Having just spent a significant amount of time trying to resolve a coordination of coverage solution, midstream, I look back and wonder if we could have done it more efficiently. In “plain English”, if I was given all the information upfront, could we have done a better job for the client?
An agency should never have a problem reaching out to help find a solution for a client. You are not expected to know all the answers or know the best options or solutions for a client. Realize your knowledge or technical expertise limitations and reach out to a broker who can help you arrive at the best solution for the client.
Do I have you confused yet? Let me try to explain and give you a couple of examples. Here are a couple of recent situations that came across my desk:
- Agent calls to place general liability coverage for a “crime scene clean up” contractor. In going over the account, they were mainly interested in JUST getting general liability coverage. I was able to convince them that a more comprehensive solution would be a better fit. By going to the environmental market (who feels much more comfortable with this type of risk than a contractors general liability market who would be a bit more queasy) I was able to secure general liability, products & completed operations, pollution liability, professional liability, blanket additional insured, blanket waiver of subrogation, primary & non-contributory wording, stop gap and EBL for about the same price as just the general liability with another carrier. It will make the account much tougher to lose since many agents will not be able to better or replicate the program to take it away.
- Agent calls to place a barge that has been permanently moored and converted to an office. In was able to get a copy of their current insurance program and show the significant holes in their current insurance program. I was then able to come up with a more properly written solution that covered their exposures. Had I not been able to get significant underwriting information and a copy of their existing program, I might have been doomed to continue with the same issues or problems with their current insurance program. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get the information but it helps us to do a better job in the end.
- Agent has us help with the aviation portion of an account without providing us with the full details of the overall insurance program they put in place. Upon pressing deeper, I found that there was duplication in coverage and I am in the process of coordinating coverage to help reduce the customer’s insurance premiums.
So what am I asking for? I am asking for a shot at helping to provide a solution instead of just “filling an order” for a piece of the program. Wholesale brokers see such a wide variety of accounts, build an expertise and knowledge base and many times can provide innovative solutions to your customer’s insurance issues. This is where getting on the phone to discuss and account makes sense. Just sending an e-mail doesn’t cut it and leaves a lot to be desired. I get on the phone with my underwriters and have these types of discussions so I can get an idea of how favorable they are to the particular account and what innovative type of solutions they may have.
You can also take the perspective of looking to improve on the prospects current insurance program. How can you address the client’s exposures better than the current agent? This might involve adding broadening endorsements, removing exclusions or offering higher limits. A wholesale broker may have some ideas that could help you accomplish this. Remember, we are here to write business and I am assuming that is your ultimate goals so we are both headed in the same direction.
Kenneth Kukral, CIC – VP of Special Risks – That means, call me if you need help on placing a unique, difficult, large or more complex risk. Kennethkukral@intlxs.com 800-937-3497 ext 2079