Karl BL

What first led you to a career in fleet motor insurance?

It was purely accidental. I started life as a Lloyd’s placing broker back in the early 90’s, specialising in all classes of motor businesses, but predominately Self-Drive Hire (SDH). Through an M&A, I then worked for a national brokerage, again continuing in SDH, servicing retail clients nationwide.

I joined ERS in 2008 as a fleet underwriter. Fortunately, it felt a seamless transition having built up and serviced a large account with ERS over several years, making friends, understanding product lines but essentially knowing the difference between brokerage and loss ratios which took a while!

How has your career progressed since being with ERS?

One thing you cannot deny is the emphasis ERS place on personal development. Every effort is made to ensure all employees are given the opportunity to progress in their careers. We’re purposely exposed to all classes within fleet, so not to be overly reliant on one individual which is a great way to expand your knowledge and experience.

I’ve gained a lot working this way especially in my current role with the London Market, which requires a different approach for the wholesale arena and the culture that’s embedded. Recognition is important and ERS understand and acknowledge the effort and investment made by personnel whether it be financially or through career progression. This has been endorsed recently by my advancement to a senior fleet underwriter.

Why do you think ERS is such a good partner for fleet brokers?

It’s both our experienced team and our Lloyd’s A+ rating which should give both our brokers and policyholders confidence in us along with our diverse product range. Above all, we are fair, professional, explain methodology and listen to broker needs as well understanding the client’s businesses.

We consider each risk on its own merits and are given the freedom and confidence to trade, make instant decisions without compromising underwriter discipline. We demonstrate positive behaviours which resonates with our trading partners.

What’s the benefit of brokers having direct access to a Fleet underwriter?

In the London Market especially, it has to be relationships first and foremost. Allocating a specific underwriter to a select panel of brokers is paramount so you can build trust as well as ensuring consistency and continuity are demonstrated throughout the relationship.

How have you and the team been able to support brokers and policyholders through the pandemic?

Communication has been key. When the pandemic initially took hold, the roll out from our IT team to the new working from home environment was seamless and painless. This ensured we stayed in contact with our brokers from the offset which set us apart from our larger competitors.

Equally as important was our willingness to engage with our policyholders and our speed and ability to adapt and react by offering change of vehicle use and laid-up cover, helping struggling policyholders to trade through the ongoing difficult times.

As an Underwriter, what has been the biggest challenge in Fleet during the pandemic?

Being candid, probably isolation. Working remotely does have a huge impact on your wellbeing, more so during lockdowns. You can struggle with lack of routine and social interaction, so I’ve missed being with the team in London which is a great place to work and meet-up.

What do you enjoy getting up to outside of working hours?

I visit the gym regularly and enjoy running. I’m into Scandi cop shows, seeing friends, watching football and lazy dog walks. And, I'm trying out surfing.

If you weren’t working in fleet motor insurance, what would your dream job be?

Probably a surveyor or quantity surveyor. I love buildings – preferably historical and interesting architecture.

If you’re looking for a fleet quote, contact our expert team today on 0345 602 5809 or email fleet.quotes@ers.com

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