For the 20th day of advent, Nick Houghton, chief executive of JMG Group, issues a plea to underwriters ahead of 2024

Every day for the festive period continuing until Christmas Eve, Insurance Times speaks to a selection of industry personalities about what they’d like to find under the tree for 2024.   

Nick Houghton

Nick Houghton

What was your insurance industry highlight of 2023?

In November, we celebrated our third anniversary since Synova invested in our team and it saw us break through £250m of gross written premium (GWP) with a team of more than 500 colleagues.

I’m very proud of what we’ve collectively built and without losing sight of our fundamental reason for being since day one – winning and retaining customers. It remains our most important measure of success.

What is your Christmas message for your insurance colleagues?

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do – please be kind, be ambitious and enjoy the ride.

What do you hope to find under the industry’s Christmas tree for 2024?

A huge pile of telephones that get answered by underwriters when we call them – technology has improved our lives massively and the increasing digitisation of our world is certainly no bad thing.

But when “advancement” means that you can’t speak to someone when your client needs you to, it’s difficult to call that progression. Yes we’ve all had our challenges over the last few years with adopting different working practices – some of which, such as Teams, are great and better for the environment – but if we didn’t answer our telephones we’d lose our customers.

It’s as simple as that. So please, please, please can underwriters pick up the phone rather than let it go to voicemail or simply ring out.