Have you ever been asked what you do for a living and found yourself hesitating to answer?

Perhaps you bravely declare your line of work and get reactions ranging from general apathy, to eye rolls, to sympathy, to sarcasm. “Oh, that must be fun.”

Wells Media’s International Editor L.S. Howard has heard that and more during her long career as an insurance journalist, even though she has never written or sold an insurance policy or paid a claim.

Late last year, when a friend, over a beer, vehemently criticized her for her chosen profession, she decided to do something about it. The idea for her new series of columns titled, “Insurance Flipsides,” was born.

In the first installment, posted on the website of our sister publication Insurance Journal this week, Howard recalls some details of the conversation that moved her to act.

“How could you work in such an industry with overpaid, fat-cat executives, who take junkets in exotic places and have jobs that don’t contribute anything to society?” her friend said—and more!

Initially angered by the negative viewpoint, and feeling defeated by her failure to adequately counter with the positive flipside view, Howard later reflected on the “roasting [she] had received about [her] chosen career.”

“Although it was a difficult conversation, I should probably thank my friend because it created a positive result. It led me to ask: Is this a fair perception? Are the industry and its practitioners as ghastly as he suggested?”

Finally, she wondered what could be done to counter the industry’s serious public relations problem.

Howard can’t do it alone.

Do you know companies or industry practitioners that have made a difference to their communities? Perhaps you have a colleague who is tirelessly doing charitable work in his or her spare time. Do you have examples of insurance products that saved businesses from ruin, or helped them recover from catastrophic losses? Let us know.

L.S. Howard

Says Howard: “This is not a PR exercise. We’re simply gathering proof of something you all know—that you work in an interesting industry, which has enormous societal value and makes a profound contribution to our global economy.”

Send your ideas for stories that counter the negative image to insuranceflipsides@wellsmedia.com along with your contact details—and we’ll take it from there.

“Together, we can do our best to chip away at the industry’s negative perception, one story at a time,” Howard vows.