Stuck in a lift with an Underwriter | Valerie Keown

Our expert team of local underwriters are experienced and knowledgeable resources for our brokers. They may have risk superpowers however they are also human. Let’s take you on a behind the scenes view of our Perth based Senior Financial Lines & Liability Underwriter Valerie.

Tell us a bit about being an Underwriter?

It’s a combination of analytical work and sales. The analysis is my favourite part – looking into professions that I have sometimes not heard of to see what other people do on a daily basis. 

The day can sometimes be filled with research, sometimes filled with financial statements, and other days it’s just Q&A with brokers. Every day is different and it’s hard to plan ahead as you never know what’s going to come in for you to look at.

How do you like your coffee?

I change my order depending on the day / venue

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Raising two children with my husband – and maintaining my sanity whilst the kids are home for school holidays and still keeping up with work!!!

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

Early start – around 5.30am, up with the kids, breakfast and getting them off to where they are for the day.

Time for work – quoting, phone calls, emails. I try to go for a walk for lunch to break up the day, with more work after that.

Once the kids are home for the day it’s all about making snacks for them – and taking them to Karate / swimming / playdates.

After the kids are in bed it’s chill in front of the TV time with my hubby / best friend.

What are three words to describe Berkley Insurance Australia?




What is something people in insurance have to deal with that you want to fix?

The “used car salesman” stigma

What do you like most about working with brokers?

I like that you are dealing with the same people on a daily basis – meaning that you have the opportunity develop friendships as well as business relationships

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

When the kitten tried to jump onto the TV but missed and landed on the floor.

What podcasts or books are listening/reading right now?

I don’t do podcasts or audio books. Does reading news / articles online count? 

What is your guilty pleasure?