Inland Marine Insurance: The Best “Yellow Iron” Protection Begins with a Detailed Optisure Submission

Feb 2019

Optisure Underwriting Services has been a subsidiary of South Western Insurance Group Limited since early 2016. And as Optisure’s original owner, no one knows better what goes into a good Inland Marine insurance submission than class underwriter Glen Whitehead. Every application the company receives must cross Whitehead’s desk, so he has plenty of advice for brokers in the market for Optisure’s well-rounded coverage. “Optisure protects contractors operating virtually any type of heavy, mobile, “yellow iron” equipment. Excavators, backhoes, loaders, skidders, processors – you name it, we write it. But because our clients range from logging and road construction companies, to mining and oil & gas contractors, anything that demonstrates a proven background and track record is going to help with the approval process.” To that end, explains Whitehead, five to ten years’ worth of claims history is an especially important piece of information to submit because it helps sell the risk. But other key points he says are a must on any Optisure submission include:

  • Scope of Business Operations: What specific operations is the client performing, what do they do with their equipment, where do they generate their revenue?
  • Client Experience: How many years has the client been doing what they do, and more specifically, what do those years of experience entail in terms of their operations?
  • Risk Management and Loss Control Measures: This includes the caliber of the client’s employees, and how they oversee those employees – how often do they hold safety meetings, for example?
  • Equipment Upkeep: How often does the client service their equipment, and do they have their own shop facility for performing preventative maintenance?

“I also cannot stress enough how advantageous it is for brokers to identify a target premium in their Optisure submissions. The most efficient interactions happen when an application contains all the information outlined here, and the broker can say here are the coverages we are after, and here is what we are shooting for in terms of premium.” In fact, Whitehead says, it is in the broker’s best interest to provide as much detailed information as possible upfront because when they do, they are going to get a very quick, almost immediate response. “When a submission is complete, I can often get back to them the very same day.” Commonly overlooked submission particulars, on the other hand, include the aforementioned claims history, as well as the correct named insured and mailing address. Whitehead notes that in many cases, the insured’s name is misspelled, or is given as LTD when it should have been INC. “These may seem like trivial details, but the reality is that once we are instructed to go ahead and bind, we gather our information from the original submission. Having to put things on pause while corrections are made inevitably results in coverage delays. But when brokers take the extra time to ensure everything on a submission is accurate and complete before sending it in, it pays enormous dividends in terms of turnaround times.”