Diary of an Insurer: Aurora’s Lauren Stables

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Lauren Stables, head of digital trading at Aurora, works on the start-up MGA’s next product launch, shares ideas with brokers and providers while also mucking out her horses and playing ball with her four dogs.

Lauren Stables, head of digital trading, Aurora

Monday

The week starts very early in the morning, as it always does: in addition to my day job at Aurora, I also own a livery yard. 

After checking for any damage after last night’s worrying storms, I take the dogs for their early morning run while I check on the horses. 

Next up – and it is still only 9.30am – it’s a catch-up call. Jan, Aurora’s CEO and co-founder, and our account executive Tom, talk though the plans for the week, the brokers we will be visiting, and  chat through some of the new ideas we have on distribution and marketing. 

Mid-morning. A welcome cup of coffee and a call with our other co-founder and chief technology officer Bijal, and Cliff, our Innovate UK monitoring officer – a government-funded loan Aurora won for innovative projects. 

We take him though all the things we are working on, such as co-insurance, algorithmic underwriting and pricing, and our use of data to improve the customer journey.

I grab a bite to eat and let the dogs out on the field for a game of ball before settling down for an afternoon in the home office. 

Some more calls, including one to an interesting new partner with an online, real-time rebuild assessment/calculation, which we could build into our customer journey and help address the wider market issue of underinsurance. 

Tuesday 

horse

First up, a call with other participants enrolled on a Mini MBA programme on digital insurance. 

Having won a scholarship for the qualification last year, I have been learning about a host of digital subjects and this month the focus is on new digital business models. 

I’ve learned so much from this course already about the landscape of the wider digital market and am really looking forward to the next, and last module, on the customer experience, marketing, strategy and transformation. 

The afternoon is dedicated to capacity and broking. First of all, it’s a series of calls with one of our capacity providers to confirm their appetite for our commercial combined product and to iron out some of the final question sets for our proposed customer journey. 

Then I brief our design teams and share this with the engineering team. Next up is a call with one of our brokers to go through our broker dashboard and share feedback on a recent submission as part of our continual assessment approach to how our products are performing against others in the market. 

As Storm Isha rattles the windows and the dark of the night descends, it is the end of the working day, and time to put on my big coat and wellies and head outside to check on the horses and catch up with my friends at the yard. 

Wednesday

londo

An early start again, but this time because I’m travelling down to London from the North-West for the MGAA’s 2024 Market Outlook held at Lloyd’s. 

It is a fascinating session, and a chance to hear from MGAs and capacity providers about the opportunities and challenges 2024 will bring for the MGA community.

Afterwards I head to Aurora HQ to catch up with both new and existing colleagues and share my passion for digitalising commercial insurance and algorithmic underwriting before catching a train to Colchester and then prepping in my hotel room for a broker presentation tomorrow before finally finishing the book I started reading before Christmas.

Thursday

Lake

At last I get a lie-in and a welcome break from having to battle the early morning elements to check on the horses. 

Followed by a short, very civilised stroll beside a lake to the broker’s office. I could get used to this. 

At the brokerage I have a quick catch-up with an old colleague and then demonstrate our products for them and explain how we are able to help brokers better understand their customers’ risk. 

I must have got something right, as there was clearly palpable excitement about the impending launch of our commercial combined offering. 

I then spent the afternoon at the broker’s office setting them up on our platform, and listening to their underwriting challenges with other providers before feeding this information back to our team to see what we could do to help them.

Friday

meeting

As I head home from London, the week ends much as it had begun: with a catch-up with our co-founders, but this time as a whole team. 

They set out the business’s objectives for 2024, and we all chipped in with our ideas and suggestions in what was a very inspiring session. 

The call included a run-through of the first iteration of our planed commercial combined customer journey with the development team, followed by a feedback session for the developers and the web team to take on board any suggested changes and amendments. 

This really insightful session was followed by a call with a digital resource platform to share our plans and hear their feedback on potential marketing strategies. 

Finally, I arrive back home at 4pm, to be welcomed by wagging dogs.

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