How long have you worked in insurance, and how did you become an underwriter?
I have been working in insurance since 1999, starting as a North American Broker Assistant. I joined the Underwriter Amlin (now MS Amlin) in 2000 as an office junior and worked my way up through the ranks to become an Underwriter. Following a stint at AIG, I joined TMHCC in 2015.
What has been the biggest change from when you first started in the industry?
The size of the PC monitors (joking, but not really joking). When I started, the computer monitors took up most of the space on our desks!
The way we communicate has changed massively, with email just coming in when I started working. Prior to that, we used phones, faxes and the postman to send quotes and policy documents. The entry-level for new starters has also vastly changed as the jobs I did when I started are no longer required.
What are the biggest challenges/risks that your department has had to overcome in the past five years?
Trade Credit is hugely affected by economic swings, with Brexit and Covid continuing to be challenging. While Covid has been challenging, it did not create the losses we anticipated, considering large parts of the economy were closed on and off for a lot of 2020 and the start of 2021.
What are your predictions for the future of the market, short term and long term?
In the near future, we are going to see an increase in corporate failures as the Government’s support has now all but ended; we are starting to see companies struggle. Inflation, rising energy costs, increases in interest rates and the crisis in Ukraine are all putting immense pressure on margins at a time when additional debt has been taken on to survive Covid. This is taking its toll, and an uplift in companies going into administration will increase claims within the Trade Credit market.
The economy is a cyclical beast. In the 20+ years I have been working within Trade Credit, I have seen 3 cycles. Whilst we are facing what could be described as the perfect storm, it will pass, and the economy will again start the upward climb.
In your opinion, what makes TMHCC different from other insurers/why should brokers place their business with us?
TMHCC makes an effort to bring in new talent, with our Leicester office recently employing a number of university graduates. This is not only good for us as a business, but it is also good for the Trade Credit Industry as a whole.
Being a good company is built into our working ways - we are a stable, reliable underwriter, and our customer service is second to none, of which we are all really proud.