The 6 habits of really successful underwriters

Good lawyers are technically competent professionals. But some great lawyers are also ‘rainmakers’.

Does the same apply to underwriters and, if so, what makes the difference?

We’ve trained over 1000 underwriters in commercial skills. In our view, all underwriters have to have good technical knowledge and skills and be able to assess and price risk, but some really successful underwriters are also great traders. They bridge the gap between business development and pure, technical underwriting. So what are the skills and behaviours that enable some underwriters to really stand out as great traders? Based on our experience, here are our top 6.

  1. They ask good questions and listen. They really seek to understand what the broker and the end customer want and need
  2. They shape solutions. They really understand their own organisation and their broader value proposition and work effectively with colleagues to develop propositions that meet the real needs and priorities of the customer and the broker
  3. They build rapport and trust. They understand different personality preferences and adapt their style to communicate effectively with different types of people
  4. They present solutions in a way that’s distinct, relevant and compelling, adding value through their views and advice
  5. They negotiate effectively. They understand all the variables and negotiate based on value rather than price. They deal with objections and close deals effectively
  6. They spot opportunities. They understand that it’s about establishing and developing relationships, cross selling and gaining referrals rather than just completing a one off piece of business

The role of underwriters varies enormously across different sectors, markets and products but these key ingredients in some way or another seem to make the difference between good and outstanding. If you see an opportunity to improve how your team interact with your customers and brokers please contact us for a conversation.