13 May, 2021

Five minutes with… Michael Thompson, ARGIS senior farm underwriter

Q. When did you join ARGIS?

A. I’ve been working at ARGIS for just over three years, having joined in October 2017. I was previously with another underwriting agency, Calibre Commercial Insurance (previously part of the Calliden Group), which offered a range of commercial insurances and I was senior underwriter there, too. Prior to that I was with CGU Insurance for 12 years, working across a variety of direct-to-consumer products as a senior underwriter, which encompassed some farm and crop insurance underwriting, as well as many other product classes.


Q. Have you always worked in insurance?

A. No, I haven’t. Prior to joining CGU my wife and I actually owned and operated our own ice-cream shops, and before that I worked in sales for tobacco manufacturer Rothmans International. Like many people in our industry, I would say I fell into insurance. Having sold our ice-cream shops in 2003, I came across a job advertisement for CGU at a time when they were expanding, and the rest is history.


Q. What do you enjoy about the insurance industry and about your current role?

A. I really enjoy meeting all of the different people you come across in insurance. I enjoy dealing with brokers in my current role, and trying to find resolutions for insureds and get the right cover in place. It will be good to get back into the office following our COVID-19 induced work from home, although I live just over an hour away from our office in central Melbourne so I haven’t missed the commute. Being around my family more during 2020 has also been good.


Q. What personal insights do you bring to your current role?

A. I come from a farming background with my father, cousins and uncles all owning farming property in and around Cootamundra and Stockinbingal in the NSW Riverina. This means I have a deep connection to the rural way of life and an understanding of the challenges farmers have to deal with.


Q. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

A. My wife and I have three children, a 24 year old son, and 21 year old son and a 17 year old daughter who has just completed year 12, so the school days are behind us now. We also have three cats and a dog. In my spare time I play tennis, and love playing and watching sport. We also enjoy traveling, camping, fishing and water sports.


Q. What’s something most people probably don’t know about you?

A. Aside from the ice-cream shops, which most people seem to get a kick out of, I represented Victoria as a junior in javelin, but I never went on with it from there.


To contact Michael, senior farm underwriter at ARGIS, you can email him at michael.thompson@argis.com.au.