Meet the VAVE team – Katie Ball, Product Manager

Q: How did you end up in VAVE?
A: After completing my degree in Geography and a short stint in PR & Marketing, I took a leap into the world of insurance.

Wanting something more relatable to my degree, I soon discovered catastrophe modelling, where I worked as a catastrophe risk analyst on US Delegated Authority business. After three years, I felt it was time to look for something new, and my cat experience led me to a job in digital underwriting with VAVE.

I’ve now been working here since February 2021, and although I’m still relatively new to the role, it’s very varied and I’m exposed to the wider landscape of the US Surplus Lines market. It’s also great to be part of such a forward thinking and innovative team!

Q: What are the best aspects of your job?
A: As the homeowners product manager, part of my role is to continually adapt and improve the product to market conditions and changes in our understanding of the risk.

It’s really rewarding to be able to influence the path of the product on a real-time basis. Within the first month of starting this role, I was already making these sort of data-led decisions that directly affect the product and its profitability. The impact of these changes are near instant compared to a traditional insurance environment.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: My role can vary quite a lot from day to day. Whether it’s utilising third-party data to refine our pricing and better target risks, speaking to new distribution partners about how they can complement our existing book of business, or reviewing our forms in light of claims experience. There’s always something different!

A big part of what I’m working on currently is updating our pricing model. We’re making use of a vast pool of data and working with insurtechs to enable us to fine tune our rating and better identify and avoid poor risks from an attritional point of view.

More generally a key focus of mine is in taking manual processes in the purchase of Homeowners insurance, and trying to bring them into the 21st Century so they work with our data-led digital approach to underwriting.

Q: What is your next big project on the horizon?
A: We want to make sure that we’re identifying new opportunities for growth moving forward.

A project that is on our radar is a parametric weather solution. There is a huge opportunity to use parametric products to close the protection gap, and at the same time make the VAVE product stand out from others in the market.