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Serving Others and Cherishing Every Moment

A Day in the Life of an Underwriter

Posted in Professional Development

Author: Mary Ricks

I have experienced the incredible satisfaction of professional and personal growth working for JM Wilson.

There’s something special about working your way up in an organization; you gain a unique perspective of getting to see all the moving elements and how each role plays a valuable part in the big picture.

My Road to JM Wilson

I started out as a temporary scanner when JM Wilson was converting to a paperless filing system.

Eventually, I was hired as a receptionist where I honed my communication and customer service skills.

Once I became a Transportation Technician, I was really exposed to the world of commercial transportation insurance and all of the things that it encompasses on- and off-site.

From there, I officially became a Transportation Underwriter, which led to my current position. As an Executive Transportation Fleet Underwriter, I now specialize in the underwriting management of fleet services.

My Typical Day

Each morning starts with reviewing new submissions and renewals, determining which carriers will fit best according to the needs and risks associated with the desired coverage.

Next, I negotiate pricing and terms with carriers and agents to secure policy acceptance, The constant communication and negotiating strategies that I put into play always give me a rush!

I always strive to provide the quickest and most efficient customer service possible. If it ends in a won business arrangement with two happy parties, I know that I’ve done my job well.

Overcoming Challenges

The current state of the trucking insurance marketplace has been a bit rocky, but, if anything, the challenge gives me extra motivation to win business.

There are multiple players in the marketplace and some of the older ones have rebranded themselves–making it easier to steal the spotlight.

With prices as they are currently, it’s easy for a competitor to swoop in offering the slightest discount and snag a risk away. That’s why we place such an emphasis on excellent customer service to add value to our client’s experience.

Working in Partnership

Being a resource for our agents gives me pride.  Much like the saying, “Help me to help you,” I often find that there are certain things that our agents do that allow me to serve them to the best of my ability.

Having thorough and complete submissions offer us the best chance to get the risk in front of our carriers as quickly as possible. Having a detailed, exhaustive narrative addresses the criticality of our agents’ needs and helps our carriers make informed decisions, all of which result in better, more efficient outcomes for our agents and their customers.

What Brings Me Joy

I’m always up for a challenge, and that’s what ignites my passion for working at JM Wilson. No two fleet risks are the same. There are multiple opportunities to learn each day—about our carriers, the trucking industry, our teammates, and ourselves.

Words of Advice

During my time at JM Wilson, I’ve learned that relationships are key. Having solid, trustworthy relationships with carrier underwriters and retail agents makes the entire quoting or declination process so much smoother. 

Sometimes, you must have frank conversations. Being able to engage in those discussions honestly and respectfully can eliminate needless spinning of wheels. 

With that being said, you must know your audience and remember that you are still working with human beings. While true, “It’s not personal; it’s just business,” is not always the right approach to take. 

People gravitate toward those that they get along with on a basic level, which is important to remember even in the world of insurance.

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