Finance Awards 2020

28 | Finance Awards 2020 are willing to work hard, learn and be part of a committed team enables the business to grow and work better.” Just like many others in the insurance industry, The Underwriting Specialist has suffered during the pandemic. However, as Richard goes on to explain, despite the initial setbacks caused by COVID-19 the firm has still managed to prosper during these difficult and uncertain times. “The outbreak of COVID has unfortunately meant some insurers have had to pull out of products all together. However, working closely with our regional brokers has brought us closer to them by working from home. It has been difficult to not physically meet up with our brokers and maintain that part of our relationship, so we hope to see our clients soon.” Looking ahead, Richard reveals the firm’s future prospects as we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, touching on what the team at The Underwriting Specialist have been able to achieve in the last nine months. “Every year we have a higher target, and we manage to exceed what has been set. Internally with targets to grow the business, within the last two years we have added two permanent staff members. Adding 15 new brokers within the last nine months and expanding out into different products just further emphasises our growth. Moving forward, we anticipate continuing our growth of the company by expanding our product offering in the insurance market. Here at The Underwriting Specialist, we have exciting times ahead.” Company: The Underwriting Specialist Website: Based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, The Underwriting Specialist is a dynamic insurance solutions provider for clients across the UK. Following its well-deserved success in the UK Finance Awards 2020, we got in touch with MD Richard Bennett to find out more. With over 60 years of London market experience, The Underwriting Specialist team offer tailor made risk transfer solutions for small and medium sized enterprises through an expansive network of regional broker colleagues. Going into further detail, Richard starts off by providing us with an overview of the firm, detailing the various products they have to offer clients. “As a service orientated provider our underwriting approach is flexible and innovative, therefore allowing us to cover a broad range of professions while guaranteeing the best possible results for our clients. With an instant policy production facility, we are able to deliver a fast and efficient quotation service which enables us to be incredibly competitive within our field. Typically, our products include professional indemnity, directors and officers, and employers and public liability, however we have additional and extended coverages in the pipeline to cover the full spectrum of management liability risks faced by modern businesses today. While priding ourselves on offering a first-class underwriting service, we facilitate the gateway for regional professionals to benefit from an A+ rated delegated authority from Lloyd’s of London syndicates.” Since launching in 2014, the firm’s mission has been to work with regional brokers across the UK to offer them the best terms and cover in the market. Despite the team regularly facing fierce competition within its field, it has managed to overcome the challenges presented thanks to its bespoke client approach, as Richard informs us. “Internally, we are a professional and small underwriting team who approach every risk personally. Rather than using automatic quotations, we take the time to read though every risk to ensure each broker has a dedicated underwriter to assist with their risks. In addition, the work ethic of the team means our brokers get fully comprehensive feedback.” Regarding its internal culture, with a lot of the firm’s activities evolving around teamwork Insurance Underwriters of the Year - Hertfordshire it’s important to identify candidates who can demonstrate this when it comes to recruitment. “As a majority female team, we are given opportunities to work together and make business decisions to help grow the company” Richard highlights. “Together, we develop new ideas and approaches that best serve the brokers and the market within which we operate. Weekly underwriting meetings about the company’s opportunities and challenges encourage all to voice their thoughts and opinions in the decisionmaking process, and to think collectively about how we can move forward as a business. Additionally, we have weekly peer review meetings to discuss any of our particularly difficult risks, to ensure all of the underwriting team has contributed to the risk and the broker and client has had a fair assessment of the risk itself. Ultimately, trustworthy staff members who Oct20745