W/R/B Underwriting: In the Eyes of our Secondees
As part of our commitment to providing efficient, accurate, and timely responses for all our clients, we need to ensure our Claims team has the right tools, knowledge, and expertise to drive decision-making and success, allowing W/R/B Underwriting to remain at the forefront of the market.
To do this, over the years, we have partnered with a number of leading law firms to support not only ours, but also their understanding of the market, claims, and the processes that take place, so all of us better our proficiency and client needs. As a result, we boast an expert Claims team with a proactive and pragmatic approach to claims.
The partnership takes the form of secondments, which we previously explored with Claims Management Practice Lead, Daniel Cambage, where we delved into the importance of the programme.
Currently on board are Victoria Murray and Chris Wragg, who are both qualified solicitors with specialist experience in insurance at City law firms and therefore the perfect fit for the team.
Following our conversations with Daniel, we also took the opportunity to speak with both Victoria and Chris to learn a little more about their role in the secondment with W/R/B Underwriting, from the highs and lows, to expectations vs reality.
Albeit an odd time to be on secondment at another firm, Victoria and Chris! Could you take us through some of your key responsibilities as part of your role within the W/R/B Underwriting Claims team?
Victoria: It’s been rather unusual, but nevertheless still fast paced and something that took both myself and Chris out of our comfort zones. We are both working within the Casualty Claims team under Daniel’s supervision, with our own case loads. Not only that, but we are currently assisting with bespoke legal issues as and when they arise.
So, it’s very much a mutual partnership? You’re providing your expertise, whilst also learning more about the industry. What would you say are your key takeaways from the experience?
Victoria: Even in a short amount of time, it’s clear to see that the principal asset of W/R/B Underwriting has to be its people. From day one, I felt genuinely welcomed and instantly treated as a valued contributor to the business. Every person I’ve met within the company has been inclusive and approachable, and the regular company-wide briefings and events create an open, collaborative environment. Although a small team, there is a high level of expertise within the Claims department, which fosters a culture of ownership and accountability for your day-to-day work, whilst still providing plenty of support, or the benefit of others’ experience, where needed. It’s very impressive.
Chris: Being a secondee with W/R/B Underwriting provides an opportunity to work closely with a team of highly-experienced, yet personable individuals, that are genuinely passionate about what they do. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about a dynamic and adaptive organisation, operating in a diverse range of markets and geographical locations. Opportunities to attend regular team meetings, underwriting peer review meetings, and office briefings have not only made me feel a welcome part of the team, but also provided a fantastic insight.
Another key takeaway has undoubtedly been W/R/B Underwriting’s impressive response to one of the largest and most challenging global events in living memory (the COVID-19 crisis). In view of the unprecedented nature of events, I was initially unsure as to how a business with so many moving parts would respond. What I saw was the team come together with a universally positive attitude, adapt extremely quickly, and focus tirelessly on successfully helping its clients with the challenges they were facing. As you might imagine, such challenges were in no short supply.
It sounds like a very inclusive environment, with a lot of support available when you need it. Is it what you expected before joining? Were there any impressions you had of W/R/B Underwriting which may, or may not, have been necessarily true?
Victoria: I hadn’t worked with anyone in the W/R/B Underwriting Claims team prior to the secondment, but their reputation in the market was a work hard ethic. From my experience I can confirm it is certainly true that they are a hardworking and dedicated team. Their can-do, collegiate attitude is very impressive and admirable. Claims are handled conscientiously and there is an “open floor” for questions or suggestions about how to handle complex issues. This has also ensured good visibility over the types of claims coming through the department, whilst delivering a consistent and considered approach.
Chris: My expectations were fairly limited! I guess that, seeing the grand office space that spans several floors of the Scalpel at the heart of the London market, and learning about the diverse range of work undertaken by the team, I expected communication channels to be compartmentalised and for my own exposure to be somewhat restricted. However, the reality has been the complete opposite! W/R/B Underwriting promotes high levels of communication and transparency at all levels of the business – they are well and truly a thoughtful group of individuals, always willing to help each other out. This is clearly a huge strength, as are W/R/B underwriting’s commitments to innovation and ideas sharing, which is very inspiring.
It’s great to see how those particular perceptions were completely reversed, Chris. Let’s move on to looking more towards the future – what opportunities do you believe are on the horizon for your time at W/R/B Underwriting and beyond?
Chris: I am looking forward to continuing to build on my existing relationships with the team, as well as expanding upon the areas of work I am currently involved in. The deep sector expertise and approachability of the W/R/B Underwriting team inspires a lot of confidence and, of course, now I know how much they have to offer! I am also looking forward to boasting about the work that I have already been involved in and to sharing my successes with W/R/B Underwriting to date.
Victoria: W/R/B Underwriting regularly instructs CMS on complex coverage and defence matters and, whilst the type and intricacy of the claims I’m handling are broadly similar to my role at CMS, I’m enjoying taking the role of decision-maker as opposed to advisor. The secondment also provides the opportunity to work closely with W/R/B Underwriting’s underwriters and coverholders, which has and will further allow me to develop my relationships within the market from a different angle.
Onboarding individuals like Victoria and Chris has been paramount to the development and execution of the W/R/B Underwriting Claims team, proposition, and management approach. We look forward to continuing to welcome our legal partners to the programme in the future.
If you have any questions on the programme, feel free to get in touch with Daniel.