2023 Underwriters of the Year | François Létourneau, Commercial Lines Underwriter, Sovereign General Insurance

2023 Underwriters of the Year | François Létourneau, Commercial Lines Underwriter, Sovereign General Insurance

François Létourneau joined the industry 12 years ago and has been working at Sovereign General Insurance as a commercial lines underwriter since 2016.  

Throughout his career, Létourneau used his experience to drive profitability and growth while striving to provide quality service to brokers. 

 Létourneau finds the analytical aspects of underwriting particularly engaging. “I was drawn to the day-to-day tasks of this role, especially the challenge of understanding how businesses operate in order to assess possible risks and then creating competitive quotes,” he says. 

He was both humbled and grateful to hear about the recognition by Synex Assurance, a member of the Canadian Broker Network — Canada’s largest network of independent brokers — and says he sees the award as a combination of “the culmination of our teamwork and the service I strive to give to our brokers.” 

Q: What is the biggest challenge for underwriters today, and what is one thing underwriters or insurers can do to overcome this? 

The biggest challenge we face is to fully understand the nature of a given risk — a better understanding allows us to make better underwriting and pricing decisions. To make sure we have enough information to help us understand the risk, we need to have good communication with brokers so they understand what we need. This way, brokers are better informed about what we need, and this results in a higher quality of information received.” 

Q: What is one opportunity you think underwriters should focus more on in today’s marketplace? 

See also  Get Ready To Pay More For Car Insurance

“Today’s market tends to be more competitive, but as underwriters, we must ensure we don’t lose sight of underwriting profitability while we are seeking growth. Finding a successful balance between both is a challenge and key to creating sustainability in our business. It also allows us to be open-minded while maintaining successful long-term partnerships with brokers and insureds. In addition, even though we are often pressed for time, we must stay connected with our service of risk prevention to make the most informed decision when analyzing a risk.”  

Q: What makes a great working relationship between underwriter and broker? 

“Time is of the essence, and communication is key. Making our intention clear in terms of our risk appetite helps brokers find their way and have a better understanding of the market. From an underwriting perspective, having good information and answers to our questions in a timely manner helps us have a clear view on a given risk. It gives us a better chance to be efficient in our underwriting and, in return, deliver faster responses to brokers. It’s also important to communicate to brokers the reason behind a decision. It helps them understand where we stand in the market and, therefore, assess future partnership possibilities.”