By Chris Reilly, Underwriting Service Manager

If you’ve ever submitted a midterm change request or asked a question partway through quoting that required additional rating, you’ve most likely heard the words “Let me run that by my underwriter.” This commonly uttered phrase is often heard, and while it’s known that brokers and underwriters work together to produce a quote, there is a quite a bit of behind the scenes work that happens before that quote is produced. A large portion of this effort is handled by the environmental underwriter.

What is an Underwriter?

An underwriter is defined as someone or a company who underwrites insurance for one or a set of risks. Underwriters may then specialize in commercial or personal lines and can further specialize for areas such as environmental.

Some examples of types of coverage in this field can include Contractors Pollution Liability, Professional Liability, Environmental Impairment Liability, etc. Their job is to take all of the applications, loss runs, certificates, etc. that brokers or agents are able to provide and then determine if the risks are a fit for their company and if so, produce a quote for coverage on said exposures. This process is why it is crucial for us to obtain the most detailed and up-to-date information, so that we allow our underwriters to provide the most accurate quotes and coverages possible.

What Type of Information Do Underwriters Need?

The information asked by underwriters can vary, but typically most want to see at least a signed and dated application, any ACORD applications that have been filled out, updated financials (sometimes including balance sheets and income statements), and any loss runs applicable to the account. By providing this information, we are allowing our underwriters to see the progression of exposure and revenue for the insured, as well as allowing them to check for any past risks that may impact coverage. In short, typically the more information we can provide to the underwriter, the more accurate the quote will be for the specific exposures and needs of the insured.

The type of coverage being quoted can also impact the necessary materials needed. For example, you may not need to supply three years of loss runs if the insured’s company has only been active for a year. Similarly, the insured may not be asked to supply tank tightness results for a CPL account but would be asked to supply these were they looking for Storage Tank Liability Coverage. The materials asked for will apply to the coverages being requested.

Underwriters are constantly tackling new risks and challenges to provide the best possible quotes and coverage to insureds wanting to insure their possible exposures. In the environmental field this is no different. Brokers and agents are encouraged to supply the most updated information to our underwriters to help them offer a customized product for our mutual client.

For more information about underwriting environmental risks or to discuss a specific account, contact us.