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Apr 17, 2024

Melissa Burt DeVriese is the President at Security First Insurance Company. She has been with Security First Insurance Company since 2009 and has been President since March 2020. Before serving as President, she held a variety of roles, including Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. Melissa holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown Law Center and is a licensed attorney in Florida, Washington D.C., and California. Before working at Security First, Melissa held a variety of legal and regulatory roles in Washington D.C. In today’s episode of the In The Know podcast, Chris Hampshire and Melissa discuss the state of the homeowners market in Florida, attracting more talent to the industry, and unique challenges Melissa faces in her role.


These onsite episodes of the In The Know podcast are brought to you by Gallagher Bassett.


Key Takeaways


  • Melissa recalls her journey from law to insurance.

  • Overcoming shortcomings in marketing the insurance industry.

  • Melissa’s experience as a female leader in the industry.

  • Effectively keeping up with technologies from a small carrier’s perspective.

  • Industry evolutions in recent years, including diversity and attracting talent.

  • Tactics and strategies for attracting and retaining personnel.

  • The evolution of distribution strategies for both direct and agents.

  • The current state of the unique Florida insurance marketplace.

  • Key differences in approaching the Florida marketplace.

  • Technology’s role in the future from the underwriters' standpoint.

  • Melissa’s experience with the CPCU, insurance board, and education involvement.

  • Messaging that needs to be shared with the rising generation of talent.

  • Hiring insights and career progression from a president’s perspective.

  • A five-year look at the future of the insurance industry.

  • Melissa’s advice to her early career self.



  • “There are many similarities between the law and insurance.”

  • “Unfortunately, I think insurance is viewed as very stale and old and probably male. And the fact of the matter is, that’s not the case.”

  • “We have so much innovation in the industry space.”

  • “If we find the right person with the right aptitude and the right attitude, we teach them insurance.”

  • “From an insurance marketplace perspective, Florida is incredibly unique.”

  • “The most important thing you can stress to someone who’s looking for a career at any stage of their career life cycle would be what insurance does in society.”