Open all hours: Hiscox drives terrorism trading online
When the lights went out recently on the Lloyd’s trading floor – with power lost to the ground floor underwriting Boxes – Jade Gradwell who, as Terrorism Underwriter for Hiscox London Market, has built up its online initiative, probably thought little of it given the volume of business her team now transacts remotely. The ability to accept risks via an online platform developed by Hiscox or simply via email is gradually removing the need to queue up at the Box, says Gradwell: “When I was originally employed just to do e-trading, we generated something like 5% of our overall income online. Now it’s up to 20% and we have four people dedicated to e-trading."
Given the mandate to grow the terrorism book electronically, Gradwell argues that London’s gradual switch to e-trading is long overdue: “If you look at what other industries are doing, Box hours of 11-4.30pm are hardly conducive to a modern way of working and are not always convenient for the customer, whether broker or the insured. Our e-trading means we don’t have to be focused around normal office hours, which means we have far more flexibility in how we work as a team. If you have a young family, for example, you can be home in time to pick up the children from school and still handle that Latin American enquiry, by logging on later in the evening.”
Box hours of 11-4.30pm are hardly conducive to a modern way of working and not always convenient for the customer.
“I think e-trading has certainly reduced my stress levels and made me feel more in control. We can now also ‘scratch’ [sign off] a risk electronically, which means we don’t even have to be in our own office. I think this is life changing in terms of how we work individually and as a team,” she adds.
I think e-trading has certainly reduced my stress levels and made me feel more in control.
E-trading means more face-to-face
While Gradwell preaches the benefits of e-trading she doesn’t think it’s the death knell for personal interaction – quite the reverse, in fact. “Critically, e-trading means I can actually spend more time meeting our brokers, getting to know them and understanding how we can best respond to their needs, as well as develop products which their clients want. I wouldn’t want that to change, but we can now be more accessible and deal with our brokers in whatever way suits them most.”
After completing her A-levels in 2007, Jade knew nothing about the insurance world but stumbled across Hiscox while searching online for companies to find work experience. She initially joined Hiscox as a Box Assistant for Personal Accident, Contingency and Bloodstock. After two years in the role she moved over to the Terrorism Operations Team and in 2012 moved across to the Terrorism Underwriting Team. Jade now manages the team's e-trading activities.