Missed the IEUK deadline? Apply to On Demand

Can’t attend IEUK’s live experience or missed the deadline? No worries! You can still participate with On Demand. Access recorded sessions and work samples in your chosen sector, and complete the experience at your own pace over two weeks. Apply by 26th June.

My Journey as an Underwriting Assistant – Elliot’s Story

Book open Reading time: 4 mins

We caught up with Elliot from CFC Underwriting to find out a bit more about his background, his experiences at CFC and to get his top tips on how you can follow in his footsteps.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I studied Geography with applied GIS at the University of Exeter. My degree was quite computer-based which was perfect for me as I’ve always loved working with technology, but I never expected to fall into cyber. One thing I did know was that I wanted to work in a niche insurance sector that is constantly growing and developing – cyber has given me this.

I think that my inspiration to work in a fast-paced environment stems from my previous work experience and my exposure to what life working in the industry was like. There was such a buzzing atmosphere, and I knew that this was something I needed from my career.

What stood out to you about CFC Underwriting when applying for opportunities?

They were really well renowned in the cyber industry, and I knew that they were growing quickly. With my interest in underwriting, I knew that CFC would be a brilliant place to start my career due to it being their key focus. Underwriting really appealed to me the most because I like to be more of a decision-maker, rather than working as a broker doing things on behalf of clients. Now, I’m really enjoying my time at CFC and am constantly building up my expertise. CFC has given me unrivalled on-the-job learning opportunities and also they’re supporting me in studying to achieve my CII exams which will allow me to become a qualified underwriter.

How did you find the application process for CFC Underwriting?

I applied for my job through Bright Network, all I had to do was simply submit a CV and an application form. Following this, I had a telephone interview with HR to chat about things including who I am, why I wanted to apply for the role and why I wanted to join their company. Progressing onto the next stage, I had interviews with a couple of team leaders, each lasting around 30 to 45 minutes. These interviews were surprisingly nice because although I was asked some tough questions, I really liked that there was a focus on getting to know you and understanding if you would be a good culture fit for CFC. I thought that this was quite unique because with other firms my interviews felt a lot less personal and there was less focus on getting to know you. From this experience with CFC, I could tell straight away that I would get along with and enjoy working with the team.

What is a ‘normal day’ like as a Cyber Underwriting Assistant?

To start with, the job was quite admin-based. I worked closely with the underwriters, supporting them on day-to-day tasks and helping them to draft policies. As you gain greater experience, you take on more and more responsibility, completing tasks that have higher complexities.  You also start working with a wider range of teams, I found that as my time went on, I began working more closely with brokers, helping them with their submissions.

The biggest change is when you get the chance to start quoting and looking at risks, this is something that you’re given exposure to early at CFC – making it different from other firms. I was able to shadow underwriters, including my manager, seeing first-hand how they do their jobs, how they think and how they approach tasks. Through this process of shadowing experts and having discussions about what I was observing I was building up my knowledge and gaining a greater understanding of the role.

I really value that I was able to start quoting from early on and working as an underwriter on lower revenue submissions. This has given me amazing professional exposure and is something that I wouldn’t have had access to in other companies.

How would you describe the culture at CFC Underwriting?

If I could summarise the culture, I would say that it’s super friendly and social where everyone is so supportive. I can approach anyone with a question and know that, whoever it is, they will not only give me the answer I need but explain it too. I think that having this explanation is an invaluable resource and is key to helping me develop as an underwriter.

The workplace is very social. Everyone here is prepared to work hard, but you also get the perks of this with various opportunities to celebrate this with your teams through various social activities.  

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying to CFC Underwriting?

My first piece of advice would be, do your research. Look into the industry and really find out why you want to work in insurance and why you want to join the team that you’ve applied for. I found that taking a genuine interest in the industry helped me to stand out more in the application process.

Another key piece of advice would give when applying for roles is to just be yourself. People respect when you are being authentic, and this is a great way to build positive relationships with your prospective employer and team.

Once you’ve secured your place in the firm, I would say that you should “be a sponge”. You can learn so much from being in the office and having conversations with team members, benefitting from their expertise and experiences.

If you’re feeling inspired to join CFC – explore their profile here.