Stuck in a lift with an Underwriter | Steve Taylor
We are pleased to welcome a new addition to our Melbourne underwriting team Steve Taylor. Coming from a strong broking background his experience and understanding of our clients is an asset to our group specialised underwriters. We are enjoying getting to know about Steve and hope you will too!
Tell us a bit about being an Underwriter?
Well, having come from a Broking background of many years, I’m only just finding my feet as an underwriter. However, so far it has been very interesting. From speaking with brokers around new business opportunities and renewals to researching and discussing risks internally with colleagues (which has been really helpful, especially as I work with such an experienced team). I really enjoy the analytical side of the job, as well the relationship side of things in building rapport with different brokers and stakeholders.
How do you like your coffee?
When I moved to Melbourne from the UK around 8 years ago now, I came over as a staunch Tea drinker – which swiftly changed when I was introduced to the coffee culture in this city and I’ve been a converted Long black with 1 sugar guy ever since.
What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
Moving from the UK to Australia. My wife and I had originally only planned to travel around S.E.Asia and Australia for 18 months before heading back to the UK to pursue the dream of a mortgage and a 9-5. After arriving in Australia, it didn’t take us long to work out we were in no rush to go home – and now we’re pursuing the aforementioned ‘dream’ in Melbourne.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
A typical day for me starts around 6:30am where I get out of bed and pull on my running shoes to head out for a run before getting home and taking a cold shower. With work days currently being split between home and the office, I tend to sit down and turn my computer on just before 8:30am, with a current focus on areas of training and development. This has so far included product reviews and training, meeting and catching up with colleagues and brokers and my favourite part – working through some underwriting examples. The variety of tasks, people and risks so far has been fantastic and again, something I’m finding really interesting.
What are three words to describe Berkley Insurance Australia?
Efficient. Effective. Reliable.
What is something people in insurance have to deal with that you want to fix?
That insurance is a ‘necessary evil’. We see far too often that adverse things can happen at any given time, and that the transfer of such risk should be seen as a value add, rather than an unwanted business expense. Education is the key to helping businesses understand prevalent risk exposures and this is an area I hope to assist brokers with (to in turn assist their clients) as I progress in my capacity as an underwriter.
What do you like most about working with brokers?
Building rapport and the interesting conversation that comes with dealing with different individuals, from different backgrounds with a multitude of experiences. Also, working together to try and achieve a successful outcome for everybody involved – it always feels better when you’re winning together.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Recently actually.. My wife and I are particularly indecisive when it comes to choosing films to watch, however last weekend we decided to watch ‘anything starring Paul Rudd’.. so we watched ‘I love you, man’ in which there are a few scenes (due to the awkwardness of Paul Rudd’s character, ‘Peter’) that I certainly found so funny that I cried – on at least a couple of occasions. We have since re-watched a most of his other films and they never disappoint.
What podcasts or books are listening/reading right now?
While I love reading, I often struggle to find/make time to read. I love books about personal development, philosophy and or/the history of things (such as Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari or 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson) and have recently finished reading “The Wim Hof Method’ by Wim Hof (which I would highly recommend to anyone, as some of the practices he teaches such as breathing exercises and cold exposure, can have real health benefits).
What is your guilty pleasure?
Eating Nutella straight out of the tub. (This, however, does not have “real health benefits” – but I would still recommend it 😉