PURE Principles: An Interview with Caitlin Rascelles
How do you describe PURE’s culture and how critical is culture to the success of the company?
I think first and foremost, culture starts with the people who join the organization and come to work every day ready to serve our members. I’m proud to work alongside over 900 professionals that exemplify hard work and dedication on a daily basis. In the words of Simon Sinek, we really start with “why.” PURE is a purpose-driven company, and that’s clear to all of our employees. We exist to enable our members to live their lives to the fullest and pursue their passions with confidence. Our members (policyholders) are at the core of what we do, but we also strive to be incredible team members to each other. We foster an environment of teamwork, creativity and curiosity, and give our employees the room to grow in their careers. This is driven through our PURE Principles.
How critical is it to have close communication and coordination in order to provide seamless service?
Our business is to protect our members’ assets and their most prized possessions, and communication is paramount to ensuring that this is done swiftly, accurately, and with the utmost respect and care. We sell a promise that we will be there for our members during their times of need. When dealing with disasters, time is of the essence for people, and you cannot overstate the importance of crystal-clear communication and coordination. It’s imperative that everyone on the team—across all functions and extending to the various vendors who we trust to serve our clients—understands PURE’s purpose and their role in delivering on it for our members. This is where my role comes into play to align all of the key departments and to keep very clear lines of communication open between them.
Is it challenging to differentiate in the industry and how do you define the PURE advantage?
We challenge ourselves to create innovative and differentiated products, but it often comes down to the service we deliver that sets us apart. When our members need our services, it’s often on their worst day: their home has just burned down or they were involved in a tragic automobile accident, and this is when our culture and people are differentiators. We do a lot of training around empathy and making sure our employees understand how to be empathetic during these difficult times. I define the PURE advantage as our culture and our people who are laser-focused on serving our members and fulfilling our mission.
Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?
Insurance is an industry that has been notoriously dominated by men in leadership and executive level roles. While there isn’t a shortage of women entering this industry, the pipeline of women in insurance is a leaky one and, unfortunately, women of color face the steepest drop off as you advance into management and executive levels. Companies need to better equip women with the tools, resources and balance necessary for advancement, and ease the barriers faced when rejoining the workforce after maternity and childcare leave. It is clear that COVID has significantly magnified this issue.