Is Underwriting Stressful? The Challenge of Casualty Insurance

Is Underwriting Stressful? A Creative Thinker Embraces the Challenge of Casualty Insurance

Finding a career that feeds your curiosity keeps work interesting – and a good book nourishes the imagination, says Argo Casualty Underwriter Jacob Heatherington.

Argo Casualty employee Jacob Heatherington posing on a mountain

Having an open mind has served Jacob Heatherington well.

Despite having had a less-than-stellar experience during a college internship with a personal health insurance company, Heatherington later accepted a job offer in a different part of the insurance industry. That decision led him to a career he loves.

“I falsely had assumed all insurance is the same,” he recalls of his first impression. “When I started moving into new roles and into underwriting, I found insurance is pretty awesome and thought-provoking.”

Learning every day as a casualty underwriter

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Heatherington underwrites products, premises and hospitality risks for Argo Casualty.

“I feel a certain freedom in how I approach my role each day, and that is refreshing,” he said. “I’m given the ability to look at a risk on an individual basis and put my own spin on it as an underwriter.”

Underwriters develop strong analytical abilities, skills Heatherington says help him in other aspects of his life.

“In life, you have to learn how to quickly move on and figure out what is a big deal and what’s not,” he says. “That’s easier to do when you have a job where you are doing that every single day.”

Following curiosity to build a satisfying career

Heatherington finds the daily variety that makes his role exciting is also his biggest challenge. Underwriting is stressful, at times.

“The unknown is the hardest part of my job,” he says. “Every day, I’m looking at different types of risks – manufacturing, distributing, premises risks. You have to think of it all from scratch, and every situation is different.”

So what’s the key to finding a career you love? For Heatherington, the answer is simple: Go with what interests you.

“Follow your curiosity,” he says. “When you have a job that genuinely interests you, it makes it much easier to produce good, quality work and put genuine thought into what you do. It keeps you coming back every day.”

Enjoying simple pleasures

An avid soccer player and fan, Heatherington found ways to entertain himself while growing up as an only child in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia.

“I would take the soccer ball outside and go practice, run some drills and have a good time in the backyard by myself,” says Heatherington, who still plays in a men’s league.

Mowing that yard was something Heatherington did grudgingly as a kid. He feels differently about the chore as an adult.

“On the weekends, I look forward to mowing the lawn and being outside,” he says. “The fruits of your labor only last for about three days, but when you come home after a long day at work, it makes you feel good.”

Reading is another of his favorite pastimes, one Heatherington treasures because it allows him to take his imagination for a spin.

“I nerd out on certain genres, like adventure fiction,” he says. “When you have a desk job looking at numbers and analyzing data, it’s nice to read something that’s a change of pace, something creative and fun. It’s a good reset for your mind.”

Learn more about Argo Casualty.