Come see the Stars! As part of our ongoing coverage of the best brokers in the commercial insurance space, Risk & Insurance®, with the sponsorship of Philadelphia Insurance, is expanding its coverage of the Rising Stars, those brokers who represent the next wave of insurance brokering talent.

Look for these expanded profiles on the Risk & Insurance website and in your social media feeds throughout the year.

Below, our conversation with Sean Gabay, vice president at Lockton and a 2023 Real Estate Power Broker winner.

Risk & Insurance: How did you get into the insurance industry, and into the real estate sector in particular?

Sean Gabay: I entered the insurance industry after being referred to a broker by a friend. However, it was my mentor, a seasoned insurance professional with extensive experience in the real estate sector — specifically residential condominium associations — who truly sparked my interest and guided me toward specializing in this field. His mentorship and guidance allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges that my clients in the real estate sector face, particularly the weather-related concerns facing the South Florida market.

R&I: What do you like best about working in the real estate sector?

SG: What excites me the most about working in the real estate sector is the opportunity to make a positive impact on an entire community. I take pride in helping my clients navigate … challenging situations, such as claims or finding the most competitive insurance options that align with their budgets.

What I like best about it is the complexity and critical thinking involved in solving the puzzle for a community and ensuring a positive outcome for everyone.

R&I: What dynamics are shaping real estate insurance in 2024? What are the biggest challenges facing your clients today?

SG: The real estate insurance market is experiencing stabilization, with increased capital coming into the market and expanding capacity.

I am a native of South Florida, and this area has unique dynamics. One of the biggest challenges that my clients face today is dealing with buildings that are past due on their recertification. This impacts their ability to find suitable insurance options. Additionally, changing laws will come into effect at year-end, further affecting their insurance needs.

R&I: How do you stay informed of changes happening in the real estate insurance space?

SG: I prioritize constant communication with carriers, underwriters, reinsurance providers, lawmakers and other industry professionals. This allows me to stay updated with the latest developments and changes. Additionally, I regularly read articles and reports to ensure I am well-informed and equipped to address my clients’ evolving needs.

R&I: How would you describe your broking philosophy?

SG: My approach to broking has evolved over the years. I thoroughly analyze my clients’ insurance programs, paying attention to every detail. If their program is already strong, I ensure they are aware of it and explain why. If there are minor areas for improvement, I provide guidance on how they can enhance their coverage.

In cases where significant improvements are needed, I take the time to explain the different carrier programs available, highlighting the pros and cons of each. I aim to empower my clients with knowledge and help them make informed decisions based on their unique risk profiles.

R&I: What do you see in the near future of real estate insurance?

SG: In the near term, the real estate insurance market is stabilizing, which brings more predictability and opportunities for my clients. However, I also recognize the potential impact of environmental events and other unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, I remain vigilant and prepared to adapt to any changes that may arise.

R&I: What advice would you give someone just embarking on a career in insurance today?

SG: I would advise them to embrace continuous learning and stay curious. The insurance landscape is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to stay informed and adapt to changes.

Additionally, building strong relationships with clients and industry professionals is key to long-term success.

Finally, always strive to provide exceptional service and value to your clients, as their satisfaction is the foundation of a successful insurance career. &

The post Rising Star Sean Gabay on What Lies Ahead for Real Estate Insurance — and How to Keep Clients Happy appeared first on Risk & Insurance.

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