Get to Know Your Underwriters: Cordelia Powell
Cordelia Powell, Underwriting Assistant has taken part in our our "Get to Know Your Underwriters" series. During the discussion Cordelia covered how she started in the insurance industry, how important clear communication is and what she does to unwind after a busy week!
Q. How long have you been with Bell & Clements?
Cordelia: I started working for Bell & Clements in 2018 as a summer intern while I was studying at university. During the internship I worked for the Transportation team, where I learned how to underwrite Auto Physical Damage (APD) and Motor Truck Cargo (MTC) business. The following summer I worked with the Direct Underwriting Property team where I helped with modelling new business and learnt the basics of property underwriting. Following graduating university in 2020, I joined Bell & Clements full time working as an Underwriting Assistant in the Direct Property team where I now help underwrite the renewal book and models for Catastrophe (CAT) exposure.
Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
Cordelia: A typical day for me starts with dealing with queries from our clients, whether that is changes to a policy or queries about a renewal submission. Then I look at our renewal book and evaluate the expiring renewals, checking if there are any changes that need to be made to the new policies or re rated. Depending on the day I help with modelling earthquake exposures on our systems, administer new and renewal wind/hail deductible buy back quotes and policies, as well as helping out with endorsements and inspection reports.
Q. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in the industry?
Cordelia: Starting your career during a global pandemic is not an easy task, when I started in June 2020, I thought we would be in the office full time by September. I was lucky enough to know some of my team from previous internships but getting to know new members of the team and the company as a whole was a challenge, as the first time I met some of them in person I had been in the department for almost a year virtually. Likewise, learning new systems and skills is more difficult when done remotely, as it can be quite constricting what you can learn over a shared screen and video call. So, what I wish I had known and my advice for anyone starting out while working from home is don’t be afraid to call anyone, ask as many questions as possible and request to be in included in conversations as you lose valuable skills and miss discussions when you work alone remotely.
Q. What helps you to stay focused?
Cordelia: One of the main things that helps keep me focused and engaged throughout the week is having regular, quick catchups with my team to discuss workloads and where we can support each other. Speaking more broadly, I find that setting myself short and long-term career goals helps me to stay driven and gives me something to work towards. Outside of work I try to eat healthy and keep active by going for walks and to the gym regularly, keeping this discipline helps me to stay focused.
Q. How do you unwind at the end of a busy day/week?
Cordelia: At the end of a busy week, I like to unwind by spending some quality time with my friends or family, preferably with a delicious cocktail or coffee in hand!