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Entrepeneurial Lessons from CFC Underwriting

05.11.20 AdvantageGo

What are the fundamental elements for entrepreneurial success in the insurance market?

In the latest Voice of Insurance podcast, Mark Geoghegan speaks with David Walsh and Graeme Newman of CFC Underwriting about the company’s journey over the last 20 years and their long-term plans to grow beyond their London roots.

They also touch upon the growing importance of integrating structured data into the underwriting decision process. To operate efficiently, underwriters need strategic underwriting solutions that offer the capabilities to compete and thrive in the digital age.

CFC Underwriting is primarily known for its Cyber line of business and being a forward-thinking online insurance businesses born from the dotcom boom. In this interview, David and Graeme speak about the complexities of the cyber insurance business, the evolution of cyber-attacks, and the cyber insurance market.

The current pandemic has forced many people to work from home, potentially providing cyber criminals with the increased opportunity to attack vulnerable systems, but do David and Graeme see it this way? In their chat with Mark, they discuss their experiences regarding cyber-attack frequencies connected to Covid-19 and why cyber criminals have gotten emboldened.

CFC Underwriting – Five Year Plan

Has the bubble burst for MGAs? Asks Mark. Listen to the podcast to hear David and Graeme about the challenges facing MGAs, what they love about the MGA model, and the business model they have embraced that challenges the big incumbents. David and Graeme are candid about whether becoming a Lloyd’s of London syndicate is right for them.

They also discuss where their five-year plan, where opportunities lie for their business, why they focus on areas where they don’t have to force the growth, and what needs to be done to be a long-term and reliable partner for customers and brokers.

It’s all about that data

“Because it’s important that we have access to large volumes of structured data, that’s the other investment we made.” Graeme Newman, Chief Innovation Officer, CFC Underwriting.

Graeme covers how CFC Underwriting gathers meaningful bits of data intelligently, specifically third-party data, in a structured way to make better pricing insights.

The rapid growth of external data sources has posed an enormous challenge to the industry. If Insurers expect to grow business and retain their value to customers, they need to be comfortable dealing with various data channels. By storing details of risks in a structured data store, they can be accessed as a repository of opportunities enabling an underwriter to explore when more favourable times or conditions present themselves. Structured data can also be used to establish new products or services to provide that competitive edge.

There are more than a dozen electronic placing platforms, inconsistent formats of submission and enquiry, new sources of data, evolving risks and markets, plus the competition that underwriters need to manage today while working remotely.

Finally, Graeme and David cover how they have approached remote working in their organisation, the measures they have taken to support customers and employees during these most challenging of times and why maintaining their culture has been so important over the past few months.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur in the insurance business, don’t miss out on listening to this podcast.

Link to the podcast:


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