Want to get the best coverage possible for your client, plus shave time and back-and-forth off the application process? The golden rule of submissions is “the more information provided up front, the better”. Having underwritten for a range of markets over the years, South Western Insurance Group knows that submissions can be a tedious chore for brokers. Unfortunately, this chore is made more tedious when brokers submit applications with overlooked details, missing receipts, and skipped text boxes.
Following these 7 tips will help lead to win-wins for both brokers and insureds: headache-free submissions for brokers and more peace of mind for clients.
1. Fully Complete the Application.
Many brokers skip questions that seem irrelevant to the insured. But this is a big mistake. Every question on the application exists for a specific reason, and filling out each one is key to a successful submission.
A completed application includes any applicable photos, screenshots, receipts, reports, and other relevant documents. For example, a major liability issue for Hospitality is establishments overserving alcohol, and many businesses are not enforcing their “smart serve” policies strictly enough. Providing an establishment’s receipts and analysis of the liquor to food sales will help the underwriter to see what’s really going on, and can reduce premiums substantially.
Brokers should also complete any claims information if there are claims. For a Property Insurance submission, for instance, brokers should provide enough detail to relay exactly what happened, when, how, what the payout was, whether the tenant was involved, whether the claim has been closed, and any preventative measures put in place.
2. Provide a Detailed Description of the Client’s Operations or Products.
Underwriters will always want to know the scope and specifics of business operations. For markets like Environmental Pollution, they’ll want details about equipment upkeep, how the company oversees their employees, how often they hold safety meetings, where their revenue is generated, and whether the company has its own shop facility for performing preventative maintenance.
Details about the insured’s property are particularly important for Personal Lines submissions. For cases of cottages and mobile homes, for example, underwriters want to see information on updates to plumbing, roofing, and electric. They’ll also want to see WETT certificates, questionnaires and photos of any woodstoves and oil tanks.
3. Provide a History of the Client’s Business and Experience.
The underwriter needs to know how long the insured has been in business as well as their history in a particular field. This is especially true in high-risk industries such as Security, where underwriters will typically shy away from clients with less than three years’ experience.
For Professional Liability submissions, underwriters need to understand the qualifications of the key people in an insured’s firm, including their educational background and past work experience. This is where providing the income information and professional resumés of these key individuals can help the underwriter to accurately assess the situation.
4. Include Any Subcontractors And Their Specific Work.
While not always required, including details about subcontractors can greatly speed up the application process. For Commercial General Liability submissions, underwriters ask that brokers describe any subcontractors, including what percentage of the business is subcontracted out. In Property insurance applications, including small details like who is responsible for snow removal at the property, while not required, can help speed up with quoting process by eliminating a lot of back-and-forth.
5. Include Any Specific Additional Coverage That May Be Required.
When markets include a broad diversity of businesses, it’s important for brokers to understand the risks unique to their client. In Media/Multimedia submissions, for instance, underwriters ask that brokers provide them with a summary of risks. The idea is to present as comprehensive a picture of the client’s coverage needs as possible.
6. Provide Information on Prior Coverage and Detailed Claims History.
For an accurate quote, underwriters need to understand how the insured has mitigated or responded to past claims. For example, establishments in the hospitality industry that have had prior claims should demonstrate that they have not had any past suspensions or violations, that they strictly adhere to LCBO compliance policies, and that they upgraded their equipment and safety procedures. In addition to claims history, brokers should include a loss run from prior insurer, where applicable.
7. Include Expiring Policy Coverage, Limits, and if Possible, Expiring and/or Anticipated Premiums.
Including expiring policy coverage, limits and premiums helps the underwriter obtain the best coverage with competitive pricing. And for Faith Organizations, more information on expired premiums and previous policies is always better.
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