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Head of Product Underwriting

5 days ago
Application ends: August 13, 2024
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Deadline date:
August 13, 2024

Job Description

Head of Product Underwriting
R1.3 mil – R1.8 mil CTC

Job Title: Head of Product Underwriting

Job Description:

Our client is a leading commercial risk specialist in Southern Africa dedicated to proactive risk management and superior customer service. With our deep industry insights and expert knowledge, we partner with customers and brokers to safeguard their businesses and enhance their risk profiles across the continent. We approach customer risk with purpose, collaborating closely with brokers and customers to facilitate informed risk decisions. This role reports to the Chief Underwriting Officer and is responsible for product underwriting across the Company Distribution, Specialist Insurance with some governance review support of Company Insurance Partners and takes overall responsibilities for the following:

Key Tasks and Accountabilities

• Personal lines
• Commercial lines
• Flexiflite
• Farmers
• Body Corporate
• Accident and Health
• Liability
• Asset All Risks
• Coordinate: Manage and report on Underwriting Quality and Product adherence and ensuring profitability targets are achieved throughout  the portfolio.
• Assist Distribution: Identifying opportunities for growth within our risk appetite and profitability requirements.
• Managing Underwriting delegation of authority to regions and others.
• Monitor and report on adherence to risk appetite across the portfolio.
• Developing and implementing product and underwriting enhancements.
• Developing, reviewing and enhancing all required underwriting guidelines.
• Overseeing the underwriting first line of defence governance function, including:
• Adherence to risk appetite
• Exception reporting
• Accumulation monitoring and adherence.
• Managing Company’s Underwriting Operational Risk Register.
• Responsible for the Underwriting Risk register and control framework: This includes continual consideration of emerging risks, with appropriate solutioning, as necessary.
• Product wording/s maintenance upkeep and enhancements to ensure alignment with legal constructs and market opportunities.
• Maintain and Manage Company’s Sasria relationship, including implementation and meeting operational requirements.
• Develop, maintain, and implement Underwriting training and peer to peer reviews.
• Co-ordinate Technical Underwriting Reviews for all the regions; ensuring these are done on an annual basis.
• Drive to create efficiencies: Improve customer service and expand talent capability withing the Risk Engineering Team
• Provide and consolidate key data on environment, market, competitor, business segments, products, and marketing activities.
• Manage all Risk engineering functions. This includes (such as but not limited to):
• Setting risk surveying rules
• Management of risk surveying team, which includes a team of risk engineers.
• Ensuring that surveying production volumes are met within service level agreements and quality requirements.
• Continual drive to create efficiencies and improved customer service in this space.
• Expand talent and capability within the Risk Engineering Team:
• Identify new and additional Risk Engineering opportunities which will expand the company’s services to customers to include additional services like Cyber Security reviews, building resilient property and asset management risk control services, provide Climate Risk reviews to help clients manage their ESG exposure as it relates to Climate Risks etc.
• Financial forecasting and budgeting for the area, with quarterly and monthly reporting as required.
• Monitor review and drive Service excellence in all aspects to all customers.


• Internal: Underwriting, Claims, Risk Management, Sales and Distribution
• External: Company Insurance Partners, Network of contacts within the industry, Participation in professional / industry groups •

Qualifications & Experience:

• Minimum NQF Level 7, i.e. University degree
• Minimum 5 – 8 years’ short term insurance experience, including technical underwriting and policy wording.
• Experience in providing underwriting advice to senior management.
• 5 or more years general management experience
• Experience in project management advantageous.


• Demonstrate ability to collaborate effectively across functions and influence outside of own function.
• Exhibits self-motivation and drive; takes initiative without the need for approval.
• Professional, enthusiastic, and positive attitude.
• Demonstrate a proactive mindset to help drive business and profitability initiatives.
• Able to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
• Ability to manage a team of people to achieve the required performance outcomes.


• Intermediate knowledge and awareness of economic trends, directions, major issues as they impact underwriting context, with ability to translate into action.
• Proficient product knowledge: understanding how policy wording is born out in policy response and claims handling processes. Familiarity with commercial and personal lines policy wordings essential.
• Proficient knowledge of the insurance industry’s trends, directions, major issues, regulatory considerations, and trendsetters.
• Knowledge, insight, and understanding of business concepts, tools, and processes that are needed for making sound decisions in the context of the company’s business; ability to apply this knowledge appropriately to diverse situations.
• Knowledge of practices and policies governing disclosure of information about the organisation, its business activities, and employees; ability to apply this knowledge appropriately to diverse situations.

Technical Skills:

• Proficiency in English with at least one other language.
• Strong communicator of technically complex concepts to various audiences, combined with well-developed presentation and interpersonal skills.
• Advanced knowledge of the policy underwriting life cycle.
• Intermediate knowledge and past exposure to enterprise underwriting strategy development and implementation.
• Advanced knowledge of portfolio management and optimisation methods and supporting analytics, that help coordinate underwriting work across business regions and units.

To apply, please submit your CV, as well as your latest payslip, to

Posted 2024-07-09