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Team Lead, Commercial Underwriting

Job ID : 6324
Category : Commercial Insurance
Brand : Definity
Regular/Temporary : Regular
Fulltime/Parttime : Full Time
Location : Kitchener, Canada

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Definity includes some of Canada’s most long-standing and innovative insurance brands, including Economical Insurance, Sonnet Insurance, Family Insurance Solutions, and Petline Insurance. With strong roots that date back to 1871, we’ve grown to become a digital leader in the insurance industry. We’re proud to help our clients and communities adapt and thrive in a world of constant change.

Our promise to you: It’s better here. Why? Because we CARE, and we provide an employee experience that’s collaborative, ambitious, rewarding, and empowering.

Our ambition is to be one of Canada’s leading and most innovative P&C insurers. Come be a part of our journey, and love what you do.

Definity offers a flexible, hybrid work experience where employees work from the office and virtually depending on the type of work they are doing and who they are working with. Leader’s partner with their teams to find the right balance of on-site and remote work that best meets the needs of their teams, colleagues, brokers and customers, while ensuring collaboration, teamwork and accountability for goals.

What can you expect in this role?

  • Contribute to the profitable growth of Economical's commercial insurance business by implementing standardized underwriting processes and services that meet or exceed broker needs and expectations.
  • Manage a team of underwriters and underwriting technicians in Small Business Underwriting Operations who are assigned risks that have a high potential to generate severe losses/gains or high loss/gain frequency, and may have a measurable effect on the overall profitability of the commercial portfolio.
  • Manages the day-to-day underwriting operations related to preparing quotes, new business and renewals, change requests, cancellations, etc. for Regional Underwriting Operations, auto and property products within his/her region.
  • Be accountable for the team’s selection and proper rating of all commercial insurance transaction types (e.g., applications, endorsements, renewals, cancellations, voids, reinstatements, etc.).
  • Ensures that the team implements processes in accordance with underwriting guidelines, standard operating procedures, and Economical's line of business and segmentation strategies.
  • Be accountable for contributing to, and managing the execution of, a regional broker relationship management strategy and ensuring that brokers receive exceptional client service in all interactions.
  • Within established underwriting authority and service levels, facilitate the team's escalation of market intelligence.
  • Work with your leader and direct reports to drive strong performance against service level agreements, productivity levels, profitability targets, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

People Leadership and Development:

  • Helps build and maintain a culture of high performance and sustained profitable growth by promoting and supporting an environment that encourages productivity, collaboration, teamwork, and a high level of professionalism.
  • Participates in strategic workforce management for his/her function including resource planning, retention management, succession planning, recruiting as well as leading and coaching staff.
  • Works with direct reports to set individual performance and development goals which align to Economical’s line of business and segmentation strategies, underwriting guidelines, productivity targets and KPIs.
  • Develops solutions to achieve profitable growth targets, and coaches others as appropriate.

Underwriting operational and technical expertise

  • Manages the day-to-day underwriting operations for his/her team of underwriters and technicians.
  • Understand and align decision making to Economical's line of business and segmentation strategies.
  • Enables appropriate selection, rating, and pricing in the relevant policy case management systems, and ensures that underwriting processes are applied in accordance with standard operating procedures, underwriting guidelines, and line of business and segmentation strategies.
  • Ensures that endorsements, renewals, reinstatements and cancellations are examined and analyzed in accordance with our corporate standards and guidelines.
  • Demonstrates strong underwriting judgment, deep understanding of products, appropriate rating structures and reinsurance structures.
  • Guides underwriters in the analysis of relevant data and reports to effectively determine risk hazards and make accurate policy selection and pricing decisions.
  • Oversees the effective negotiation of the terms and conditions of risk acceptance and pricing with brokers.
  • Acts as a point of escalation for broker inquires and concerns, and for evaluation and approval of risks.
  • Supports the performance review process for rating control, risk selection and data quality.
  • Contributes to the training and development of underwriters, and provides technical expertise as well as counsel on products, systems and processes.
  • Provides direction to the support staff regarding data entry in various underwriting and rating systems.
  • Provides input to his/her leader on continuous improvement opportunities for underwriting processes and technologies to drive efficiencies in processing times, decision making accuracy, and reduce errors.

Customer Experience

  • Oversees the management of relationships of his/her team with brokers and ensures service excellence in broker interactions.
  • Identify and proactively address service issues as well as data quality concerns with broker transactions.
  • Seeks to add value in every broker interaction and coaches the team on how to do so.
  • Builds connections with brokers and clients to ensure that they are the recipient of targeted and efficient sales activities.
  • Is aware of the latest industry trends, new laws, changes to the laws, and information and analysis on competitors; ensures that all broker management systems are up to date.
  • Participates in studies and in market reviews and develops business cases for proposed new products or for changes or enhancements to product suites.
  • Effectively engages with brokers to recommend Economical as the insurer of choice.
  • Manages execution of the broker relationship management strategy for his/her team.

Program and Change Management 

  • Actively champions strategic change initiatives within Small Business Underwriting to build understanding and buy-in within the team.
  • Provides insight, information and recommendations related to underwriting service delivery and broader organizational and/or enterprise continuous improvement initiatives, as needed, to manage internal relationships with stakeholders.
  • Acts as a primary voice to his/her team for communicating relevant changes to Regional Underwriting, including process and technology changes.
  • Promotes internal and external stakeholder understanding of the Regional Underwriting operating model, functional components, and processes.

What do you bring to the role?

  • Demonstrated proficiency and resourcefulness in identifying and analyzing relevant data and defining critical issues and alternatives
  • A strong team player with outstanding collaboration and communication skills
  • Proven ability to develop and nurture successful working relationships with our brokers, customers and other internal and external stakeholders
  • Emotional empathy and ability to persuade and influence decisions, gaining agreement or support in sensitive issues
  • An ability to work both independently and as part of a team while meeting meaningful deadlines
  • An ability to work with a long-term perspective in finding mutually beneficial solutions to broker or business area issues
  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional and technical development
  • Post-secondary education and/or equivalent on the job experience in a pertinent domain
  • Relevant Commercial underwriting experience, including 2+ years of leadership experience managing a team of underwriters
  • CIP designation or a commitment to completing CIP
  • Strong customer service orientation, excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Highly motivated and enthusiastic
  • A problem solver with strong negotiating skills and ability to maintain business relationships
  • Ability to work within and adapt to PC oriented environments, including advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Strong conflict resolution skills

We also take potential into consideration. If you don’t have this exact experience, but you know you have what it takes, be sure to give us more insight through your application and cover letter.

Go ahead and expect a lot — you deserve it, and we’ve got it: 

  • Hybrid work schedule for most roles
  • Company share ownership program
  • Pension and savings programs, with company-matched RRSP contributions
  • Paid volunteer days and company matching on charitable donations
  • Educational resources, tuition assistance, and paid time off to study for exams
  • Focus on inclusion with employee groups, support for gender affirmation surgery, access to BIPOC counsellors, access to programs for working parents
  • Wellness and recognition programs
  • Discounts on products and services

Our inclusive work environment welcomes diversity and supports accessibility. If you require accommodation at any time during the recruitment process, please let us know by contacting: [email protected]

Background checks
This role requires successful clearance of a background check (including criminal checks and leadership references).

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