Geo Agriculture is celebrating National Apprentice Week with the graduation of young farmer Lizzie Down, who has become the first person to qualify as an insurance practitioner and licensed underwriter through the company’s innovative apprentice scheme.
As the largest specialist agricultural MGA in the market, Geo launched its apprenticeship scheme in July 2022, to create a pipeline of specialist underwriting talent for the company, at a time when going out to the market for experienced farm or farm motor underwriters was becoming increasingly difficult.
The ability to offer stable and supportive career pathways for individuals who understand the market, is crucial to members of the agriculture community, and to the Insurance industry, ensuring the provision of these services remain fit for the long term.
Throughout her apprenticeship Lizzie served as an Assistant Underwriter, contributing to Geo’s underwriting teams at their Harrogate offices four days a week, with the fifth day dedicated to focused study. Her graduation highlights Geo Agriculture’s dedication to fostering a new generation of skilled underwriters and reinforces its position as a leading force in shaping the future of agricultural insurance.
Commenting on her apprenticeship with Geo, Lizzie Down explained: “The scheme was recommended to me by a friend who works for GEO as an underwriter, and I have found that insurance is a great career prospect with many avenues to develop and learn.
“Agriculture is an industry I have been brought up in and around. I am passionate about supporting British agriculture and I have seen how insuring farms benefits farmers and the agricultural sector.
“You don’t need to have worked in insurance before and this apprenticeship has given me the foundation for my career and the confidence to try something new.”
There are several other apprentices who are set to follow in Lizzie’s footsteps and graduate through Geo’s Apprenticeship scheme. Apprentices join Geo in groups of 2-3, and the company has a pool of 5-6 at any one time, who are at various stages of their apprenticeship.
Kate Bush, Head of Agriculture at Geo said: “It is hugely satisfying to see our first apprentice graduating through our scheme, particularly in National Apprentice Week. Lizzie is a wonderful addition to our team and offers us a great deal of practical knowledge of working farms and particularly the equine sector.
“Our Apprenticeship scheme allows an agriculturally minded individual to retain and enjoy the connection to the industry, whilst developing an underwriting skill set and career.
“It is a tremendous asset to us to have this pipeline of talent coming through, helping our business continue to offer quality underwriting and insurance services.”
Geo Agriculture is part of the Geo Underwriting family, under The Ardonagh Group. Their agriculture insurance brands include AIUA, BIBU and Rural Insurance.
Geo Agriculture offers a variety of apprenticeships for both new entrants and existing ones. The current group are working towards their Insurance Practitioner level III qualification and will also graduate from the programme with their Cert CII, and first underwriting licence.
Supporting agricultural communities through specialist protection solutions, Geo Agriculture is part of the Geo Underwriting family, under The Ardonagh Group. Our three respected agriculture insurance brands include AIUA, BIBU and Rural insurance. https://www.geounderwriting.com/products/uk-commercial/agriculture