Francesca Goff

Tik Tok meets world trade   

On a recent holiday to Asia, Francesca looked out of the window as her flight took off from Hong Kong and saw hundreds of huge container ships in the harbour.  She realised that many of them were protected by the insurance company she works for. “It suddenly makes it very real, that what we do all day is help people get goods around the world.”

Fran has been working in the London insurance market for nearly two years. After studying for a degree in International Tourism Management, a career path that was seriously affected by the pandemic, she was looking to get her work life started. Her first encounter with specialty insurance was on TikTok where she found Sam Ridgewell at Empower Development talking about roles in the industry and offering CV advice. “I did not know much about insurance and was thinking about whether I wanted an entry level role or a graduate programme. I connected with Sam on LinkedIn and she offered great knowledge and advice.”

As a result, Fran is now an underwriting processing assistant working in marine insurance for an insurer called Brittania who specialises in protecting the crews of vessels as well as society from the consequences of accidents like collisions and oil spills. “Until you work in insurance, it is hard to see beyond cars and holidays. But 90% of the things we all buy come by ship and there are lots of risks involved. It really came to life for everyone when a ship blocked the Suez Canal, and suddenly there was no garden furniture!”

Working in a specialist area means learning from both practical experience as well as more academic training. Fran is currently studying for her professional qualifications with the P&IQ as well as doing vessel familiarisation courses in ports like Hull. “Working in the London insurance market combines really interesting clients and issues and a great social life. We work very closely together to protect society against the worst happening – but the hours beat banking hands down!”

As well as still training three times a week as a competitive swimmer (butterfly no less), Fran is determined to pay it forward by using social media to tell others about careers in insurance. “I think this is a great industry and through ‘day in the life’ TikToks etc I want to bring it to life for others”.