Underwriting Manager: Automation at PPS InsCo

The Professional Provident Society (PPS)

Job Overview

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Underwriting Manager: Automation at PPS InsCo

Underwriting Manager: Automation at PPS InsCo

Underwriting Manager: Automation

Closing Date: 2024/02/09

Reference Number: PPS240202-1

Job Type: Permanent

Job Title: Underwriting Manager: Automation

Business Unit: PPS InsCo

Department: Research & Development – Life Solutions

Location – Country: South Africa

Location – Province: Gauteng

Location – Town / City: Parktown North Johannesburg

Job Advert Summary

This role is responsible for the development and maintenance of the automated underwriting protocols and guidelines for the Life Solutions business and management of a technical development resource. The incumbent will be required to apply technical judgment in the design of underwriting automation protocols that support new business acquisition, underpinned by an effective risk management strategy.

This role reports into the Head: Research and Development and Group TCF, within the Life Solutions structure.

The incumbent will be required to optimize underwriting effectiveness and competitiveness through the design of the underwriting rules engine (URE), the effective integration of these rules in the end-to-end digital and paper onboarding journey and the effective management of the technical specialist responsible for development on the URE. They will provide input into the design of sales and operational processes required to support the successful utilization of the URE and will work closely with the Chief Underwriter and Medical Officers to design aligned underwriting policies.

This individual will serve as an underwriting subject matter expert collaborating with affected business stakeholders on building tools to further underwriting transformation, offering consultative recommendations for improvement, education on business trends, and new practices while consistently bringing a sound underwriting philosophy to all solutions being developed.

Minimum Requirements


  • Matric
  • B.Sc Degree or similar.


  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in life insurance underwriting at a senior level.
  • Experience with life insurance automated underwriting systems is a requirement.
  • Life, disability, dread disease, and income protection product exposure is a requirement.
  • Experience in business process design and business analyst experience an advantage.
  • Experience in the design, build, testing, and monitoring of underwriting rule trees and engines an advantage.
  • Knowledge of PPS systems an advantage.
  • Knowledge of PPS products an advantage.

Skills and Attributes:

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and lead teamwork effort to achieve timely delivery or project milestones through multiple and conflicting objectives.
  • Deep knowledge of the underwriting process, underwriting guidelines, automated underwriting programs, and underwriting trends.
  • Proficiency in Excel pivot tables for analysis.
  • Ability to multi-task with strong time management skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in addition to the capacity to listen to stakeholder requirements and express opinions, information, and key points of view clearly and assertively.
  • Ability to execute specialized work efficiently, with confidence and competence, with above-average attention to detail.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking capabilities.
  • An affinity for technology and innovation, with strong software skills.

Duties and Responsibilities

Development of Underwriting Content in the Underwriting Rules Engine (URE):

  • Collaborate with the Chief Underwriter and Medical Officers to co-design underwriting policies that can be effectively deployed in the URE.
  • Design condition-specific decision trees to support the application of underwriting policies and product rules for multiple channels in the URE.
  • Utilize deep technical knowledge of the URE to guide the Chief Underwriter and Medical Officers on design options that maximize underwriting policy application in the URE.
  • Define and design rules within the automated underwriting software that are required for the effective application of the condition decision trees e.g., combined complex condition rules.
  • Identify integration points and handoffs between the URE and other applications e.g., workflow, PRO-FiT, and determine requirements for optimal integration within the wider PPS system architecture.
  • Develop and maintain design documentation.
  • Develop business requirements specifications.
  • Develop and maintain change control documentation.
  • Oversee the development and testing phases of the URE through the Agile development process.
  • Develop testing scenarios and requirements and conduct testing of new developments in the URE.

Optimize Effectiveness of the URE:

  • Define and document URE performance and business reporting requirements.
  • Analyze data and deliver insights to identify opportunities to optimize performance and utilization.
  • Conduct post-implementation review of deployed protocols to ensure these are performing as intended.
  • Amend URE decision trees and rules as underwriting policies and product rules are revised.
  • Integrate URE automation design with sales and operations business processes to ensure these are effective and efficient.
  • Effectively manage IT deliverables related to the URE development, including but not limited to business specifications, development, testing, and change control.

Product Development and Innovation:

  • Provide input to Product Development and Operations on product and process improvement opportunities that become evident at underwriting stage and make recommendations on potential solutions.
  • Provide automated underwriting specialist input for new product development or special offers.
  • Develop and maintain awareness of local and global industry trends and best practice.
  • Assess viability of third-party solutions that could enhance and mature PPS’s automated underwriting capability.
  • Explore opportunities to enhance PPS’s underwriting philosophy and underwriting practices to secure a competitive advantage while appropriately mitigating risk.

Compliance and Audit:

  • Design and implement underwriting audit guidelines and procedures.
  • Conduct scheduled audits to assess compliance of tele-underwriting with agreed practices.
  • Execute compliance control tasks to mitigate risk linked to the URE.
  • Make recommendations on


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