My graduate experience – Philipp Zimmermann

Philipp Zimmermann

A little bit about me…

I joined Hiscox in 2017 on the graduate trainee programme. I’m currently based in Munich, Germany, where I work with a great team of sales and development underwriters responsible for the Southern German and Austrian market.

My week looks like…

To be quiet honest there is no ‘typical’ day or week! As part of the sales and development underwriting community, you - as a graduate trainee - are supporting each sales and development underwriter in your team to manage their own broker portfolio. 

That means that you will very quickly be one of the key points of contact for insurance brokers, from small companies to large global ones, and deal with their everyday problems. 

It is essential to be in close contact with your brokers by mail, phone and face to face visits to either create new business opportunities as well as to discuss risks that brokers would like to insure with Hiscox.

As an underwriter you will…

In addition to supporting your team in responding to all enquiries from brokers and managing the team’s risk portfolio, you are also underwriting those risks yourself. As an underwriter you evaluate the risks and exposures of potential clients and decide how much coverage the client should receive, and the cost of the premium. 

You will have to learn to protect the company's book of business from risks that you feel will make a loss and issue insurance policies at a premium that is commensurate with the exposure presented by a risk.

As we are very driven at Hiscox and never accept the status quo, you will also be involved in several projects, in which you will represent the sales point of view.

I joined Hiscox because…

I studied Business Administration and Economics and after graduating I went into management consulting. After a short time, I missed the thrill of making decisions myself, seeing these through and being responsible for the consequences, rather than advising and supporting others on their decisions. I also wanted to work with people rather than for them.

That is why I searched for a company environment like Hiscox. I seriously was and still am intrigued by this hands-on mentality, which is what drives us to reach our goals.

Life at Hiscox in Germany…

In the office there is a start-up-like atmosphere but with the stability and structure of a business that has been around for some time. The office is full of smart people who challenge the status quo, and it’s a business that cares for people – inside and outside of Hiscox.

You should expect to…

You’ll get responsibility from day one. There’s a steep learning curve but right from the start you are treated as a valued team member who will contribute to the success of the business. We have a flat hierarchy and senior managers’ doors are always open – if you have an idea, you’re encouraged to discuss it and take action. As a graduate trainee, I was trusted to solve problems by myself and senior management listened to what I had to say.

…and make a bunch of new friends!

The opportunity for learning and development is one of the best things about the programme. You will also get to meet and make friends with graduates trainees from lots of different countries and backgrounds.

Being a Hiscox graduate trainee gives you an opportunity to get an insight into lots of different parts of the business and understand the home insurance markets as well as the parts of the wider business.