AIM Employee Spotlight: Wilma S. Fields, Vice President & Underwriter
We can’t celebrate the steady endurance and success of our company without giving credit to the staff member with the most important job here. Wilma Fields is the sole underwriter for AIM and began writing policies for us in 1991. This month marks the 35th anniversary of AIM’s incorporation, and Wilma has experienced many insurance marketplace changes while learning a lot about herself and her profession during this time.
“AIM was formed because commercial carriers withdrew from writing coverage in Alabama. In those early years, we faced numerous challenges from our competitors re-entering the marketplace to write coverage at substantially lower premium rates,” says Wilma. “I have observed competitors that do so only to leave again after a few years. AIM has and continues to provide stability in our marketplace.”
Because of her expertise and industry experiences, she often finds herself talking with attorneys and policyholders about much more than just the features of their policy’s coverage.
Wilma’s soothing Southern voice has guided young attorneys through the start of their law practice, changes to their practice, difficult life changes that affect their practices as well as decisions on retirement and tail coverage. It is a rewarding part of her underwriter career. And we encourage you to have a conversation with her – even if it’s just to experience that voice.
Wilma learned early in life, as the eldest of four sisters, that life is not always fair but even. Her father encouraged her always to try to do the right things and be fair-minded.
He was also a great believer in the Golden Rule: “In everything do to others what you would have done to you,” he would say. This, and the traits of being a firstborn, shaped her ability to accept responsibility and leadership. However, sometimes her sisters still jokingly remind her that she has a tendency to get a little bossy.
Wilma has worked her entire life. Her first job as a part-time phone operator with Bell South while she was still a high school student made a life-long impression on her.
She survived a very detailed, very structured training class and managed to get a compliment from a very stern supervisor. This was her first taste of the working world and she did not like it. As badly as she wanted to quit, her father’s words of wisdom and the training from this first job were valuable stepping stones to better opportunities. And she learned the importance of customer service, hard work, and the art of never being a quitter when things get bumpy.
When she started her insurance career with a small property/casualty insurance company a few years later, Wilma says she was trained and mentored by some of the best in the industry.
She began as a receptionist and advanced over the years to a multi-line commercial underwriter. She learned to listen, to learn from, and be respectful of those who came before her, and then to teach those after her. She recognizes that the journey has been a blessing.
While the past prepared her for an exceptional career, Wilma still has expectations for AIM’s continued growth and success. “We have added cyber coverage as a bolt-on product and we anticipate adding other products such as business owners, workers’ compensation, and bonds,” says Wilma. “We are always enhancing our data systems, which help with competitiveness and efficiency in serving our applicants and policyholders.”
And she continues to encourage attorneys to ask her questions about why malpractice insurance is so important, and why the application is the basis for an acceptance or rejection of coverage.