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CHAMPIONING THE PUBLIC SECTOR Sue Coates brings decades of experience and enthusiasm for public entities to her role as president of Trident Public Risk Solutions

SOME PEOPLE stumble into insurance and discover that it’s where they’re meant to be. Such was the case for Sue Coates, who started her insurance journey 25 years ago with an entry-level, service-oriented role at an insurance agency near her hometown. Currently the president of Trident Public Risk Solutions, Coates spent the first decade of her career in service, sales and managerial roles before transitioning to underwriting, where she was introduced to the public entity specialization that would come to define her insurance career. “The transition to underwriting was pivotal for me, as it gave me an opportunity to advance professionally, but to do so at a rapid pace while applying my skills in a dynamic environment,” Coates says. “And I really enjoyed this specialized niche.” Entering this new space gave Coates an open runway to learn as much as she could and apply that knowledge in her work. It also provided her with an opportunity to be recognized for what she could deliver not only to agents and policyholders, but also to the organization. In 2008, Massamont Insurance Agency, the public entity specialist where Coates worked at the time, was acquired by Argo Group’s Trident Insurance Services unit, which later became Trident Public Risk Solutions. “It was a small regional firm, and with


the acquisition, it became a nationwide opportunity,” says Coates, who held a variety of roles before being named president of Trident in 2017. Today, her top goal for the organization is to ensure Trident is the best insurance provider it can be for all stakeholders. For employees, Coates wants to pass along the excitement she has for the public entity space to her staff. For policyholders, she’s

knowledge of the marketplace,” Coates says. “My goal is to meet these needs in the best way possible, grow our business and be that sustainable marketplace for public entity buyers over the long term.”

Not an average exposure Because governmental organizations work differently than standard commercial businesses, insuring the public entity space

“There are a lot of different types of insurance that public entity organizations purchase, so to be an underwriter for that marketplace, you have to have a good base of experience to help them. It can’t be just one size fits all” focused on delivering value through products and services aimed at public entities’ unique risks. Finally, for agents and brokers, she wants Trident to provide valuable expertise that they might not have in-house. “We are a knowledgeable group of professionals who have over 100 years of combined public entity experience, so we can deliver value to agents – not just in the products and services that we provide, but also in our

requires specialized know-how. Every city and town is unique and has differing needs, based on the state where they’re located. There are also certain expectations and functions that public entities have to provide to their constituents that are governed by regulations and legislation. That means insurance providers like Trident have to become experts in public entity administration to ensure that they’re providing products and services that


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