The Commercial Underwriting Fleet team works closely with the agencies in the UK-wide NFU Mutual Agency Network and is part of our 400-strong Underwriting function. Based in Bristol, they help provide comprehensive motor fleet insurance for businesses with cars, vans and trucks. So, what do they enjoy about working in the team, and for NFU Mutual? We spoke to some of our Fleet team to find out.

First of all, tell us a little more about the team. What do you do?
As the name suggests, the Fleet team is focused on covering the motor vehicles within customer’s businesses, and these are usually of five vehicles or more. NFU Mutual has a range of insurance products designed for fleet customers, and the Bristol-based team assess risk and provide quotations for our UK-wide NFU Mutual Agency Network. As Sam McQuoid, who joined the team in 2022 explains, there’s plenty of variety. “The customers contact their local NFU Mutual agency, and those enquiries come through to us. One minute you could be looking at a five-vehicle risk, the next minute it's a 100-vehicle risk.” As Jodie Morgan, who also joined last year, adds, the varying fleet sizes means a broad range of products to offer to our customers. “We’ve got different products, and these require different levels of licensing for us as underwriters.”

How does your team work with other Underwriting teams at NFU Mutual?
James Gayle has been with NFU Mutual since 2017 and has been a part of the Fleet team for a year. As James explains, involvement with other Underwriting teams depends on the size of the fleet being covered. “When we have a particular case with a large fleet, we might want to speak to a colleague to get their views particularly. if there’s a large claim on an existing policy which is coming up for renewal.”

What types of customers do you work with in the Fleet team?
Most people are familiar with the core farming and agriculture businesses insured by NFU Mutual, but when it comes to vehicles, as they’re present in so many commercial businesses, it’s not surprising to see how varied our customers are. Jodie covers what this can look like. “Yes, we do of course work with farms but we’re branching out more into other sectors. For example, we’ve recently been quoting for firms of accountants and one of my colleagues looks after university customers, who can have huge fleets. So, generally there’s a good variety with a move towards more commercial sectors.”

How do you see the career development opportunities within the team?
The team is 12-strong, and everyone has career paths and options that suit them. James explains how he sees development through the different levels of underwriting. “There are opportunities as you go up through the technical levels to gain more authority, all the way to senior underwriting technician. Or you might want to go through the leadership route, which is where you can move into a team leader role.” Sam covers how career planning works from his perspective. “You build your personal development plan to set your development activities for the year, but also off the back of that, you can do your Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) exams. There are also opportunities for secondments, so if you wanted to have a look at doing a role outside of the Fleet team you can, or alternatively you can gain experience in different aspects of Fleet such as motor trade.”

How do you work with the NFU Mutual Agency Network?
We have a close relationship with the NFU Mutual Agency Network. We speak to them regularly and also discuss new business with them too. So, there’s a few ways we work together.” Sam enjoys the relationships built up with the agencies. “We’re split into regions in the team so, because you're dealing with the same agencies, you can build a relationship and your reputation with the people in those agencies.”

What do you enjoy most about your roles?
For James it’s the variety. “If you're the type of person that likes looking into cases, speaking to people, likes negotiations and just generally interacting with people, it would be the sort of role you’d really enjoy.” Jodie likes that there’s a lot of contact with other teams. “People might think it’s like working in a call centre. It’s not like that with Underwriting. Yes, we do make calls, but you gain a lot of transferable skills as we work with other departments, and you never do the same thing every day, not in this business.”

What makes NFU Mutual a great place to work?
Within an Underwriting team of over 400, the Fleet team numbers just 12 and, as Jodie explains, “That’s one of the reasons why it’s such a nice team to work in. Considering we’re quite a big company, it does have that personal feel. You can have great relationships with your colleagues and the support of the team leaders. And it’s very open, I always feel like I can voice my opinion. Whereas I think sometimes in big corporate businesses you can get lost in the mix.” James enjoys the autonomy he feels the team gives him and puts that down to the trusting culture in the business. “Rationale is a very big thing here, so you're not going to be told you're wrong. Someone might have a different view on it, but you’re trusted in what you're doing and what you believe in. So, the trust and reliability I get is important to me.”

What career tips would you give to a new starter in your team?
Sam says the friendliness of the team makes it easy to ask questions. “I’d say don’t be afraid to ask people questions. Everyone will help, as they did for me.” And James agrees, no matter what your question is, ask it. “When I joined, I’d never done anything like this and was new to Fleet. There’s no need to be nervous, just ask. I’d also recommend getting involved with the team socials. And the office environment is really great!”

Interested in joining our Commercial Underwriting team? Take a look at our current vacancies