Form Changes… Again! I need the Cliff Notes!

By Ken Kukral

In the never ending battle with staying current with form changes I received an e-mail from one of my carriers that they were adopting the newest ISO form changes for BOP’s, general liability and property.  No biggie, how bad can they be?

Well…. How about 1,063 pages worth?  Yikes!  Am I supposed to read all of this?  Are all of my carriers adopting this?

Take a deep breath….. the answer is yes.  You should at least skim it to get the highlights.  But please don’t print them all out!  You have to kill a couple trees if you do.

So what to do?

1. If you go back to one of my prior blog posts you can read about the “renewal rule”  This is the “rule” that says if a carrier restricts coverage on a renewal they need to inform the insured of that change or they may be subject to providing coverage as though the older, broader form was still on the policy.  So you can relax a little that the carrier will advise them of restrictions of coverage.

2. Many times the carriers will provide a circular that explains the changes in simple terms (if insurance can ever be simplified) to the policy holder when they make form changes.  Read that circular and be ready to field questions from your clients.

3. Target your continuing education to classes that discuss these changes.  The CIC Graduate Courses (Rubles) do a great job of discussing the changes and give good reference material for you to refer back to when you have questions.  Many of the state trade associations also run classes that discuss these changes.

4. Designate one person at your office who gets to be “forms guy” (I happen to be that person at my office) who will keep up on these changes.  Not all carriers work off ISO so you need to keep up to date one their changes to stay “in the ballgame” with ISO and not end up with outdated forms.  That person needs to do an internal educational program to get other account executives, customer service representatives and underwriters up to date on these changes.  Remember, that some can be used in your insured’s favor to expand their coverage.

5. What ever you do, don’t stick your head in the sand.  Just because you didn’t know about the specific changes, doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.  Keep in mind that it may be another 3 or 4 more years before the next set of changes so this will not be a regular thing.  A positive attitude about change will help you to be open to learning more and staying out in front of the pack versus your competitors.

This may be a good reason to get an iPad so that you can page through these changes and highlight the areas that are most important to your clients.  Enjoy!

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