Meet Edmund Wiley, VP Underwriter UK & International Retail Property
What’s your back story?
I began my career in insurance in 2005 purely by chance. My first job after my degree was in the back-office function at RSA. From there I moved into underwriting roles at a number of market-leading international insurers. I joined Sompo International in January 2021.
Tell us about your market sector.
It’s been a difficult time for buyers, trying to find the most complete coverage at an affordable price. They’ve seen insurers pulling back in the property space, tightening terms and conditions and withdrawing cover for exposures such as cyber, communicable disease and contingent business interruption. At the same time, forward-thinking insurers like Sompo International are looking at how conventional insurance needs to adapt to remain relevant. Technology has an important role to play here whether it be assisting the development of new products or improvement of existing ones, for example through use of artificial intelligence systems analysing global data sets and streamlining underwriting processes.
What’s your USP?
We have a very good mix of experience and knowledge within the team. For us it’s all about balance – a strong technical grounding and the commercial ability to grow a book from scratch. Our underwriters are keen to write business and accept risk, but they need to understand the exposure first. That is why we emphasise the importance of good communication with clients and brokers. Getting to know them and their business really well is vital to building long term relationships which are crucial in this market. Corporate insurance buyers can’t flip their provider every year; they need a trusted partner who they can rely on.
We are building something here for the long term. While we might be a relatively small player in the retail property market at the moment, we are ambitious – partnering with us now is it good time to grow with us as a business.