By Megan Stephens, Assistant Vice President, and Katie Labonte, Senior Underwriter
If your client’s environmental policy is coming up for renewal soon, you might be asking yourself some questions. What information will the carrier need in order to quote the renewal? When does the carrier need the submission? Have there been any changes in the insured’s operations that we should update the carrier on? While we may start out with more questions than answers, everyone hopes for a smooth transition between the expiring policy and its renewal. A straightforward renewal process may not always be possible, but there are certain steps that the insured, retail agent, and wholesale broker can take to help make it easier for all parties involved.
When sending in a renewal submission to PartnerOne, the most important component is the PartnerOne renewal application. When fully completed, the application contains all of the information the underwriter will need in order to issue a formal quote. Some additional, helpful items to consider including in the renewal submission are, but are not limited to, the insured’s financials, updated training certificates and/or licenses, a health and safety plan, the insured’s résumé or statement of qualifications (SOQ), and a sample contract that the insured uses with clients and/or subcontractors.
On the topic of when to send the renewal submission to the carrier, the answer is always “The sooner, the better!” Our underwriters aim to quote around 30 days out from the renewal date, so having the submission sent by then is extremely helpful. One way the broker can assist with a timely renewal quote is by making sure that the retail agent and insured are aware of the carrier’s timeline. One of the biggest reasons that the underwriter wants to have the submission a month prior to the renewal date is because it allows time for any questions that may arise. For instance, if there’s an open claim on an account or if there’s been a drastic change in the insured’s operations, then there will undoubtedly be some back-and-forth discussion between the underwriter and the broker. If the renewal date is still a few weeks away when these conversations occur, then everyone can avoid the panic of having to rush and the overall situation will be less stressful.
Speaking of changes in the insured’s operations, another way to have a smooth renewal process is if the broker points out changes to the insured’s operations and/or revenues to the carrier. Depending on the type of policy, a change in operations away from environmental services could mean that the account is no longer a fit. Or maybe the situation is that the insured has gone from only performing mold abatement to now performing site assessments. The carrier will want to know what sparked the transition and what qualifications the insured has for their new operations, which is where proactively sending an updated résumé or SOQ can be extremely useful. Likewise, if the insured is projecting a significant increase or decrease from their expiring revenues, the carrier will want to know what’s driving that change.
If there has been a significant change in the insured’s revenues, the underwriter may request financials from the insured. However, that is not the only reason that an underwriter would want to have financials for their file. For example, if an insured’s projected revenues are $3M or higher, then PartnerOne’s underwriting guidelines require that financials be requested. Also, a majority of accounts written by PartnerOne are flat/non-auditable. For this reason, the underwriter may request financials every couple of years as a way to verify the gross revenues and to make sure that they’re appropriately rating the account for the exposure.
Other information to include for a smooth renewal process would be any changes of address (especially if the insured has moved to a different state), changes in ownership, and/or changes regarding specific coverages or endorsements being required. For instance, if an insured with a monoline Contractors Pollution Liability policy has an upcoming contract requiring Professional Liability, then letting the carrier know upfront will go a long way towards a smooth, straightforward renewal process.
Equipped with the above “insider information,” there’s no reason for the quoting process to the anything but stress-free for everyone involved! If you have questions or concerns regarding an upcoming renewal that you would like to discuss, please contact us.