A day in the life – Sam Prever, Prestige Underwriter

Sam Prever Pic

Sam is an underwriter in our Prestige team. To celebrate the first anniversary of the creation of our dedicated team, we talked to Sam to find out more about his role, the challenges he faces and his love for all things motor.

  • How long have you been at ERS?

I first joined ERS back in 2010, working on the direct broking side, dealing with customers, helping them with new policies, renewals and solving any issues. I then moved into underwriting for classic and specialist vehicles within ERS itself. I did that for a couple of years, then left ERS to explore a different aspect of insurance, working for a broker for two years. I came back to ERS in June last year, taking up a position in bespoke underwriting before becoming part of the dedicated Prestige team a few months later. Cars are my passion, so I jumped at the chance to re-join ERS and deal with high-performance, high-value cars every day.

  • What are your key responsibilities?

Each day is different of course, but my role predominantly consists of underwriting risks on a case-by-case basis for high-value/performance vehicles and policies for clients within the sports/entertainment industry. A large part of my time, around 50 or 60%, is spent liaising with brokers, either on the phone or via emails. Strong relationships are key in our sector. Brokers like to know who they are dealing with and build a rapport with providers, to ensure they get a fast and effective service. Many of their high net-worth clients want answers as quickly as possible, so brokers will go to trusted providers first.

  • How did you end up working in insurance?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school, so was searching around for ideas. I had an uncle who worked in car insurance and that seemed a good way to go. I’ve loved cars for as long as I can remember, so it seemed like a great option. Fortunately, it turned out to be the right move for me. I can honestly say that coming into work doesn’t feel like work at all. I get to spend all day collaborating with like-minded colleagues who share my passion and have the same enthusiasm for helping our brokers and their customers enjoy their amazing vehicles.

  • What do you enjoy most about your job?

The thing I enjoy the most is working with the rest of the team. Having a dedicated focus on the Prestige sector has enabled us to take our knowledge and expertise to the next level. Working with high-value vehicles and the risks that surround them day in, day out means that we get to know so much more about them than if we were spread across other specialisms too. Dealing with them so often allows us to grow those strong relationships that are crucial to the business.

  • What are the main challenges that you face?

I’d say the two we come across most often are a lack of information on a particular case and the need to respond very quickly. In our team, we deal regularly with cases relating to those in the sports and entertainment industries. Quite often the broker is not talking directly to that person themselves, but to a representative or agent who only has a limited knowledge of the situation. It can be very tricky to build up a full picture. In this instance, knowing which are the most pertinent questions to ask can help speed up the process and our experience already gives us a certain level of knowledge, as we are likely to already be familiar with a range of makes and models of vehicle.

Another frequent challenge is being pressed for a decision very quickly. It’s not uncommon for the customer to be at the dealership, desperate to drive their new purchase away and wanting insurance on the spot. I quite enjoy the rush of adrenaline you get from these situations. We’re used to working at a fast pace. Our standard is to turnaround quotes within 24 hours and in exceptional circumstances like these, we can get a decision in two hours. The key is clearly communicating our process to brokers and keeping to our deadlines.

  • Do you think having worked for a broker helps you in your current role?

Definitely! There is no question having been on the other side so to speak, is an advantage in the role I do now. I know exactly the pressures brokers are under from their customers and what they’re looking for in a provider. I know they are constantly being pushed to find the best deal as quickly as they can. Finding an insurer who knows the sector and responds quickly with the precise information that’s needed is like winning the lottery to them. In my broker days, once you found these contacts you returned to them again and again. I also think my early days working directly with customers is another benefit as I can see the whole process from their point of view and always have that in the back of my mind.

  • What car do you drive?

My current daily car is a BMW M135i; prior to this I’ve owned a MK7 VW Golf R and Mini John Cooper Works.

  • And what car would you like to drive?

Being (fairly) realistic, I’d love the latest BMW M3 – the perfect mixture of a straight-six, twin-turbo engine and rear-wheel drive that goes so well with the ‘Q-car’ saloon look! If I could have anything, it would have to be a Ferrari F40…

  • What's the most interesting vehicle you've been involved in insuring?

Many people I speak to within this industry say you start to get a bit ‘numb’ to the kinds of vehicles we deal with on a daily basis. For me, it never gets tedious! A notable case I had recently was a young driver and his father bringing their Porsche 918 over from the Middle East for a month to drive across the UK and Europe. That would be a dream to me!

  • How does your own passion help you in your role at ERS?

I don’t think I could do my role as well if I didn’t have a very keen interest in all things motor. There have been times where I’ve been out in London at the weekend and seen a supercar; the next day I’m being asked to quote on it. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’m also a big user of social media and follow all the car bloggers/spotters on Instagram which keeps me up to speed with all the latest releases. I always get a buzz from seeing photos of a car we’ve insured! One thing I couldn’t be without is the Pistonheads website. Anything worth knowing about in the car industry is on there. It’s such a happy twist of fate that the things I love reading about are exactly the things I need to know for my job, I really do feel very lucky.