What makes a good property insurance submission? “Lots of information, for a start,” says senior underwriter Melanie Pon. South Western Insurance Group Limited protects everything from residentially rented property, like small apartment buildings, to office buildings, industrial units, and strip malls. And in each of these cases, says Pon, the more details a submission delivers, the better.
“To provide brokers with an accurate property quote, we need risk and construction details describing the age of the building, the square footage, any updates – we especially want to know about the roof – and the occupancy.” But a property’s loss history is just as important, she says, and it should extend well beyond a simple statement that there was water damage for $50,000, or a fire for $100,000.
“When there has been a claim, we need to know exactly what happened and why. What caused it? Was a tenant involved? Is that tenant still there?” A good submission, Pon says, will explain:
- when the claim occurred,
- how it occurred,
- what the payout was,
- whether the claim has been closed, and
- any preventative measures that have been put in place
“We do not always get that level of detail without asking. And unfortunately, when we have to go back and dig for the information we need, it can delay the submission process – and delay the broker getting their quote.”
One small detail that Pon finds is consistently missing from property submissions is a simple mailing address. “In order to bind, a mailing address is mandatory. We usually receive the risk address, but that is not typically where the client lives. We also need to know who is responsible for snow removal at the property. We are not saying we cannot quote without specifics like these, but they do help to streamline the process by doing away with a lot of back-and-forth.”
An especially welcome submission detail – and one that Pon notes a lot of brokers do not send in – is a target premium. “We essentially like to know why an account is being remarketed, why the broker is coming to us. Because if we know what their target range is, and we know we are not going to be competitive, we can quickly get back to them and explain that.” What brokers really want, Pon adds, is an answer – regardless of what that answer may be.
“At the same time, the really great thing about working with an MGA like SWG is that we can get creative. We can exclude certain perils that might prevent a property from being looked at elsewhere. If there have been a lot of water damage claims for example, we can quote without underwriting that particular risk. We always try to look for solutions. And having as much information to work with as possible is what allows us to do that.”