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We sat down with Mark Suffield, our new Regional Trading Underwriter for the Midlands at ERS, to learn more about his background, his new role, and his thoughts on the current state of the motor market.

Mark has more than 10 years experience in the motor insurance industry, having previously worked as Head of Motor at Oak Underwriting. Mark also brings with him a deep understanding of the market and the impact of new technologies and processes on the industry, and he is well-equipped to help ERS build on its successes, navigating the ever-changing landscape of specialist motor insurance.

Hey there, Mark! It's great to have you on board. So, tell us, what's your new role all about and how does it relate to your background?

Well, I'm thrilled to be taking on the role of Regional Trading Underwriting in the Bespoke Personal Lines team at ERS. This means I'll be responsible for underwriting both Prestige and Enthusiast products.

I've been working in the High Net Worth/Bespoke motor market for the last 10 years, starting out on a graduate scheme at Oak Underwriting. I worked my way up through the ranks and eventually became Head of Motor, managing the motor P&L and leaving after successfully integrating the business into ZPC following the acquisition by Zurich.

I've built strong relationships in the intermediated space and have a deep understanding of the market, customer needs, and the challenges insurers face. I'm excited to share my knowledge and experience with ERS - while also learning new approaches and offerings from the existing team. Plus, I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my broker contacts and offering them a specialised motor proposition with service and bespoke underwriting as fundamental values.

Great stuff – so what attracted you to ERS specifically?

I was drawn to the company's reputation for excellent customer service and its focus on staying ahead of the curve in the motor insurance industry. The on-the-ground presence in the Midlands and dedication to understanding clients' unique needs really stood out to me too. I'm thrilled to be a part of such a forward-thinking company, and as a specialist motor insurer, it aligns perfectly with my passion and experience.

What does a typical week look like in your role?

It really depends on the needs of our brokers! I'm here to service them, so some weeks I might be visiting to discuss the account, renewals and new business.

Of course, staying true to our underwriting principles and methodology is always a key part of the role – and although there’s a sales element to my role, it’s about making sure we're only selecting the correct business. These conversations are a great opportunity to educate our brokers about our appetite, risk selection, and underwriting stance, which makes the whole process more efficient and focuses on the risks that benefit both parties.

Are there any stand-out trends that you see in the motor market in the Midlands?

Broadly, we have to start with the ongoing impact of Covid. The pandemic hasn’t just affected the supply chain - it has also fundamentally changed what we consider a ‘normal’ risk profile to look like in terms of use, mileage and more. As insurers, we need to adapt our models and views to ensure we continue to select the right risks.

And of course, claims inflation is going to continue to be a hot topic, and require motor insurance providers to review their pricing. We covered this in our recent ERS Live session if you’re interested in reading more – and also learn about how ERS has benefitted from plenty of early planning when it comes to dealing with price increases.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how the rise in EVs continues into 2023 too - especially with the current government deadlines accelerating adoption. Not only do we need to consider the change in driving style associated with EVs, but we also need to make sure our clients are aware of how these vehicles perform differently in terms of acceleration and safety, as well as changes in the repair networks. There’s plenty to do on this front!

Lastly, and sadly, we’re seeing is an increase in the theft of motor vehicles, especially for the highly desirable and targeted vehicles that we underwrite as part of ERS Prestige. We’re here to help brokers understand, mitigate and service these risks – and it’s likely to continue being a big part of what we do.

Why are these on-the-ground roles so important to ERS? What sort of a difference does it make to the business?

Well, for one, being physically present and active shows that we're committed to trading and writing business. Building relationships with all levels of the broker hierarchy, and having that personal touch, helps to reinforce that message and shows that we're a reliable and adaptable company.

We understand that it's a tough time for everyone right now, not just insurers, but also our broker partners and clients. That's why we see the importance of having an effective team in place to assist our brokers in any way they need and make sure our customers are getting the best experience possible. By being on-the-ground, we're able to be responsive, understanding, and offer a bespoke service that will make a real difference to our business.

Other than its on-the-ground presence, what is it that makes ERS stand out in the market?

One of the key things is our ability to offer a more tailored solution instead of a one-size-fits-all product. Even though the Prestige side of ERS is relatively new, we are already the fourth largest provider to the HNW market in the UK – able to offer multiple propositions and tailor them to meet the specific needs of our clients.

And, as we continue to embrace technology and digitise some of our solutions for speed and easy access, we still rely on our team's unrivalled expertise when it comes to handling complex risks. Our team is dedicated to providing personalised and effective solutions to our clients, using their deep understanding of the motor insurance industry and the unique needs of our clients to navigate through even the most complex of cases. This human touch and expertise – together with ground-breaking tech - is what sets us apart from our competitors, and we believe it's what will continue to drive our success in the future.

Being purely focused on motor insurance means we're able to identify trends and react quickly to changes in the market, customer requirements, or even adjustments to our underwriting appetite. This specific focus, combined with our investment and commitment, gives confidence to our brokers and customers and shows how ERS has become one of the leading players in the bespoke motor market.

You’ve started this new role at a difficult time for the motor market. How are you having to adapt?

One of the most important things for me is communication - I need to be working closely with our broker partners to explain the challenges we're facing, provide clear reasoning for the decisions we make, and justify any shifts in our underwriting appetite.

On top of that, I'm constantly reviewing the market to try and find innovative solutions that can help address customer requirements while also protecting our book.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt in your career?

The most valuable lesson I've learned throughout my career is the importance of building and maintaining strong connections. Whether it's with colleagues, clients or partners, having a solid network of people you can rely on, trust and communicate effectively with can make a huge difference in achieving success. At ERS, we understand that and strive to foster those relationships by providing outstanding service and personal touches that make a difference.

What are your passions and pastimes outside of working hours?

Plenty! When I'm not working, I love to socialise and hang out with friends and family, it's a great excuse to grab a drink or two!

I'm also a proud owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who sometimes makes his presence known if the postman arrives while I'm on a call. Apologies in advance to anyone who gets background barking when they speak to me.

I like to stay active and enjoy dabbling in a few sports, but nothing too intense. You can definitely find me on the driving range during the weekend.

Thanks Mark! Best of luck in your new role, and we look forward to hearing from you again soon.

If you’re looking for a quote for a Supercar or collections quote, contact our Prestige team at or call 0333 241 2445.

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