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Navigating the Dynamics of Commercial and Passenger Insurance with Lianne Brown, ERS Underwriter

We recently sat down with Lianne Brown, a new member of the Commercial and Passenger team at here ERS. During our chat, she shared insights from her journey moving from Operations to Underwriting, unravelling the complexities of the insurance industry.

Q: Hi Lianne! Can you share how your career journey led you to become an underwriter in the commercial and passenger sector? How did you first get started in your career?

I kicked off my career spending three years in the operations team right here at ERS, delving into the ins and outs of the insurance world. That experience was great – helping me to understand the details that make the industry tick. When I started thinking about the next steps, transitioning to underwriting seemed like the natural move. I wanted a more strategic role, and my time in operations became the perfect launching pad for that shift.

I also wanted to stay within ERS; the atmosphere, the opportunities, everything aligned with how I enjoy working. The transition to underwriting wasn't just a career move; it felt like continuing a journey within a familiar landscape.

Q: You’ve now been in the role for 4 months. Tell us about how that transition from Operations to Underwriting has gone and what is the main focus for the rest of your first year?

Moving from operations to underwriting has been both exciting and eye-opening. It's a step up in responsibility, and I've come to realise the real impact my decisions have on the company and our clients.

As I look ahead, my main focus for the rest of the year is to grow my expertise. I'm particularly keen on diving deeper into coach and bus underwriting, aiming to fully understand these areas and make a meaningful contribution to their development.

Q: It sounds like an exciting path ahead! Can you tell us about your day-to-day role at ERS?

A regular day at ERS involves a mix of tasks—quoting for new business, managing mid-term adjustments, and carefully reviewing rates. A big part of my job is engaging with brokers. I make sure we not only meet but go beyond their expectations by offering the right solutions for their clients. It's a fast-paced environment, and I enjoy the challenges it brings, keeping me on my toes throughout the day.

Q: Let’s talk about trends. What key trends are you seeing in the Commercial market right now?

The commercial market is really interesting right now. There's been a noticeable speed-up in the industry, especially with the demand bouncing back in the taxi and minibus sectors after the summer. The entrance of new taxi drivers brings even more dynamism, showing that the market is always changing and evolving. Of course, there have been plenty of challenges post-pandemic that we're navigating through, and it’s still a tough climate out there for businesses operating in this space.

Q: Given the difficult conditions, are there still growth opportunities out there?

Absolutely, and perhaps more so in challenging conditions. Growth opportunities persist for those who look carefully. The key, as I've found, is about adopting a steady and solid approach that not only weathers the storm but also positions us to thrive in it.

Q: As an underwriter, how else can you add value to your brokers?

Beyond the conventional means of communication like emails, I firmly believe in more direct and personal engagement. Giving brokers a call, actively participating in broker events, and building a trusted relationship by taking the time to truly understand their needs—all these contribute significantly to adding value. It's about being more than just a service provider; it's about being a reliable and proactive partner in their success.

Q: And what’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

Importantly - the impact of my work. Every decision made as an underwriter has tangible consequences in the real world. Understanding and embracing this responsibility has been transformative in my professional growth and has made everything worthwhile!

Q: On to the team. How does working closely with different departments and leveraging the expertise within the team contribute to your success as a Commercial and Passenger underwriter?

Collaboration is at the heart of success in any role, and underwriting is no exception. Working closely with diverse departments allows us to tap into a collective pool of expertise. This collaborative environment not only enhances the team's overall efficiency but also gives us a variety of perspectives that ultimately benefit both the team and, by extension, our clients.

Q: Thanks Lianne! And lastly, outside of work, what are some of your interests or hobbies?

Beyond work, I really enjoy the world of car boot sales. Whether I'm selling stuff or hunting for hidden treasures, it's a perfect mix of relaxation and excitement. It's a great way to unwind and take a break from the demands of my job.

Thanks so much Lianne – it was a pleasure chatting and best of luck with your endeavours ahead.

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