BFIS has maintained close ties with a number of universities over the years, including UGA who organise a student visit every year and who kindly extend the invitation to one or two Bermudian scholars to join them.
As it happens, Shane White, a BFIS Argo scholar studying Business at Aston University in the UK, was available as he is doing a Co-op programme and has been working at Markel this year. Markel kindly agreed that he could participate and he has now provided a summary of his experience.
“BELCO, Ed Broking, Sompo International, Allied World and Bowring Marsh hosted myself and students from the University of Georgia during our ‘Risk Management’ tour on March 7th and 8th.
First, we observed the BELCO facilities and learned how electricity is generated and stored before being supplied to the island. Additionally, as the theme of our visit was ‘Risk Management’, our tour guides emphasized the rigorous safety procedures needed when exploring the BELCO station and we even wore gear including steel toe boots, luminescent vests, ear plugs, safety glasses and hard hats.
At Ed Broking we spoke with brokers from Property, Casualty and Professional Lines insurance. They described the importance of relationships with underwriters along with the intricacies of coordinating clients with suitable insurers based on needs and industry risks.
Then at Sompo we engaged with Casualty and Professional Lines underwriters who explained the perils seen from their respective lines, while addressing their individual career experiences. We also participated in a call with a railroad company to investigate the risks that casualty underwriters must consider when underwriting rail.
On Day two, we participated in a simulated underwriting activity at Sompo, receiving information on a company including industry class, loss history, layering, limit, premium, etc. We were instructed to assess potential risks, create questions to ask, comment on the requested coverage and decide whether to accept the business.
As an aspiring underwriter, this was invaluable as we received real-world scenarios, tools and information to analyze a deal and provide opinions in a timed environment.
Later we visited Allied World who had prepared a rotation between catastrophe analysts, actuarial analysts, claims professionals and underwriters. We had focused conversations to understand their roles, how they all synergize throughout the processes and how personal interests and character traits can influence responsibilities within the industry.
Finally, we went to Bowring Marsh, who hosted us for a lively and productive networking session between their brokers and colleagues from Allied World, allowing us to interact with local professionals in a casual manner.
In summary, the two-day session was enlightening, practical and of course enjoyable! It was a great opportunity for our U.S. counterparts to observe the atmosphere of the Bermuda insurance market. Having experiences between different cultures also spurred fascinating conversations outside of the company meetings which are important for our personal and professional development. I feel privileged to have attended this tour with such an incredible group of University of Georgia students on behalf of BFIS.”