Skip to content

TIA | The Insurance Apprentice

Meet the Contestant

Jason Mizen

Certified Financial Planner/Insurance Broker/Director

JVC Insurance Brokers (Pty)

Did you choose a career in insurance or did you fall into the industry like so many others? Briefly share your story.

During my studies I worked holiday time for an underwriting manager. When I finished studying Economics, I went into teaching for 2 years. I taught high school maths and business economics. After the two years, my old boss from the UMA wanted to randomly introduce me to someone.

I met this someone and he turned out to be an Insurance Broker. He offered me a job as an underwriter and Business development manager and I began my career in insurance.

Why did you choose to enter The Insurance Apprentice?

Since the start of my career I heard and saw the rumblings of the Insurance Apprentice and it always interested me. I almost entered in 2015 but decided to wait as I felt I was not yet ready to rub shoulders with some of the best people in the industry. It is now the 10th season and my 10th year in insurance and I felt that it could be the perfect ending to the narrative of my first 10 years in the industry.

I have worked hard to be an outlier in the Broker services industry and I believe that by winning the Apprentice and by gaining a credible voice in the industry, I can truly begin to make a difference and impact the way some role players in our industry think and do things. I want to show that advice still matters and I want to represent all brokers that truly put their clients first by being an example of a broker who truly embodies what an insurance broker should be.

In your mind, what qualities should an ambassador of The Insurance Apprentice have?

  • Good Leadership
  • Leading by example first.
  • Integrity – being the same person always
  • Excellent communication skills – in all scenarios – Slow to speak, quick to listen.
  • Patience
  • An above average knowledge of the industry and its workings.
  • An interest and love for Insurance and the industry as a whole.
  • A passion to help people to reach their best and ultimately achieve more together.

Who has been the biggest influencer on your career and why?

My previous boss, who provided me with a foundation of skills and knowledge and who gave me an opportunity that I needed at the time. But more so to my current managers/directors and now, more recently, business partners. I have been given advice and mentorship from both of our directors who have become close friends and they teach me something new every day – they challenge me to be the best version of myself and they often give me constructive criticism that I try to absorb like a sponge.

I take what they say and do very seriously and the example that they set for me is the one I try and emulate in my own sphere of the business. I am truly grateful for the opportunity given to me by them… it’s a long story, but I will always appreciate them for the chance they took, in giving me the next step in my career.

In a tweet of 140 characters explain why insurance ROCKS!!!

Having insurance is like having a silent guardian angel for your savings, quietly on standby until you need it, ready to swoop in and rescue your budget from life’s unexpected disasters.

What would be your dream Apprentice task and why?

It would be great to test myself with a task around either how advice impacts peoples claims and the need for better advice in the industry. Another task I would like to try my hand at is any task “as a CEO”, that involves making a change in the business to ensure better risk management or compliance or culture.

What song would you choose for your Insurance Apprentice victory dance?

Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus) DJ Massive Remix. 

A message to all the TIA sponsors?

To the sponsors: I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your invaluable contribution and support given as sponsors for the Insurance Apprentice. Through your generosity, you have given each of the participants an experience of a lifetime and the opportunity to grow and develop in an industry we all love and the impact of which will be seen for years to come. Thank you.

How important is winning for you?

Winning is almost everything for me. Apart from an immense expected learning curve which will ultimately lead to my own personal growth and self awareness, winning will provide the credibility I need in the industry to really have a voice that can impact my generation and the future of the insurance industry. Winning for me is only the beginning of the impact I aim to have in representing the insurance industry as not only this years winner but also as a broker representative in the industry as well as a client representative that puts the insured at the forefront of industry changes to ensure that there is always fair treatment of the client at the end of the day. I believe it will give me the tools and connections with some of the best like-minded professionals (contestants and judges as well as sponsors) to make a positive impact. I have always felt called to teach and empower others through education and winning will allow me to provide insights into the industry on a practical level for those who see a career in insurance.

Advice to yourself about what you should remember and focus on as you are going into the competition.

  • Advice matters.
  • Clients matter.
  • Clients are people. Judges are people. People have feelings – be more empathetic.
  • Lead by example
  • Lead with patience

A quote that I’ve pencilled into my journal in preparation of this competition is as follows:

For when the judges are being Judges:

“…become proactive and react as quickly as you can. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to stand out and take the initiative while everybody else is looking at you and judging you. However, ultimately, he or she who acts first is the leader; immediately reacting to situations also trains you to overcome hesitation and to develop a habit of taking action.”

For when my team has difficulty in working together:

“Don’t react — act. Don’t present problems, present solutions. Don’t shrug it off by saying “whatever”; choose an option if nobody else is willing to do it.”

Both by Martin Meadows (Author)