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Chief Underwriting Officer

Eatontown, NJ, USA | Crum & Forster

  • Industry:
    Financial Services
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    Financial Services Professional
  • Experience:
    10-12 years
Job Description:
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The Chief Underwriting Officer (“CUO”) is responsible for providing strategic leadership and for setting the direction of pet insurance Underwriting including establishing the company’s underwriting philosophy, policies, procedures, products and pricing resulting in sustained profitable growth while continuously improving the customer experience.

The CUO will be responsible for transforming the Global C&F Pet business unit to support growth with new and innovative pricing techniques, product, risk management, underwriting and operations. The CUO is accountable for the development and review of sound underwriting standards, the management of underwriting processes and ensure underwriting execution. The CUO will work closely with industry, peers and vendors to evaluate sources of structured and unstructured data available to maximize customer penetration, retention and underwriting margin.

This role will coordinate with all disciplines of the C&F A&H insurance and marketing operations to achieve the financial goals of the Global C&F Pet business unit (US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc.) The disciplines that will assist the CUO in achieving his/her goals will include but not be limited to: actuarial, compliance, product development, claims, customer service, legal, and marketing.An understanding of how these disciplines operateand come together as a team to achieve a common goal is an asset.The CUO will be accountable for the P&L results for the Global C&F Pet business unit, reporting into the chief executives of the C&F Pet Akron operation and the Pet Health operation based in Oakville, Canada.

The ideal candidate will have proven successful experience managing large complex relationships ideally in the pet insurance arena. Experience in the pet industry, pet distribution, ecommerce, underwriting and pet insurance is an asset.

Who We are:  

Crum & Forster,* rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best (2019), is a national commercial property and casualty group of insurance companies wholly owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. Since 2000, Crum & Forster’s Accident & Health has offered a robust portfolio of specialty insurance and reinsurance products nationwide, including medical stop loss, pet, travel and other voluntary and affinity benefits.

In 2019, following seven years of writing product in the captive insurance space, the division scaled to include international product capabilities through its wholly owned offshore captive facility, Crum & Forster Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC). Situated in the Cayman Islands and registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Crum & Forster SPC is a Cayman Islands company that reports through United States Fire Insurance Company. Additional global relationships with other Fairfax entities provide our partners with even broader flexibility in underwriting solutions.

We place a strong focus on product development and creative distribution methods, along with excellent client service and support. The qualities and capabilities of Crum & Forster Accident & Health demonstrate our philosophy of building meaningful, long-term partnerships and our dedication to providing alternative strategies in an ever-changing insurance market.

*Crum & Forster is a registered trademark of United States Fire Insurance Company.


Develop both long and short-term strategies for the development, structure, programs, services, pricing, risk eligibility and risk assessment of Pet Insurance products. Establish the annual business plan and budget for the underwriting function.

Participates in all strategic business planning activities; retains the appropriate mix of business and achieve overall growth and profit goals.

Accountable for achieving the target Combined Operating Ratio for the Global C&F Pet business unit with minimal cross subsidization between geographies or classifications.

Develop policies, guidelines and procedures or new programs (research and identify target business, competitor information, analyze industry and economic factors) that contribute to the effective, efficient and profitable underwriting, penetration, retention, processing and issuance of insurance policies.

Establish, implement and maintain appropriate controls and procedures for appropriate risk acceptance and risk management.

Establish and review appropriate management information to identify, evaluate and correct any deterioration or adverse trends in underwriting experience.

Develop and utilizes detailed monitoring reports to assess underwriting results (‘after the sale’ reviews) on production, retention, expense and loss results down to the account level (line profitability analysis, quarterly loss trends and utilization/productivity) to correct plan variances.

Participates in underwriting audits and in conjunction with Leadership; is responsible for monitoring trends and ensuring that resulting action plans/measures are implemented.

Design, develop and where required, assist the Compliance and Actuarial teams with form and rate filings and maintaining insurance products, pricing and wordings that are appropriate for the company’s strategy, business plan and marketing requirements.

Oversight of pricing, solutions and go to market strategies. Optimize underwriting processes and procedures to drive efficiencies and appropriate service solutions.

Partner with the Legal and Compliance teams to ensure all applicable regulations are followed in all jurisdictions where Pet insurance is sold.

Assist in the development and structuring of appropriate reinsurance or fronting agreements with sister Fairfax organizations, or external partners if necessary.

Ensure current and relevant training and development programs are implemented for all Underwriting staff.

Recruitment and selection of Underwriting leadership.

Work closely with business development teams on various initiatives with the objective of driving sustainable and profitable growth.

Create and deliver presentations to highlight business opportunities or to present the results of new strategies. Prepare documents and information for requests for proposals (RFPs).

Collaborate to develop appropriate technology solutions to serve all geographies for product delivery and pricing solutions.

Responsible for understanding all distribution channels and how they effect penetration, pricing and retention in all countries (Vet, Shelter, SEO, On-line, Aggregators, Partner Channel, etc.).

Prepare and lead presentation to senior C&F staff and any partner relationship.

Full Global C&F Pet business unit P&L accountability (results, budget / forecasting).

Other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree preferably in Business, Math or Science.

10-15 years relevant health or property and casualty (with some Pet and Personal Lines) with a minimum of 7 years in a senior underwriting role focused on Personal Lines Insurance.

3+ years experience in the financial services sector, preferably insurance.

Exceptional understanding of general insurance strategies and how competitors, market cycle, technology and legislative trends will create opportunities and threats to the organization.

Strong analytical and financial skills in managing an insurance P&L statement.

Be able to critically challenge and voice concerns to peers in a constructive way.

Strong business acumen with a comprehensive awareness of the business and regulatory environment.

Accurate and clear communication in both written and verbal form.

Ability to work closely with internal resources and gain their assistance in solving business problems and building value propositions.

Ability to build strong relationships with partners, as required, in order to leverage their resources to progress an opportunity.

A hands on management style with a strong result orientation and bottom-line focus.

Proven ability to lead, motivate and gain commitment from direct reports and staff.

Proficient in the use of MS Office including Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, Excel.

High degree of personal and professional integrity.

Willingness to travel domestically and internationally as needed.

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