Director, Underwriting - Surety

Underwriting / Souscription Vancouver, British Columbia

Poste chez Northbridge Financial Corporation

 “The Power of Together”

Join Northbridge, a growing dynamic company that has a long and rich Canadian history in providing innovative insurance solutions to customers nationwide.

Northbridge Financial Corporation is a leading commercial property and casualty insurance company that’s been helping protect Canadian businesses for more than 90 years. We’re 100% Canadian!

We offer a wide range of creative solutions to our customers through our Northbridge Insurance, TruShield Insurance and Federated Insurance brands where we strive to create a fair and friendly culture, upheld by the foundation of our five corporate values: respect, passion, connectedness, creativity, and excellence.

By continually striving to challenge the status quo, and by focusing on helping our customers, we’ve been able to build our reputation as one of Canada’s largest commercial insurance providers.

Be part of a team that’s passionate about making a difference every day, fuelled by our entrepreneurial spirit and where everyone owns a part of our success.

Position Summary 

The Director, Underwriting is responsible for directing all activities ensuring that the unit is operating at maximum efficiency, productivity, and profitability to achieve all corporate and regional goals, objectives, and service levels are being met and maintained.

What you will be doing:


  • Oversee all corporate and Regional underwriting objectives are met and maintained, including but not limited to rate adequacy, tier strategy, data quality and proper file documentation.
  • Participate in the development of Underwriting guidelines, procedures, and manuals.
  • Direct the review and analysis of endorsements, renewals, reissues, and cancellations in accordance with standards and guidelines.
  • Monitor trends and developments identifying areas of concern regarding loss ratios, risk trends, or other discrepancies.
  • Understand and apply best business practices towards compliance, internal control and operational risk controls in accordance to national standards and regulatory standards and policies.
  • Identifies, investigates, and develops new business/expansion opportunities for assigned segment.
  • Maintain the long term profitability of a significant portfolio of accounts regardless of market conditions. This includes the ability to successfully negotiate terms, conditions and pricing to achieve new business, renewal and profitability targets.
  • Responsible for the successful management and pricing of designated portfolio of accounts.
  • Fully supports and understands corporate and Regional financial and underwriting goals and objectives and ensures all underwriters are knowledgeable as to these goals and objectives.
  • Direct the introduction and communication of rating and exposure strategies, coverage and/or product changes in a timely manner.


  • Develop and maintain a professional relationship with brokers and/or customers to enhance understanding of the target market and to contribute to quality service, problem solving, and risk selection.
  • Collaborate with brokers and customers to assist in business retention and customer satisfaction through regular interactions.
  • Investigate customers’ risk factors relative to corporate pricing approach to gain support, agreement and enhance relationships.
  • Participate in problem resolution between brokers and underwriting staff.
  • Ensure that product changes or enhancements are communicated to brokers and/or customers in a timely manner.
  • Participate in market research and analysis, and participate in the development of business cases for proposed new products or product lines changes or enhancements.
  • Forge new business relationships and solicit new business opportunities.
  • Review broker evaluations, analyze results and maintain a complete understanding of brokers and/or customers.


  • Act as a resource on risks outside of the authority level for less experienced Underwriters, and authorize risks within own established authority levels.
  • Provide effective daily leadership, coaching and motivation of staff to ensure service and quality objectives are met.

 Operational Leadership:

  • Direct the research and analysis of the market, and lead the development of business cases for proposed new products or product lines changes or enhancements, working with Corporate Underwriting as required.
  • Develop and maintain a knowledge and understanding of company operations and procedures, including demographic, economic, and social characteristics to increase market share.
  • Consult and work with senior underwriting staff regarding development of new products and changes to existing policy wordings.
  • Direct the development and execution of Regional business plan within each business unit, and ensure strategies contribute to corporate objectives.
  • Maintains a complete knowledge of corporate and regional underwriting results, and ensure these are properly communicated.
  • Review broker and/or customer evaluations, analyze results and develop/implement programs such as growth incentives and profit sharing.
  • Oversee the analysis of the effect of relevant legislation on policy coverage's, and assist in any changes and additions to policy wordings and underwriting guidelines.
  • Direct and approve the development and updating of policies and forms according to internal and external guidelines.


  • Direct in the training and development of staff, and provide technical expertise and advice regarding products, systems, and processes.
  • Manage new and existing account underwriting workflows.
  • Monitor staff production on an on-going basis to ensure standards are being met.
  • Responsible for resource and workload planning and organization.
  • Manage the hiring, development, retention, reward, and motivation of staff in the unit/region.
  • Complete annual performance objective planning for direct reports and teams.
  • Assess staff training and development needs and provide recommendations for training opportunities to build a competent staff capable of performing all underwriting functions within the unit.
  • Ensure team and Regional service level goals are met and maintained.
  • Direct all activities to ensure that the unit is operating at maximum efficiency, productivity and profitability.


  • Work collaboratively on special projects and assignments when required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

What sets you apart:

  • Demonstrated proficiency at managing multiple and changing priorities/projects, and delivering results.
  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional and technical development.
  • Ability to focus on the broker and customer needs, ensuring a high quality of service is provided.
  • Demonstrated commitment to high standards of performance and goals.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated presentation skills.
  • Ability to foster and build good long-term working relationships with brokers, customers and business areas inside and outside the work unit.
  • Able to work with long-term perspective in addressing broker or business area problems/issues.
  • Demonstrated proficiency and resourcefulness in identifying and analyzing relevant data and defining critical issues and alternatives.
  • Strong analytical and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to influence decisions and gain agreement and/or support on sensitive issues.
  • Strong conflict resolution skills.
  • Strong mentoring/coaching skills.

What we are looking for:

  • Post-secondary school education and/or equivalent on the job experience.
  • Completion of the CIP and/or FCIP designation.
  • Minimum 10 years experience in the property and casualty industry
  • Minimum 5 years leadership experience
  • Working knowledge of company underwriting philosophy, policy contracts, rating programs, risk information sources, underwriting/technical manual information, statuary constraints, and computer workflow procedures.
  • Ability to work within and adapt to PC oriented environments, including familiarity with e-mail and Internet skills. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Fluently bilingual (English / French) is a definite asset (a requirement in Quebec Region).
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of underwriting discipline and pricing models.
  • Working knowledge of other functional areas (i.e. Claims, Risk Management, Premium Accounting, etc.)

 What we have to offer:

  • Northbridge Cares program – volunteer day and donation matching
  • Generous paid time off, including personal days. Flexible work hours as well as early departure opportunities
  • Flexible Group Benefits Plan – medical, dental, insurances
  • Defined Contribution Pension Plan + Optional Group RRSP
  • Northbridge Employee Share Purchase Plan
  • Education Assistance Program
  • Employee Assistance plan
  • Staff Insurance - discount on home, automobile and pet insurance
  • Plus, the opportunity to contribute to the success of Northbridge through sharing your knowledge and experience while learning from others!