By Ken Kukral
What can you do to get your submissions to the top of the stack? Here are a few helpful pointers:
– A quality narrative. A well written narrative that tells the “rest of the story” is essential to fill in the blanks or show the risk in the best manner possible. It is kind of a lost art form in developing an informative narrative. Just doing this alone will help your submissions to stick out.
– Pictures – Especially if they show the quality of the risk. On most accounts in the E&S market an inspection will be done “after the fact” and the underwriter will get more of a first-hand view of the account. Why not try to give that to them upfront so the inspection just confirms the story you already told them. Keep in mind that e-mailing pictures can result in huge files. I have just started using a program called “Drop Box” where I sent links to large files or attachments. I have also had agents use Google Doc’s.
– Full supplemental applications. Many times when I don’t have a quality and informative application, I do a Google search and find someone else’s application that is more thorough that what I currently have. Why not use the most complete supplemental application you can find? The more complete a supplemental application is, the fewer the number of questions the underwriter might come back with.
– Loss synopsis. While the loss runs are a must, a loss synopsis will give a picture of the profitability of the account. This will save the underwriter time and not force them to think or look at an account as deep by giving them a snapshot that will help them make a decision.
– Brochures – Many times when I look at an account I wonder “just what does this insured do”? A brochure many times can give a quick picture that saves me time figuring it out. Many times the insured has these as a pdf on their website, so all you have to do is send a link.
– Financials – For accounts with higher deductibles or coverages that are “financially underwritten” these are essential. It also gives the underwriter a perspective on an account that the insured trusts this agent enough to give them their most private information (their financials). If the financial statements are good, it helps show the risk in a positive manner.
– In some circumstances sending a copy of their current policy helps. If you are looking to improve on both pricing and terms this will give more information (and an extra set of eyes) to find coverage gaps, exclusions that limit coverage and areas where coverage can be expanded. It also lets them know what broadening endorsements are being offered so they can work to provide the most expansive and broadest coverage.
Keep in mind that you have one chance to make a good impression with an underwriter. Once an underwriter says “no” on an account it is an uphill battle to get them to say yes. It can be done but take a lot more effort and makes it more difficult to get better pricing or terms. Look to “up your game” and get your potential insured’s viewed the best possible manner from the start.
On a final note, guess who my favorite agent is? If you guessed the one who consistently provides me the best submissions, you would be correct. He allows me to do my job to the best of my ability because he gives me the tools I need to get an underwriter to quote an account at the best terms and conditions possible. Why not strive to be your underwriters best agent/CSR/account exec?
I would love it if you would post what you do to make your submissions stand out. I am always open to learning and improving my brokering skills.