Navigating Agricultural Insurance: A Conversation with Matt Evans, Regional Trading Underwriter for Agriculture, Wales

In the realm of specialised insurance, each region brings its unique blend of challenges and opportunities. At ERS, we believe in more than just providing coverage – we are deeply rooted in the communities we serve. We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt Evans, Regional Trading Underwriter for Agriculture in Wales at ERS.

Our discussion offers insights into his remarkable journey within the insurance industry, his passion for agricultural underwriting and his observations in this dynamic field. From his early experiences in motor underwriting to his current role at ERS, Matt's story underscores the intricacies of the profession and the vital importance of fostering strong connections with local communities.

Q: Hi Matt! Great to have you here. Could you share a bit about your background and how you found your way into agricultural underwriting?

A: Absolutely. My career in insurance started in 1998, so a milestone this year at 25 years (I have worked at several companies both at insurer and broker level during this time ranging from Estates, High Net Worth Personal Lines, Commercial and performance vehicles. I began my journey in the Agriculture insurance industry about 15 years ago at Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, where I delved into motor underwriting. During that time, I was exposed to a wide range of vehicles, including tractors, and started to understand the complexities of insurance in the context of agriculture. The role exposed me to the specialisms of charity, heritage and education including the running of a Farm Motor scheme. This experience piqued my interest and I gradually gravitated towards specialising in agricultural underwriting.

Following my time at Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, I took on a role at NIG Farm Web in Gloucester. This transition allowed me to evolve from an underwriter to a product manager, overseeing critical aspects such as pricing, product details and direct interactions with prominent brokers.

Q: What prompted your transition to ERS, and how does it distinguish itself from your previous experiences?

A: I joined ERS in October 2016, marking seven years of my journey here. ERS stood out to me as a specialist motor insurer, a departure from my previous experiences with combined insurers where motor insurance was often overshadowed. What truly sets ERS apart is the perfect balance it strikes between cutting-edge technology and personalised interactions. This unique approach allows brokers to engage directly with underwriters, creating a dynamic collaboration that's uncommon in the industry.

Looking specifically at our operations in Wales, being entrenched in the local community is crucial.

Q: Can you shed light on your role at ERS and the approach you take in serving your clients?

A: As a Regional Trading Underwriter, my role revolves around building strong relationships within our broker community to provide them with the support they need to thrive.

Rather than relying solely on online processes, we encourage direct engagement – brokers can pick up the phone and reach out for assistance. Our streamlined processing unit in Swansea adds to the efficiency, ensuring a smooth experience for the companies we serve.

Q: What does a typical week look like for you as a Regional Trading Underwriter?

A: A typical week involves real mix of maintaining broker relationships, overseeing renewals and offering solutions to new business opportunities from small to SME to large and complex risks. Staying attuned to industry trends and adapting to changes quickly are key aspects of my role, bolstered by the close strong relationships we've cultivated within the industry.

Q: The Welsh agricultural insurance landscape has its own complexities. What challenges have you encountered, and how do you navigate them?

A: You’re right, the Welsh agricultural sector presents unique challenges, and we know that farmers in the region are facing a challenging time right now. Pricing fluctuations and evolving regulatory demands mean that farmers are having to diversify and look to new avenues, and many farmers, especially the younger generation, are facing funding constraints.

All this means it’s critical we work really closely with our broker partners to help them deliver a dynamic, evolving, service which meets their clients’ needs. We’re here to support a changing industry and contribute to the ongoing success of the Welsh farming community.

Q: What aspects of working in Wales resonate with you personally?

A: Working in Wales offers a blend of stunning natural landscapes and accessibility to urban centres like Cardiff. The tranquil countryside is within reach, creating a harmonious balance. I love it here – and feel lucky to live and work in such a beautiful place!

Q: How do you stay in tune with market shifts and deftly navigate changes?

A: Staying connected to market dynamics involves ongoing dialogue with brokers and staying vigilant about industry shifts. This proactive approach – together with our active participation in the wider insurance community - empowers us to adjust strategies swiftly and navigate the evolving landscape with agility.

Thank you, Matt, – great to hear about your journey and ERS’s experience in the region!

Matt Evans' journey within the intricate realm of agricultural underwriting showcases the value of expertise and the significance of forging strong relationships. His role at ERS underscores the importance of understanding the nuances of the agricultural sector while delivering personalised client service. As the Welsh agricultural landscape continues to evolve, Matt's insights and approach play a pivotal role in shaping ERS' achievements within the region.

As the agricultural market continues to evolve, ERS remains dedicated to providing reliable and comprehensive insurance solutions, ensuring the protection and peace of mind of farmers and agribusiness owners in Wales.

Find out more information about our Agricultural motor insurance here.

For any Agricultural motor enquiries, contact our team on 0345 600 2284 or agriculturequotes@ers.com

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