Not every broker is versed in the specialized coverage needs of security services clients. Fortunately, South Western Insurance Group Limited has been protecting security-based businesses for almost 20 years. Not only do their underwriters possess deep knowledge and experience in this area, they understand exactly what goes into a good security policy submission.
Alarm and CCTV installers, security guards, locksmiths, private investigators – security-based businesses vary, but they all have one thing in common, according to senior underwriter Colleen Bliss. Their exposure is high and their coverage needs are unique.
“Our security services CGL is specifically scripted to include the failure to perform coverage that is a must for this particular class. Building on that foundation, we then offer additional protection against a wide range of exposures, from property and crime coverages to boiler coverage.”
Precise insurance requirements will differ for individual accounts, explains Bliss, and that is why a good security services submission is based on four essential elements:
- a fully completed, dated, and signed application,
- complete claims information,
- details regarding the insured’s experience, and
- a thorough summary of receipts
A really good breakdown of gross income is especially crucial, notes Bliss. “Many brokers do not realize that each operation an insured offers is rated differently. The rate for installing CCTV systems, for example, is much lower than for alarm installations. So if a client does both, and all we receive is a bulk pool of receipts, our quote is going to reflect the highest applicable rate – the operation with the greatest exposure. Providing a proper breakdown of receipts can actually reduce a client’s premium substantially.”
In terms of submissions that are unlikely to warrant an approval, Bliss can think of several examples. “If a client cannot provide claims information, we are not going to look at that application. Experience is also very important. We need to know how long a client has been in business and what their experience is in a particular field. We typically shy away from insureds with less than three years’ experience.”
And because exposure can be quite high with failure to perform coverage, there are some lines of work that South Western Insurance Group Limited is simply unable to cover. “One example would be security guards in nightclubs or licensed establishments where they may be carding or bouncing. There is a lot of that out there, but it is not something we can help with because it is an exclusion under our contract.”
Failure to perform is an exceptionally broad category of coverage – one that is not typically available to contractors in other industries, remarks Bliss. As a result, it is often silent, limited, or not included at all in the security policy wordings of other insurance companies.
“It is because these clients are applying for failure to perform coverage specifically that we really need to know the exposures involved. Brokers should bear in mind that every question on our application is there for a very specific reason. And while not every section will necessarily apply to every business, it is vital that relevant sections get completed in full for the operation in question.”