The Street Pricing team at NFU Mutual play an incredibly important role in the business, setting the pricing strategy for all our products. But how do they achieve this and what skills do you need to join them? We asked three of the team – Bauke, Greg and Charlotte – to tell us about what they do and how they do it.

The term ‘Street Pricing’ can be confusing for people outside NFU Mutual, so Bauke, a Street Pricing manager for home and lifestyle, explains what it actually means. “As an insurer, NFU Mutual estimates the average cost of covering claims for each policy,” he says. “Our job is to balance prices to our customers in such a way that we attract a good mix of new customers, keep our existing ones, and at the same time maintain a profitable business.”

He also adds that being a mutual means there are other aspects they need to take into consideration. “When you’re setting prices, you could decide to focus on profit, generally by pricing very high, or focus on volume, by pricing very low. As a Mutual, we design pricing from a very clear starting position that we need to be fair and trustworthy. So, we never put all our focus on profit.”

Looking at the big picture
When setting prices, the team takes a lot into consideration. Bauke explains what this means in practice. “We look at the market – is it a competitive price based on what our competitors are offering? We also study customer behaviour – will they be interested in the price we set? And we take our focus on being fair to the customer into account. We turn all this data into a set of models and test to see what might happen if we increase or decrease the prices.”

To achieve this, the team works closely with other parts of the NFU Mutual business, as Greg, a Street Pricing Consultant, outlines: “We monitor customer feedback through the call centre and work with underwriters and senior managers too. So, we get lots of different feedback and then balance it, to decide what's next.”

Bauke highlights the variety in what they do. “It’s not just about the variety of data sets and modelling. We need to understand our customers, what’s happening in our Agency Network, how the sales process works, what’s happening in the market, or economic aspects, such as inflation. There are lots of different components. And you get this breadth in every pricing role.”

Continuous evolution
They all enjoy the changing nature of their work. “We receive lots of data all the time and this shapes the pricing structure as it comes in,” says Greg. “And we can release a new pricing structure every month, so as soon as one goes live, we’re looking at building the next version.”

And Bauke adds that it helps to see how customers respond to their work so quickly. “The models may look great, but real life doesn’t work like that, so it’s never perfect. There are always areas that you need to look at again.”

“All these different elements mean there’s a huge variety of tasks,” says Charlotte, a Pricing Analyst in the team. “You might be looking at rate changes or investigating data because something unusual is happening. There’s a lot of problem-solving, which is always fun.”

Bauke gives an example from early 2022, when they introduced new pricing in response to new legislation. “We got great feedback from the senior managers, because the top-level indicators were good. But at the same time, we had lots of queries from customers and NFU Mutual Agents. It was a small part of the overall picture, but we had to solve the puzzle by looking at it again and improving that area, without breaking the good bits.”

Different skills
All three are keen to point out that, although they deal with a lot of data, it’s not technical work. As well as good problem-solvers, Bauke says they look for people with “an innate sense of curiosity.” And Greg points out that the constantly changing nature of the work means you also need to be flexible. “There’s a lot of different data coming in all the time, and you need to be able to adapt to that,” he says.

Bauke adds that an interest in numbers and data analysis is useful, explaining that most of the team have a background in science, maths or economics. But he stresses, “It’s also important to have a real interest in commerce and a sense of commerciality. And some of the team came from other parts of the business, such as the call centre, so it’s not set in stone.”

Open and supportive
Whatever your background, they all agree that there’s a strong team spirit. “There’s a sense of help and support,” says Charlotte. “You’re never on your own – there’s always someone you can turn to.” Greg agrees, adding: “It’s an open and friendly environment, where you’re encouraged to learn from your mistakes.”

Charlotte also highlights the company’s commitment to career development. “The focus on personal and professional development is great,” she says. “And the analyst career development framework gives you a good idea of how you can move up.”

Vital to the business
Setting the right price for the company’s products is obviously an incredibly important role. In fact, Greg says it’s at the heart of everything: “If the pricing is right, it doesn’t matter how many claims there are, or how much they cost the business. The price is what matters.” Bauke agrees. “NFU Mutual is about fair pricing as well as profitable growth,” he says. “If we can see that we contribute to that, then it’s a success.”

Interested in a career in Pricing, why not take a look at our current vacancies?