The growing importance of pricing within MGAs


Authored by Carl McComb, Pricing and Actuarial Director, Prestige Underwriting

I’ve worked within the MGA space for 7 years now, having joined Prestige Underwriting in June 2016. During that short time, I have witnessed first-hand the increasing need for pricing resource & sophistication within the MGA structure to ensure stability of capacity relationships.

Prestige Underwriting is known primarily for its underwriting excellence, developing a fantastic reputation amongst brokers and insurer partners alike during the course of its 25-year history. Pricing has now become a principal feature of the Prestige Underwriting business model, complementing our already best-in-class underwriting expertise.

What has become evident from my experience is the increasing expectation on MGAs to have greater control over the pricing of their business, to ensure the subsequent expected profitability of the written business is adequate. Having the ability to project forward written performance is fast becoming a minimum requirement. It’s imperative to have the ability to justify both your rate and niche footprint in the constantly evolving and hugely competitive market that we participate in.

The growing expectation for pricing expertise in MGAs in recent years is evident within the Prestige Underwriting Pricing team, which has more than doubled its head count since 2020, growing from three to seven full-time team members. This need to bolster the resource in the division is reflective of the increased demands from our insurer partners and demonstrates the value that the Pricing function adds to the business. Prestige Underwriting now boasts a young Pricing team full of exceptional talent, all of whom play a key role in driving the growth and profitability of the business. Over half of the Pricing team are members of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), consisting of a mix of qualified and part-qualified Actuaries. 

Late 2022 I was incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to join the Prestige Underwriting Board of Directors, taking on the role of Pricing & Actuarial Director. It is the first time that Prestige Underwriting have had pricing representation at Board level, and again is further proof of the growing influence of pricing within the business and furthermore, is reflective of the increasing pricing involvement across the MGA market. It is a great honor and a fantastic opportunity for me to continue to drive growth and innovation for the business at Board level. It also demonstrates one of the core visions that Prestige Underwriting have –to pursue profitable growth for our insurer partners. Profitability lies at the heart of our strategic goals, and we pride ourselves on working transparently & in tandem with our capacity providers.

It is a particularly important time for Pricing, given the many challenges that the GI Personal Lines market is currently facing. The increased volatility of weather events, evident in 2022 from multiple Storms, Subsidence and Freeze, coupled with the high inflationary environment, makes for significant market movements in rate. They are just some of the many challenges currently surfacing which threaten profitability, so it is vital to ensure rates are robust enough to deal with increasing costs.

Ultimately, it is my goal to establish for the business a reputation for pricing excellence within the MGA market which supports and strengthens the already fantastic reputation of our Underwriting division. We must ensure our pricing strategy works for all parties, which includes our insurer partners, our brokers and ultimately the consumer. This should help to ensure stable capacity relationships with insurer partners, which is key to the success of our business.

About Carl

As Pricing & Actuarial Director, Carl has overall responsibility for the Pricing of all Household & Motor products across the UK & ROI, with the aim of delivering profitable performance for the Prestige Underwriting business, as well as Insurer and Broker partners.  In 2021, Carl received the Rising Star Award at the Insurance Business UK Awards and was named as a Finalist in the Young Achievers category of the British Insurance Awards.  Carl is a qualified Actuary & a Fellow of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries.


About Prestige Underwriting

Long established and highly trusted across the UK and Ireland for developing non-standard and niche insurance products, we enable brokers and partners of diverse size and scale to compete in a highly dynamic marketplace. 

Our 130-strong team-work in partnership with around 1,300 brokers and partners with the aim of not only meeting their needs but, wherever possible, exceeding their expectations. 

At Prestige Underwriting we take a partnership approach to understanding what our clients' needs are and they find that we are expert and agile specialists in what we offer. We are efficient, flexible and approachable which gives us an advantage and edge to ensure we always deliver for our partners. 

Our professional, customer centric, agile and flexible approach to developing, delivering and continually enhancing our products and service offering has been key to securing and maintaining longstanding relationships with our Broker network since 1997.