Demonstrating the power of personal motivation combined with the value of internships available to students with a plan for their lives, Weihao Sim has quickly gone from keen learner to professional underwriter with Delta Insurance in a surprisingly short space of time. While studying for his Bachelor of Science degree majoring in economics and finance at the Singapore Management University, Weihao worked several minor jobs and internships with other insurers before settling on an underwriting internship within Delta’s Singaporean operations late in 2019. By June 2020, after graduation, he was a junior underwriter. And by February 2022, Weihao was elevated to the position of full-time underwriter, which he holds to this day.
“What got me into insurance is probably quite interesting,” laughs Weihao. “Insurance doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation here in Singapore, but it is so important to daily life in every respect. In fact, most individuals and most businesses can’t operate successfully without insurance, so I viewed it as something that’s always going to be with us, and it intrigued me.” Initially starting with actuarial science, Weihao says he adjusted his studies towards economics and finance to which his aptitudes are more suited. He also soon found ample opportunity for student work as an intern where he could combine his studies with ‘real-world’ experience – a process he describes as invaluable. “I’d advise every student does this. It gives you a clear understanding of the difference between theory and practice, and it’s a reaffirmation of whether this is what you really want to do.”
In the aftermath of Covid restrictions, Weihao says he was keen to get straight back into it. As a self-starter, he picked up the phone to Delta Singapore MD Eugene Cheong, who was immediately impressed and brought the young man on board.
What he found on the front lines was a good balance between the ‘paper’ side of the business – assessment of risks and associated calculations and deducements – with a more human element. “You can’t really learn customer engagement and communication with stakeholders by studying at university,” Weihao notes, “And yet this is an essential part of what an underwriter does every day.”
Unsurprisingly given the nature of his studies, Weihao demonstrated an affinity for financial lines, “Financial lines is interesting than other lines to him as they aren’t homogenous. No one product fits all, it is more dynamic and that provides an opportunity to create unique selling points, add more value through applying your mind while building relationships and understanding the individual needs of your clients,” says Weihao. “You’re directly involved in assessing risk, and your inputs are more valued.”
Cyber insurance is, of course, among the financial lines and Weihao sees a lot of potential for this emerging discipline in the insurance industry. “Our Singaporean team is one of the pioneers of the product in Asia and being a young person in a young line is pretty exciting; there is a lot of opportunity,” notesWeihao. “And within Delta there is considerable expertise both from an underwriting and claims processing point of view, which means there are great people providing guidance and support as we take this product to market.”
It’s been a short two and a half years for Weihao in the Delta family, and this future leader is excited at the prospects lying ahead. “One of the primary reasons I’m with Delta is the leadership we have here, which is an excellent example and source of inspiration. For any other young people looking for a career, I’d heartily recommend insurance. It’s interesting, challenging and a foundation of the economy.”
And the presence of keen and committed people like Weihao entering the industry and being the change they would like to see in the world means general perceptions of the industry can only improve.