On the Road with Texas Mutual Recruiting
May 23, 2014 Leave a comment
In our last blog, we had the chance to get a close-up look at a day in the life of Scott Bonds, an underwriter in our Dallas office. I wondered whether the regional offices would have a similar flow or if they were different altogether. What does underwriting look like in Austin and Houston? How does the responsibility change from underwriter I to underwriter II and beyond?
When I joined the company in December, I had a chance to shadow senior underwriter Nathan Rudolph at Austin regional. I asked Nathan to share his insights on the profession.
Nathan said, “The most interesting thing about this field is the analysis of all the different risks we review, as well as the strong relationships that you develop with agents and the people you work with. As an underwriter, your interaction and relationships with the agents you work with plays a big part in your success.”
When asked what we should be looking for in our search, he said, “The traits and skills to look for are flexibility, adaptability, attention to detail, interpersonal communication, ability to multitask and good time management.”
Time management seems to be a critical element in the insurance field as a whole. Nathan describes why it is important. “There are frequently projects or meetings that require chunks of a day to prepare for. There are occasional visits to agencies, as well, and those visits require preparation.”
Nathan also receives several emails and calls from agents each day with questions about existing policies, quote status, class code questions, online submission questions, etc. Frequently, ‘rush’ items come up and need to be addressed quickly.
I asked Nathan to outline a normal day.
7:30 a.m. – I arrive, log on and pour my first cup of coffee to clear the mental cobwebs.
7:35 a.m. /7:40 a.m. – Review voicemails and emails to see if there are any pressing items or fires to put out from the day before or early that morning. I proceed to my individual and team calendars to check for meetings, events or training. I also check in with underwriters that are in training to see if they need any assistance.
8 a.m. – Evaluate our online work baskets to see what my workflow looks like for the day and week (always have to look ahead). I prioritize items to focus on for the day. I usually speak with my supervisor to see if they have anything that needs immediate attention.
8:30 a.m. – Complete follow up emails/voicemails, and begin work on various items in the work baskets. This includes new and renewal quotes, endorsements, safety inspection review, work requests from auditing or other departments, and various correspondence items.
Working on new and renewal quotes involves a significant amount of time and analysis. From the standpoint of analyzing accounts that we currently write or want to write, we like to make sure we understand the exposures so they are priced appropriately.
The other work items referenced above (endorsements, work requests, correspondence, etc.) are important, as well. They reflect updates to and/or possible concerns that arise on existing accounts that need to be addressed.
10 a.m. – Call agents to follow up on new business and renewal quotes that have been released. This will determine if we write the account.
11 a.m. – Continue working on online work baskets.
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 p.m. – Review catastrophic loss emails received on my accounts to determine if a flag needs to be added to the account(s) for review at next renewal.
2:30 p.m. – Continue working on online work basket items.
3:45 p.m. – Follow up on additional quotes for status. Review workload and calendar for the next day, and prepare a list of items to start on when I come in the next day.
4:30 p.m. – Take it to the house…
Looking at his day, he is correct when saying that time management is critical.
During interviews for the upcoming underwriter training class, we asked candidates what they find most rewarding about solving a problem. I asked Nathan a similar question to find out what is most rewarding about his job. He said, “Building relationships with agents and assisting in developing and serving as a resource for other underwriters.” A true mentor.
Wondering how we are doing in our search for the June 2 class? We have hired five recent graduates. Our new underwriters represent UNT, UT Austin, Stephen F. Austin, University of Houston Downtown and the University of South Dakota. Can you guess which candidate is looking forward to warmer weather?
Look out for our next “day in the life” with Moriah Wilson as On the Road takes an inside look at Medical Only Claims Adjusting.