women’s Week because one day simply isn’t enough. Marmora and Lake agreed and from March 1-8, local businesses show their support through special events and by placing purple and white ribbons in their store fronts and offices. This is not just about women; we are helping bring equal rights to everyone in workplaces.
Newman Insurance takes part in the Marmora office and, this year, all of our offices will be doing something to recognize International Women’s Day. Our hope is to carry important messages through to all of our clients as well as the insurance industry itself, which has been predominantly run by men. I have seen significant changes in the past 12 years at insurance companies; more women are taking leading roles and as younger people enter the business, the barriers are coming down. I have never felt any barriers at Newman; women have a voice and there are opportunities if a person wants them. You don’t get a job because you’re a man or a woman - it’s about having qualifications for a job, which is the way it should be.
Personally, I find it very gratifying that all Newman offices will be celebrating International Women’s Day this year. Press for Progress is this year’s theme and should be an ongoing priority in the insurance industry to keep moving forward.
WHAT I LIKE TO DO WHEN I'M NOT WORKING
When I'm not working, you'll most likely find me in my ‘She Shed’ in the backyard, fishing on the lake or out on the Harley.
She Shed? My husband has a man cave and I have a she shed. It started out as a garden shed, but he built it with a deck and windows on all four sides. It’s a place just for me. Because of my interest in holistic health, I plant herbs and make incense and oils. I have books, candles, banners and a meditation chair. We joke around that only women can go in there and if a man goes in, they are either special (husband, son and grandson) or they’re going to be sacrificed!
I love my herbal teas and Indian cuisine – any curry or butter chicken. I also really like lasagna.
IF I WERE A SUPER HERO
If I could choose, my super power would be to be invisible (and spy on people).
My personal Kryptonite is always trying to solve everything so no one is upset.