Brokers Can Raise Submission Profiles in the Underwriting Process

Think Like an Underwriter to Help Submissions Stand Out | PC360

Argo’s Vice President, Head of Environmental, Kelly Killimett shares her underwriting process for deciding which submissions make it to the top of the stack.

Businesswoman on the phone at her desk taking notes

This article was republished with permission from PC360.

A production underwriter must develop a number of skills to be successful. These include strong interpersonal, organizational and technical skills, as well as the wherewithal to tackle complex risks. And yet, even after they have all of these pieces in place, underwriters still have another key skill to learn: How to prioritize which submissions to review first.

Ideally, underwriters would be able to look at every submission we receive. Underwriters receive hundreds of submissions each month, which means fully vetting every opportunity that hits our desks is not always feasible. That is why understanding what makes a standout submission is essential not only for underwriters, but also for the brokers seeking to place business. Here are four questions I ask when creating my priority list of submissions.

  1. Who has the best track record of binding business with us? It’s common sense, actually – if you bind business with us, you will find your submissions at the top of the stack. This is a relationship business, and your relationship with your underwriter will get you a long way.
  2. Are there automatic declines? After I tackle the submissions from my top brokers, I generally will pass through the submissions received to look for automatic declines. I can usually pick a few out by the insured name. This helps pare down the number of submissions staring at me.
  3. Is the submission complete? If you are not a top broker but send a complete submission, you have a much better chance of getting a quick reply with questions or a quote. I want to provide as many quotes as possible, and complete submissions help make this happen.
  4. Have we talked? Another way you can move your submission up the list is by picking up the phone and calling me. Or on the flip side, answer your phone when I call you. A quick call with some details on the risk will give you a much better chance at a quick response.

Brokers who run their submissions through the questions above before hitting send can increase their chances of getting a serious look.

Kelly Killimett is vice president, head of Argo Environmental.

Learn more about Argo Environmental.