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InsurTech Ohio Spotlight with Ed Lukco

Ed Lukco is the Head of Risk Management at Ohio Dominican University, giving students access to hands-on education, relevant experiences and personal mentorship that will prepare them for careers in a wide range of specialties within this rapidly growing field. Ed was interviewed by Chris Luiz, Director of Solutions Architecture and Customer Success at Monitaur and Cleveland Founder at InsurTech Ohio.

Ed, can you tell me about yourself, your career and what brought you to Ohio Dominican?

“I started in the insurance industry as a commercial casualty underwriter for one of the national property and casualty insurers. After training there and working with another national carrier, I moved to a facultative reinsurer as a casualty underwriter. From there, I went to a national reinsurance intermediary. After becoming a regional manager, I moved to Nationwide Insurance as Director of National Account Sales.

My career continued when I left Nationwide and moved to one of the alphabet national brokers as a commercial manager. Next came an opportunity to open a treaty reinsurance intermediary office. From there I did some consulting with small property insurers. Finally, I was one of the founders of an artificial intelligence-based software company providing services to insurers cleaning up their reinsurance cessions. I was also becoming more and more involved in adjunct teaching at various colleges around the Columbus area, one of them was Ohio Dominican University (ODU). After teaching there on an adjunct basis for a number of years, the director of the Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program position came open, and I was hired.”


Can you tell us about the RMI program at Ohio Dominican and how it compares to other programs in the state?

“The program at ODU is similar to other programs around the state as we offer a major as well as a minor in RMI. The student must take five courses to obtain their degree. If they pass the final exams in those courses with a high enough grade, they will earn the CIC designation from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. Different from the other programs is the opportunity for students to be a part of the Insurance and Risk Management Academy (IRMA). This is a partnership with ODU, Encova Insurance and Secured Advantage.

Students accepted into the program go through a series of projects related to the insurance industry, along with working in an agency situation gaining practical experience as well as being paid for their efforts. Internships are available with Encova and other companies. This offers the opportunity to network with insurers, agency personnel and risk managers which can develop into job opportunities.”


You recently had an RMI event with the  Blue Jackets. Can you share some of the event's details?

Recently ODU, The Ohio State University (OSU) and the Risk Institute collaborated to put on a day where students had the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at putting on an event where 15 – 20,000 people are in attendance. Along with the tour, students also had the opportunity to listen to and question a group of insurance and risk management professionals.  Representatives from Huntington, Battelle, Ohio State, White Castle and Encova were a part of the panel discussion and question period. The students had the opportunity to question these professionals about their jobs, how they came to their positions and opportunities within the industry.

After this formal session, these companies and several others had tables set up so students could speak with HR representatives about intern and full-time job opportunities. After this networking time, a quick dinner was provided, and students went to the hockey game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning. There were approximately 80 students who took part in the event and seemed to appreciate the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of industry experts.”

Do you plan on hosting other similar events? If so, what should we look for next?

“We were planning on doing this again next year, and we hope to be able to do so. During a brainstorming session, we came up with the possibility of doing the same thing with the Columbus Crew, Columbus Clippers and possibly OSU basketball. As well, White Castle offered to show the commercial side of Risk Management by inviting students to one of their manufacturing facilities. 

We will be exploring all of these options as well as another CBJ day.   The idea behind these ‘days’ is to generate interest in the professions available to students.  One of the hurdles we must overcome is the idea of insurance being a dull, boring industry with dull, boring jobs. By sponsoring these types of events and showing the many different types of jobs available in the industry, we are hoping to bring more students into the profession. These types of events show there’s much more to the industry than just selling insurance, and any area of interest the student may have can find a good position in the risk management and insurance industries.”


Anything else in the industry you are excited about in 2024?

“The insurance sector is built on the ability to manage risk and forecast the future. While many organizations are already transforming to meet the expected demands of both regulatory requirements and consumer needs, new and emerging technologies could offer a host of potential benefits to those that are willing to embrace change. Integrating these technologies could further enable precise predictions, manage customer interactions and expand the personalized service and product lines with unprecedented accuracy and speed. 

There are four AI-related trends shaping the industry over the next 10 years. First is an explosion of data from connected devices. There will be an increasing number of consumer devices connected, which will create an enormous amount of new data. Second is an increased prevalence of physical robotics. From 3-D printing to programmable drones, farming equipment and enhanced surgical equipment, AI will play a role in all of these areas and more. Third is an open-source and data ecosystem. As more data is created, it will need to be shared across industries. Finally is the advances in cognitive technologies. These will be developed to be able to deal with large data streams generated by active insurance products. 

All of this will require companies and employees to be smart when it comes to AI technologies and trends. A coherent strategic plan will be necessary to respond to the changes brought on by these developments. This all leads to the need for talent who are able to deal with the technology infrastructure created to handle these changes.”


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