If there’s one mantra that underwriters live by when reviewing quote submissions from brokers it’s: the more information, the better. This is especially true during hardening markets when brokers are remarketing their business and underwriters’ inboxes are brimming.
Today, many underwriters are focused on high-quality submissions in their key industry sectors. For brokers, the best way to get to the top of the pile is to provide complete, thorough and accurate submissions on quality risks, targeting the most appropriate carriers. Those who do often have a better chance of being offered a quote, along with getting better pricing and terms and appropriately tailored solutions.
So, how can you ensure your submission will be prioritized? It is best to put forward a fully completed submission with all the basic risk information to allow the underwriter to quickly qualify an account and minimize questions. A fully completed submission includes, but is not limited to, the following:
For All Lines:
- Current insurer including time on risk.
- Number of years in business.
- Effective and expiry dates with a preferred target quote by date.
- Detailed minimum five-year+ loss history and recent experience letter from incumbent.
- Full coverage specifications.
- Full description of operations, including how the vehicles are used.
- Radius of operations, including a breakdown of regular and maximum radius. For transportation operations, include International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) quarterly reports for the past 12 months.
- Commodities carried. This applies not just to transport risks, as underwriters also look for the typical items that are carried in the vehicle, e.g. tools and equipment.
- Safety manual including hiring practices and vehicle maintenance policy.
- Current vehicle schedule, including a description of attached equipment and use of the vehicles; details of coverage required; list price new for all heavy units and trailers; and any lienholders/lessors.
- Current driver’s list.
- Current carrier profiles including details of how any convictions, collisions, contraventions and violations were addressed.
For Property & Casualty:
- Full detailed description of operations.
- Gross annual sales/revenues with a breakdown between Products, Operations and Services.
- Detailed and up-to-date construction, occupancy, protection, and exposure information including building and equipment maintenance/updates and details on special hazards.
In addition to these must-haves, there are ways to take your submission to the next level:
- Include an executive summary that provides a brief outline of the business, background of the company, the overall company philosophy emphasizing commitments to safety and risk management activities.
- If a history of claims exists, along with the recent loss experience letter from the incumbent, provide full details on the claims, explain the claims situation and what actions have been taken to avoid future similar claims.
- Take a deep dive into the risk’s quality control programs and safety practices. This can include detailed written quality assurance and quality control programs; a Driver Safety Manual including drug and alcohol policies; and a comprehensive Fleet Management Program including (where applicable); details of the insured’s hiring practices, preferably a full formal policy; and vehicle maintenance policy, including how maintenance is documented and followed.
Ensuring a Smooth Process
Underwriters work with tight timelines on already-busy schedules, so time is the biggest impediment to getting all the information they need. Be available and ready to find answers to the underwriter’s questions. If underwriters have trouble getting answers, they may have to move on to the next submission. Keep in mind, too, that a good insurance partner will ask pertinent questions and respect your time as well.
Be strategic in how you submit risks, demonstrating that you understand the carrier’s target appetite. For example, Sovereign Insurance’s core industry segments are Manufacturing, Wholesale Transportation and Logistics, Construction, and Energy and Resources, with a focus on mid to large risks.
Although underwriting is highly technical, there’s also a human element: underwriters want to establish strong, lasting relationships with brokers and insureds. At Sovereign Insurance, our underwriters take great pride in writing new businesses and then watching them grow, overcome hurdles and thrive over time. That starts with the broker, and our valued relationships with them can go a long way towards quality submissions and long-term success.