Commercial Express

The Value Added MGA

Underwriting update Tom Bolstridge

DATE: 01/07/2019


As part of this regular newsletter, I want to take the opportunity to go into a little more depth on our underwriting values, our products and the updates we are working on here at CE.


I have now been with CE for just over 15 months. One of the core principals I wanted to enhance was how we approached underwriting – both from dealing with referrals via Assist and also looking at our relationship with our capacity providers. It is of vital importance to us that we offer excellent service, and part of this proposition is having knowledgeable underwriters, who want to write business and add value.


As Duncan has commented on in his introduction, the market has tightened up some recently, especially in Lloyd’s. It is more important than ever that we as an MGA look at profitable growth. This filters all the way to how our underwriters look and assess the individual risks they see.


I have spent a lot of time with our underwriters, really enforcing the need to fully understand the risk presented to them and to engage with our brokers. The more understanding we have, the better we can advise on our products and the more clarity our brokers will have on what we want to write. In some instances, this will lead to more questions, especially on our existing book. It is extremely important to me that these questions add value and we work on this aspect daily as an underwriting team. We try and boil everything down to the essentials, so we can remain as efficient as ever.

 

A good example of this during the last year is our haulage book of Per Capita and Wages and Turnover products. This trade was converting very well. A review I undertook made me realise that whilst I wanted to continue to grow this trade, I needed to tweak the type of risks we were writing that better suited our underwriting footprint and our capacity. In order to for this to happen, I needed to introduce some additional questions to really help understand the risk. I appreciate this may be frustrating but I really do see this as a positive to the future. We can be clear about the risks we want to write, actively target these and help you win or retain clients. It also gives us the ability to be more flexible than ever.


I am also very keen to develop new products and review our existing ones over the coming year. This will result in clearer question sets, improved policy wordings and reduced referral points. We have recently expanded the Technical Underwriting Team to include Mark Humphreys, our Senior Technical Underwriter. He has a wealth of experience and expertise.


I hope this gives a little more insight into one aspect of our everchanging underwriting culture here at CE. I see the whole process somewhat as a journey with ups and downs, but one that I sincerely hope you will join us on.

 

By Tom Bolstridge
Technical Underwriting Manager