Clients operating in a professional capacity require specialized protection against potential errors and omissions. South Western Insurance Group Limited has been providing architects, engineers, project managers, and business consultants with Professional Liability coverage for 25+ years. “Not only is our background, knowledge base, and expertise in this area extensive,” says senior underwriter Darlene Hazzard, “our long-term partnership with Lloyd’s of London allows us to offer a solid, quality product to individual insureds, and to firms looking to protect the professionals they employ.” There are some key points, however, that Hazzard says not only define what a good professional liability submission looks like, but that tend to streamline the quote process for brokers. To begin with, a fully completed application is vital. While some lines of business can be quoted on relatively limited information, that is simply not the case where professional liability is concerned. “There are so many variables we need to look at,” explains Hazzard, “so many details that go into underwriting this particular risk, that we truly need every question on our application form answered, and every section completed in full.” A detailed description of the services being provided by the insured is equally important, she adds. “We need to have a really good idea of what the client does in terms of their operation – the services they provide, and the scope of work they perform. When the description of services is vague, it inevitably leads to a lot of back-and-forth between ourselves and the broker. That not only makes extra work for them, it bogs down the entire quote and bind process.” There are some PL application areas, meanwhile, that are frequently missed or glossed over by brokers, including:
- The limits the broker would like quoted, and what deductible they are looking for (the less guesswork involved, the quicker the turnaround time, according to Hazzard).
- Complete details in terms of any past claims, since underwriters will always want to take a close look at the insured’s history.
- Details about the client’s fee income. In fact, because her company bases its rating on this information, Hazzard describes fee income as one of the most important details involved in working out a quote.
“We also like to receive professional resumés for the key people in an insured’s firm, or for the individual applying for professional liability coverage. It is important that we understand their qualifications with regard to the work they are performing – and that typically means seeing details about their background, education, and past jobs.” The bottom line, concludes Hazzard, is that when it comes to putting together a good professional liability submission, the completer and more accurate the application, the faster South Western Insurance Group Limited can turn that submission around and get a broker terms for their client.