Licensed agents need surplus lines brokers in order to place insurance for clients who may have atypical work environments (such as high exposure risks). You might also encounter a client with unique coverage needs that standard companies won’t fulfill. That’s where surplus lines come in.
a good surplus lines broker like Craig & Leicht will know how to accommodate your needs quickly and efficiently so you can capitalize on the full benefits of the surplus lines market.
Having an educated and experienced surplus lines broker available for fast quoting is key to gaining and retaining commercial clients. Here’s why:
1. Stamping offices and licensing requirements provide additional peace of mind.
Every state requires the issuance of a surplus lines broker license per its surplus lines law. Several states have adopted the practice of surplus lines stamping offices. For example, the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX) was created by the legislature in 1987. This non-profit organization works to maintain the integrity of the surplus market within the state.
These stamping offices help with compliance measures and regulatory requirements. Because surplus lines policy and endorsements must be filed within a specific timeframe, you’re more likely to receive a policy promptly. In essence, the fact that there is so much oversight means you’re working with a well-oiled machine.
2. Establishing a relationship with your surplus lines broker = faster quotes.
When you have a “go-to” surplus lines broker, the process for obtaining quotes becomes much more efficient because they’re familiar with your needs. Consider this scenario: You’re walking into your favorite restaurant for a quick lunch. Everyone recognizes you; you’re no stranger to them. You walk up to the bar and order “the usual”, and they know exactly what that means. You’re able to get in and out with your meal because you know their routine and they know yours.
You can use this same strategy with your surplus lines broker to get quick quotes. Establish a relationship with your surplus lines broker by consistently requesting quotes and watch how the process gets faster, easier, and more streamlined.
3. When a request is declined in the standard market, you need a surplus line policy FAST.
Before seeking a surplus line, insurers must first try to get the policy through the standard market.The standard market provides policies with comprehensive coverage, where the risk of errors and omissions proves less likely. Only once a request for a policy is declined in the standard market can the insurer request a quote from a surplus lines broker.
That’s a lot of steps to take before finally seeking out a surplus lines broker. In the interim, how much time has passed since your client requested the quote and you were declined? If you aren’t able to act quickly, your client could move on. How much time will pass before your client becomes frustrated and gets a policy from another agent? It pays to be two steps ahead of the process.
If you already have a known and trusted surplus lines broker at hand, you’ll know who to call the very moment your request is declined in the standard market.
The bottom line:
In general, licensed agents are looking for surplus lines brokers who have experience in their client’s market, are represented by financially stable insurers, and provide timely service. The agent should be familiar with their client’s needs and establish relationships with surplus lines brokers who can meet those needs.
At Craig & Leicht, we have the specialization and expertise to handle a wide variety of markets. We’ve underwritten all sorts of unique policies, and we’ve gotten pretty good at serving quotes in a prompt, efficient manner. Our number is (713) 955-2130. Go ahead and add it to your speed dial. We’ll wait.