Introducing our new Prestige Underwriters

Stuart Reis Alex Bl

At ERS, we pride ourselves on the depth of our underwriting and claims expertise and our ability to support the unique, high-value vehicles that are too complex for other insurers.. So we thought we’d introduce you to some of the rising stars within our Prestige underwriting team – Reis Jones, Alex Lewis and Stuart Rose – and hear what motivates them about the Prestige market…

 

Tell us about the journey at ERS to your new role as a Prestige underwriter.

 

Stuart: Over the past seven years, I’ve made my way from breakdown control to non-standard vehicles over to Prestige, which is where I’ve been since the formation of our dedicated team back in summer 2016. I always felt this area of the market was one that held huge growth potential, so it’s great that I’ve been involved from the start of our Prestige journey.

 

Alex: I’ve also been here seven years, although I started in Retail as an underwriting assistant before moving to the Commercial Team. Like Stuart, the Prestige product fascinated me – I love cars and have done since I was a small child.

 

Reis: I’m a comparative newbie, having joined ERS’s High Risk team back in August 2017, but I knew from the off that this was the right company for me. I was able to get some great experience in the team and was promoted to underwriter after a year. I’ve always had a passion for cars, so when a position came up in Prestige, I jumped at the chance.

 

What does your role involve on a day-to-day basis?

 

Reis: It’s quite a shift of emphasis for me – I have been used to dealing with the distressed side of the market, and yet now I’m responsible for underwriting some of the most expensive and exotic vehicles on the roads! One of the biggest differences I’m noticing is just how important clients’ previous driving experience is when creating suitable terms for these high-value vehicles.

 

Alex: On a typical day, you’ll find me processing MTAs, creating and issuing or perhaps responding to referrals from the Ops team. My next priority will be getting stuck into the nitty-gritty of quoting for new business and continuing to expand my broker relationships.

 

Stuart: I’ve been dealing with MTAs and renewals as an assistant underwriter for the past two years, so like Alex, it’s the new business side of things that I’ll be doing more of in the new role, making sure we are writing profitable and competitive policies. Picking up the phone to brokers and building stronger relationships is something I really enjoy about my job.

 

What are you predicting for the Prestige market as the world starts to open up again in the months ahead?

 

Stuart: We’re feeling upbeat about the prospects for the market as the year progresses. There are so many drivers itching to get to the showroom and buy a new vehicle, and no doubt a number of them will have been spending less and saving more during the pandemic.

 

Reis: People will be eager to get back to travelling, especially travelling to the UK, so we’re confident that our Overseas product can surpass its pre-Covid levels. But I agree with Stuart that our domestic-based clients may also wish to make up for lost time and purchase new vehicles, especially with the new growing demand for electric supercars.

 

Alex: The more freedom that the world has, the more active people will be with their spending. We might also see more changes being made to our Sports & Entertainment policies, as sportspeople start being able to change cars more regularly again.

 

What other Prestige trends are capturing your attention?

 

Alex: I have a particular fascination with electric vehicles, and many of the Prestige manufactures  are really pushing this now. Some of the new models are pretty unbelievable in terms of power and speed, while there is also more choice. It’s not just one model per manufacturer anymore – just look at the Mercedes EQ class.

 

Reis: I think supercar collectors will also get on-board with EVs. They like to diversify. We’re making a big push around Collections because we’re capable of covering such a range of options – from owners with one elite vehicle alongside several family or daily use cars to collectors who own multiple high-value vehicles.

 

Stuart: I’d agree with this. No two Collections are the same, but you’ll typically see collectors striking a balance of supercars, everyday vehicles and then their unique ‘toys’.

 

Alex: When we chat to brokers, it’s clear that what we all want to see our serious collectors, rather than just an affluent customer buying a bunch of vehicles. The serious collectors will store them properly and treat them with care, making it a lot easier for us to give them a competitive policy.

 

What makes the ERS Prestige proposition stand out in the market?

 

Alex: Brokers can see that we know what we’re talking about. We know our product, know the market, and have knowledge in every department – not just underwriting but ops and claims too.

 

Stuart: Both our people and our Lloyd’s A+ rated products are trusted to deliver, and we’re certainly not averse to letting brokers dip their toes in the water by placing an initial vehicle with us. It gives us a chance to show brokers what we can do, and we regularly find that over time their customers will end up moving multiple vehicles or entire collections over to us.

 

Reis: For me, it’s the fact that brokers get easy and direct access to a passionate and knowledgeable team, and of course, we’re backed by our Lloyd’s A+ rating to give everyone financial security. Some of our competitors offer multiple insurance lines, whereas the fact that we’re motor only means we only pick up the things we specialise in.

 

And what’s next for the Prestige team?

 

Stuart: Now that we’ve been promoted, the business can afford more opportunity for our junior team members to upskill and take on additional responsibility, so it’s a period of growth and development across the whole Prestige team.

 

Reis: By increasing the number of underwriters capable of handling complex Prestige enquiries, we’re looking to take on more volume, but we won’t just write business for the sake of it – it has to be a good fit for our brokers and for us.

 

Alex: We’re also looking at how we automate back-end processes to make it even easier to do business with us and provide faster and more efficient quotes without losing any access to our underwriters.

 

What are your passions and pastimes outside of working hours?

 

Alex: I’m a big sports fan, especially football (Manchester Utd) and the NFL (Minnesota Vikings). I also love to cook; in fact, I worked as a chef for a while, which stoked my passion for food, particularly baking. One of the things I miss about office life is not being able to bring in goodies to share with my team!

 

Reis: I’m a self-confessed petrol head and general car geek. I own a modified Ford Focus RS, and I attend car meets throughout the year. Beyond that, it’s sports all the way. I enjoy F1 and the British Touring Car Championship. I’m a keen golfer with a ten handicap, I play pool & snooker in a local league and I’m a big Chelsea fan, which is a little contentious within the Prestige team.

 

Stuart: I’m a husband and father of two boys, so most of my free time is spent with my family. When I do get a spare 30 minutes or more, I enjoy running, although during lockdown my efforts have been offset by my old man knees and sweet tooth! I’m also a massive music fan. I’ve even made it as far as New Jersey to see Bruce Springsteen.

 

And finally, what’s your favourite Prestige vehicle and why?

 

Stuart: The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. It’s a safe answer, but it’s just incredible. I would have to have it in black though – I only like black cars.

 

Reis: I’ve always had a soft spot for Ferraris. Growing up, it was the F355 Berlinetta (in red with beige leather). Now, I’d go for an F8 Tributo- in my opinion it’s the best looking car on sale today (in grey with yellow brake callipers & black interior with yellow stitching!).

 

Alex: I can never settle on one answer because it changes daily. But right now, my favourite is the McLaren Senna. I love a crazy vehicle, and you know if you drive this, it’ll put a massive smile on your face.


Click here for more information on our Prestige product. If you’re looking for a Supercar or Collections quote, email prestige@ers.com or call 0333 241 2445.


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