Writing a Submission? Insurance Pros Say to Avoid These Red Flags

Avoid Red Flags in Submissions | Property Casualty 360

Underwriters see dozens of broker submissions every day. Learn how to ensure yours isn’t automatically declined.

This article was republished with permission from Property Casualty 360.

By David Corry and Cassie Wideman

There are three words Argo Environmental Underwriter Cassie Wideman does not want to hear: All info forthcoming.

“When brokers write submissions that have obvious red flags, they’re likely to end up at the bottom of the pile – especially if they don’t take the time to explain what’s going on,” she says.

Communication is the solution, says David Corry, SVP, Environmental Practice Leader.

“Insurance is still a people business, despite all the technology in place,” he says. “The most successful brokers communicate clearly and directly and, over time, build relationships with underwriters.”

Here are more warning signs that make providers pause – and what brokers can do to avoid them in submissions.

Open losses, high reserves

If a submission indicates that a claim is open and that the amount reserved to pay it is high, the underwriter needs more information before deciding whether or not to quote.

What actually happened? What is the claim alleging? Why did it happen?

“It can become a time waster with a lot of back and forth, asking for details,” Wideman says. “It’s beneficial for brokers to include a brief outline of losses.”

Things can get messy, she says, if an underwriter writes the policy and then receives unfavorable information. It could lead to the quote being pulled at the last minute when the policyholder needs to have the coverage in place.

A submission may contain a reinsurance exclusion that can’t be considered or a risk that the provider is trying to underwrite more carefully.

For Argo Environmental, customers can face multiple exposures at one time – including casualty, pollution, professional and site, Wideman says.

“We have to look at a lot more aspects of risk,” she says. “We need to know the full extent of the underwriting so we don’t miss something.”

When reviewing a submission, insurance underwriters need a comprehensive context of the situation, Corry says.

“Even broken out by certain areas of coverage, it’s important that the broker provides detail about the operation of the insured,” he says. “If they are a products manufacturer, we want to know the chain of commerce and who the end user is. If it’s something potentially more hazardous, such as a chemical manufacturer, we need to know the aspects of the chemical.”

Technical jargon

Underwriters may not always be experts in the policyholder’s industry, so if a submission is full of that industry’s technical vocabulary, it could significantly delay the process.

“It requires us to research what the policyholder does in layman’s terms,” Wideman says. “If they, the agent, or the wholesaler can provide an everyday-person explanation of highly technical processes, that saves us time and gives us a stronger point for going forward.”

Learn more about Argo Environmental.

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