‘Nice, dependable, approachable.’
‘Dynamic, mercurial and innovative.’
Who would you rather go on a date with? The nice guy is great for a date or two, but conversation can gradually wane and before you know it there are no breadsticks left to fill those awkward silences. For example, Did Catherine Earnshaw, or Elizabeth Bennett for that matter, go for Heathcliff or Mr Darcy because they were nice? But the more dynamic, exciting person makes you want to keep going back for more, even if they may not always tell you what you want to hear.
The descriptions above have been used by brokers in our annual underwriter study to describe underwriting teams in the London Market. When looking at these responses we always compare it to dating; would I want to go out with this person? Is this person someone I want to give my time to? A similar question can be put to brokers, is this insurer someone that the broker really wants to do business with?
The language that brokers use is important as it prescribes the kind of relationship that they perceive to have with Insurers; which ultimately refers to their understanding of insurers’ risk appetites and the way that they want to do business with them.
Does the nice guy ever really get the girl? Being nice can work but it implies a reactive position; whereas underwriters who know what they want, assert themselves and are not afraid to challenge the status quo command much more respect from brokers and ultimately command more business from them.
The game is changing in the London Market. Underwriters can no longer afford to sit back and let business come to them. Underwriters need to take action and assert a more proactive approach to getting and winning business.
So underwriters, don’t be the nice guy...