InsCipher Welcomes SILA Surplus Lines Committee Member to Business Development Team

InsCipher Welcomes SILA Surplus Lines Committee Member to Business Development Team

InsCipher, a leading insurtech company committed to simplifying surplus lines filing and reporting, is pleased to announce Julia van Buren’s addition to their business development team.

Julia currently serves on the Surplus Lines SubGroup Steering Committee for SILA (Securities and Insurance Licensing Association) and brings more than 20 years of insurance compliance experience to the table. Agents who have participated in the SILA National Conference Surplus Lines Fundamentals or Surplus Lines Advanced class within the past decade will recognize Julia as the enthusiastic instructor who prides herself on “making complex concepts easy to understand.” Spoiler alert: she’ll once again be front and center later this fall teaching both classes at the SILA National Conference.

20 Years in the Making: An Unintentional Career in Surplus Lines

Nearly twenty years ago, Julia began her insurance compliance career by filing secretary of state applications and licensing applications, when licensing applications still required mailing to the carriers for appointments. At that time, an individual had to obtain a carrier appointment before a state department of insurance would issue a license.

Julia’s vocational transition into surplus lines in 2002 was unintentional. She explains she had a clever manager who asked her to obtain the surplus lines licenses. Without fully understanding what she was getting herself into, she agreed. Several months later, she began receiving “sweet little notes” from various states requesting their tax reports, not understanding what the states were referencing. After several repeat requests, she quickly learned, thereby launching her Surplus Lines career. Out of necessity, she quickly learned how to navigate state requirements and communicate with state regulators.

Pandora’s Box

When Gramm Leach Bliley was signed into law, it opened up a quintessential Pandora’s Box for surplus lines filers everywhere. For the first time, a non-resident could obtain a surplus lines license in another state. As a result, many brokers had unpaid filings, creating additional work to bring brokers current with all surplus line taxes.

Julia fondly recalls one of her most pointed memories during this time of frantic surplus lines clean-up. Her office floor was covered with paper files, and a drawer full of colorful highlighters stood at the ready to help create order from the chaos. After several months of this scene day in and day out, her manager approached her, commenting on her office’s state of disarray. The manager kindly offered to take the Florida filings to provide Julia some reprieve from her tasks, hoping that easing her workload would improve her unkempt office. However, the next day, Julia walked by her manager’s office only to observe that her office now looked very similar to Julia’s. Julia stated, “That day, she gained my respect as a manager and as a co-worker willing to get into the gutter of surplus lines tax filing.”

Hanging up the Surplus Lines Filing Hat

Julia’s surplus lines filing career has spanned twenty years of working for organizations such as Summit Global Partners, US Risk, Inc., and Marketscout. Her knowledge, experience, and connections within the surplus line industry are difficult to rival, and she is a welcome asset to the InsCipher business development team.

“What an opportunity it is to help the surplus lines industry by helping brokers that continue to wade through the weeds of surplus line regulation and tax filing,” said Julia. “I am so grateful for the chance to be part of an innovative company making tremendous advances in the surplus lines insurance industry.”

InsCipher is an insurtech software solution revolutionizing inefficient insurance processes. Simplify surplus lines compliance, filing, and reporting to save your agency time and money. Want to learn more? Request your free demo today.

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