By Allison McGreal, Assistant Vice President
We are all so busy in life and in work that we rarely have time to get through the daily tasks we set out to complete. Just when we have a handle on our list of to-do items, additional things get added. When working on an account, one of the best ways to help with time management is to handle it as few times as possible. Easier said than done, but here are some helpful tips to get an account quoted and bound with the fewest “touches”:
Know your markets:
There are so many markets available to agents and brokers that it is important to understand which companies may work best for your office.
- Which markets are the most responsive?
- Which offer the broadest coverage?
- Who is the most flexible with tailoring a policy to meet the clients’ needs?
- Which markets are better with certain types of risks? For example, Carrier A is very aggressive for environmental consultants but not for contractors; Carrier B is just the opposite.
- If an account requires primary CGL/CPL but also needs Workers Compensation and Excess, which carriers are able to offer all of these lines?
By identifying the markets available to you, you can pick and choose the right fit for a certain account rather than sending the submission to multiple carriers that you know aren’t a good fit.
Know your underwriters:
Each underwriter has a different style and comfort level when reviewing accounts. Some require all underwriting documents up front in order to provide you with the best terms, while others may feel comfortable offering indications subject to additional items. Some are very responsive while others are not, some will offer ballparks while others are more deliberate in their process before offering pricing or terms. Of the many available markets, which have the more flexible underwriters willing to discuss an account to try to find a way to write it rather than declining it? As a broker, you need to understand that sending a rush, complex account to an underwriter unwilling to respond quickly is a waste of your time as well as the underwriter and will cause frustration for both parties. A quick call to the underwriter to explain the urgency and see if they have time to meet your needs is recommended. One call, one touch of the file and hopefully, one nice quote.
Review the submission:
Agents and brokers are the frontline underwriters, in a sense. By taking a few minutes to review a submission before sending it to the market, you may catch something that would have delayed getting your quote. The application may show (1) that the revenues don’t make sense (projecting $1,000,000 but the breakdown totals $2,000,000), or (2) it may show the services as “environmental consulting” which could mean anything from regulatory compliance to environmental site assessments to mold evaluations (each with a different rating structure which impacts the premium); (3) at a quick glance, do the services listed fit with the carrier appetite (correct percentage of environmental work, for example, or are they performing operations that aren’t a fit at all?). (4) Have you looked over the loss runs and are you able to provide details for any losses? If the insured is located in a state bordering New York, have you asked if they do work in NY State? Many carriers have exclusions that will apply to NY work or they will need additional information to consider.
The more information you can provide up front, the better the underwriter can assess the risk. That may mean the underwriter is able to offer better pricing, which is always important to the insured. However, it also means obtaining a quote written with the correct coverages and terms. If you don’t provide the underwriter with all the information, you may get an inexpensive barebones quote that does not offer adequate coverage. Underwriters can certainly ballpark pricing and terms, but without a full submission, it may not be adequate. When sending a partial submission, the underwriter will typically need more information and have to follow up until it is received. In this case, both the broker and underwriter are touching an account multiple times unnecessarily.
At PartnerOne Environmental, we can provide you with marketing material that will help you understand our products, coverages available, and appetite. We also work to respond quickly, be flexible with addressing the client’s coverage needs, while offering comprehensive coverages for your environmental risks. PartnerOne Environmental is proud to provide fast turnarounds and a transparent approach to working with our agents and brokers. As you are deciding where to send an account for a quote, please keep us in mind. Contact us for more information.