• Role: Assistant Underwriter, Aviation
  • Location: London
  • University: Kent at Canterbury
  • Degree: Economics

Paris Riseborough

What do you do in a typical working day?

My day is usually dominated by interacting closely with the brokers either via email or in person. We discuss both new and existing business and based on these discussions, I make the decision on whether we should continue with said risk. I then take this decision to the head of my team and explain to them my reasoning. My day also consists of admin such as processing endorsements and ensuring we have been paid for accounts.

How does your role fit into the wider insurance picture?

I believe that now is a good time to be a younger employee in the market. There are a number of initiatives which are looking for millennials or Generation Y to get involved to help shape the future of the market particularly with the technological advances that have taken place in recent years, combined with the more traditional and historic element of Lloyd’s and insurance as a marketplace. Therefore, you could say that our role is helping to change the market and bring a smoother more efficient service to consumers and customers alike.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I thoroughly enjoy the face to face interaction with brokers particularly in Lloyd’s; I believe it is such a unique experience working in a place where you sit quite literally next to your competitors and can communicate with several different brokers in one morning. This combined with the atmosphere of Lloyd’s makes working in insurance thoroughly enjoyable.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Insurance is particularly based on experience and the knowledge that one acquires through working in the market for a period of time. Because of this, it can sometimes be challenging to be ’young’ because the brokers are aware that we haven’t gone through the cycles of the market and do not have the knowledge base that perhaps more senior peers would have.

What do you need to be successful in your role?

I believe the key attribute is to be self-motivated. Insurance is about knowledge and there is so much to learn, whether it is regarding specialist knowledge on a particular class of business or general knowledge of what is going on in the world or historical data. There isn’t really one book or one place where you can take on all of this knowledge. To be successful in this field, it requires self-motivation to go out and put in the extra time, to read the information and decide how best to use that to help in what we do day to day.

What have been your career highlights so far?

A particular highlight for me was completing my ACII; it required a tremendous amount of hard work and focus and it felt like I had really achieved something when I completed it. It was so different from studying at university as with the ACII I was working full-time as well so it really took a lot of dedication.

Another highlight for me was getting my ‘scratch’ – which means you have the authority to sign slips. It showed how much my employers trusted in the work I was doing and felt that I was ready to progress.

What are the main benefits of working in the insurance profession?

I believe there are a number of different benefits depending on what you are interested in. For example, for me I really wanted to work somewhere where there was a real prospect of developing a career and receiving the right training for me to do so. There are also so many opportunities in insurance; whether you come in through underwriting, broking, marketing etc. it is an industry and there is a lot of flexibility around the job that you can do. Even if someone felt that their current job wasn’t what they were expecting, there are so many other avenues to explore all within insurance.

Why did you choose a career in insurance?

It was really important for me to go into a job where I could develop as a professional and build a career. I was happy to take on exams and other training if I knew it would help me progress. Because of the potential and somewhat endless career prospects, I felt that insurance was the right industry for me. In addition, it is a unique environment where you can acquire specialist knowledge in one of the most historic marketplaces.

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