Diary of an Insurer: HSB's Mat Prentice

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Mat Prentice, cyber product leader at HSB, navigates 5am starts and studying in the evening while juggling training and presenting on the eve of a well-deserved family holiday.

Mathew Prentice


I wake at 5am as that’s the time my two-year-old daughter always gets up. She’ll be three next week and I’m taking her to Rhodes with my partner to celebrate her birthday in what will be our first holiday abroad since the pandemic. But before I can think about packing my suitcase, I’ve got a lot to do.

I like to start my day with exercise so I venture to the gym to meet my identical twin brother for our regular workout.

I love spending time with him in an environment that puts me in a positive mindset for the rest of the day.

In the morning, I read through my learning materials in preparation for delivering an internal training session on insurance risks tomorrow.

At lunchtime, I take my two Northern Inuit dogs for a walk to get away from my screen.

The fresh air helps to boost my productivity for the remainder of the afternoon where I focus on renewals, analysing loss ratios, and managing the exposures for the product portfolios I’m responsible for.



I board the 6.35 am train at Tamworth en route to HSB’s Manchester office where I’ll be training HSB’s underwriters on advanced insurance topics.

Training is a key part of my role and as cyber risks are changing so rapidly, it’s vital that everyone at HSB is up-to-speed on the latest trends.

Together we cover a host of subjects from cryptocurrency to cyber underwriting, to claims and incident response. It’s always reassuring for me to receive feedback in-person. Thankfully, everyone found the training useful, both from an underwriting and a personal perspective.

I head home and spend an hour studying for my ACII Advanced Diploma in Insurance qualification.

I constantly like to build my knowledge and having already gained my CII Level 4 Diploma this additional qualification is the next step in my progression.


A pile of old computers

I start today by analysing the results of a recent survey HSB has conducted on evolving working patterns.

The findings suggest that hybrid working may present potential challenges for businesses regarding insurance for their computer equipment.

In my role, understanding these emerging trends and their associated risks is fundamental for adapting policies, mitigating exposure, and seizing opportunities in this evolving market.

Later I meet with our marketing team to discuss how these survey findings could be shared with our broker partners in a research report.

The research is timely as tomorrow I’m presenting a webinar to brokers on computer-related risks. I spend the afternoon polishing my presentation and working on a referral for a new business opportunity.

We’ve been treated to glorious sunshine in Tamworth today, but the blazing temperatures are too hot for my fluffy dogs! So, I abandon plans to take them for an evening walk in favour of washing my car which I find therapeutic.



I’m at HSB’s Birmingham office today to present my webinar and feeling slightly apprehensive. When conducting face-to-face training it’s easier to read people’s thoughts, but when presenting a webinar virtually it’s harder to gauge how the content is being received.

Despite my initial butterflies, the webinar seems to go well as I discuss the implications of hybrid working trends and some misconceptions about insurance which could leave some businesses exposed.

I grab a quick lunch before heading into a product development strategy meeting to review how our products are meeting the expectations of our partners and their clients.

In the evening, I join an 8pm call with US colleagues to discuss risk accumulation and trends topics. These meetings are a great source of knowledge and always enlightening because of the differences between the UK and US markets (particularly around products like cyber).


Group of multi-ethnic women in exercise class

I have time for one more early workout at the gym before I go on holiday next week where I can’t wait to eat everything I want.

When back at my desk, I focus on completing any outstanding tasks which includes reviewing policy wordings on our products and the latest referrals from our brokers.

In the afternoon, I attend a meeting to provide input on topics to cover at our forthcoming underwriting conference – an annual meeting with representatives from underwriting and claims teams to discuss our future strategy.

I finish work but decide to devote half an hour of study for my ACII as I don’t plan on taking my books away to Rhodes with me! Finally, I can relax and look forward to going on holiday with my amazing family. Now where did I put my flip-flops again?

Mat Prentice is Cyber Product Leader at HSB

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