Underwriting Director - Professional Risks
Here at Tokio Marine HCC, we have great people in our teams across London and the regions with valuable experience and expertise. To get to know our experts a bit better, we’ll be profiling a series of Q&As. This edition is the turn of John Booth, our London Underwriting Director – Professional Risks.
What is your role at Tokio Marine HCC?
I have been with the company for just over 7 years. I am based in London currently holding the position of Underwriting Director – Professional Risks.
I am part of the management team with responsibility for budgeting, profitability and product development for our offices throughout the UK. In addition, I provide a technical referral point for the underwriters and retain a focus on day-to-day underwriting by looking after a number of key accounts. Whilst the role is predominantly Professional Indemnity (PI) focused. I am also involved in the development of our Professional Multi Risk products (PMR) which includes options for adding in Liability, Office Protect and our Management Liability (ML) products; the latter two of which are also available on a standalone basis.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in the industry?
I wish I had known the importance of relationships.
Starting out in the industry I was not as aware of how a working relationship between brokers and underwriters directly impacts the business. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a mantra that stands the test of time. We all know that over the last 25 years technology has fundamentally changed the way we work. The advancement of automated systems has reduced the need for interaction with our brokers, but no system is fool-proof. Underpinning all of this is the fact that the respect we show to each other benefits our business best. It you get on and have the respect of a broker, then you are more likely to do business with them.
What is the biggest change you have seen over the past five years in the insurance market?
The biggest change is the increase in the number of Managing General Agents (MGAs).
Historically the PI market in particular was dominated by a small number of the traditional insurance giants, operating alongside specialist Lloyd’s underwriters. The underwriting landscape has now changed beyond recognition. PI was a niche market inhabited by specialist underwriters and there was a general mystique as to how the cover operated, which meant the well-known insurers steered clear. Today, not only are more underwriters offering the cover, but the amount of MGAs has increased at a rapid rate. How long before they outnumber the amount of traditional underwriters? What can confuse the end client is the fact that some of these MGAs are actually backed by the more traditional markets, which can lead to one insurer ultimately competing against itself for the same piece of business.
What motivates you on a Monday morning?
What motivates me on a Monday morning is no different from what motivates me every other day of the week. I have a number of challenges to face, some of which are consistent in terms of making sure that the team are delivering on service standards to our customers, through to special projects where deadlines have to be met. I then have to factor in the unknown challenges which will always crop up, so all in all it adds up to an interesting week. Ultimately I want to do my very best for the company and earn the respect of my peers in doing so.
To discover more about our Professional Risks services here.
London Underwriting Director - Professional Risks
+44 (0)20 7680 2908