Podcast: The Building BITE

Episode: The Art of Underwriting


Join us for The Building BITE Podcast— a podcast for construction owners, insurance professionals, and contractors. Hear from experts about key topics to help you be successful. Guest Geoff Delisio joins hosts Peter Duggan, President and CEO of Proactive, and Proactive's Senior Consultant of Innovation & Content Solutions, Mike Diercksen, on today's episode.


Geoff is Senior Vice President at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, where he focuses on underwriting and subtractor default insurance. As the conversation kicks off, we hear from Geoff about how he got started in the industry and ended up in his current position. He compares underwriting to creating snowflakes, each deal being similar but individually unique. Listen as he elaborates on this philosophy and the crucial aspects he considers in the process.


The conversation then shifts to discussing big data from an underwriting perspective. At BHSI, the staff tends to lean more into low frequency, high severity, where there is not so much data available. Geoff believes there should always be a sense of respect present when handling any data to ensure its proper use. Different countries use data and do business in different ways. Having worked with an international underwriting team, Geoff lays out some of the complexities in that experience. The show talks about the importance open communication, ensuring each person understands the perspective from other countries. With thousands of possible nuances, asking questions is the key to making the best decisions.


Geoff leaves listeners with three key takeaways and one action item.

  • For customers or brokers, engage with underwriters in a way that ensures their understanding of the mission and organization.
  • For underwriters, understand your responsibility to give precise and thoughtful answers in exchange for a client's time and money.
  • From a carrier perspective, avoid groupthink at all costs and be sure to consider nuances.
  • Stay humble, open to different perspectives and don't be afraid to admit being wrong. 


Ideas for episode topics or guests connect@thebuildingbite.com



Learn more abou Geoff Delisio.

Learn more about Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance.

Learn more about Proactive by visiting their website.

Follow Proactive on LinkedIn.

Connect with Peter Duggan.

Connect with Mike Diercksen

Main Offices

351 Pleasant Street, Suite B, #135
Northampton, MA 01060

North Carolina
13200 Strickland Road, Suite 114, #299
Raleigh, NC 27613

P.O. Box 16824
Rocky River, OH 44116