Insurance underwriters are the people you trust to evaluate and analyze your eligibility for coverage. For surplus lines, underwriting involves finding creative ways to insure the unexpected, no matter the risks involved.
Underwriting is simultaneously an art and a science. Most underwriters take advantage of specialized software and a wealth of data to identify the likelihood and magnitude of risks. Surplus lines are automatically riskier because they’re not the kind of thing a standard policy will cover.
But there are a few things you can do to help your surplus line underwriter (any underwriter, for that matter) give you an accurate quote quickly.
At Craig and Leicht, we pride ourselves on churning out surplus line quotes within a business day. But the only way we can do that is if we have all the pieces of the puzzle.
So, if you want to keep your underwriter happy and get an accurate quote back rapidly, follow these five tips and tricks.
1. Tell Your Underwriter Everything They Need to Know (and Don’t Sugarcoat Anything)
As you collect your client’s information, be sure you have all of the essentials before reaching out to an underwriter. The essentials include:
- Company Name
- Phone Number
- Entity Type
And it’s good to have these on hand too:
- Square footage of workspace
- Rating information
- Whether the business uses subcontractors
The thing that slows quotes down the most is the back and forth messaging trying to gather all the necessary information. If you already have all of your client’s information ready to go, then your underwriter can get to work right away.
And when we say don’t sugarcoat it, we mean it. If you want an accurate policy, we need to get the most precise information you have on hand. Don’t be scared—remember, surplus underwriters like us are used to insuring extraordinary companies. We’re used to the risks.
2. Then, Give Your Underwriter Even More Details
We’re not joking. Even if you think it might be irrelevant, oversharing is far better than under-sharing. Tell us all about the quirks, the fun facts, why you love working with this client, their future goals, and anything else that comes to mind.
Or maybe your client has an excellent track record with standard insurance and hasn’t made a claim for a few years. We can give them credit for that.
The more we know about your client, the easier it is for us to draft a policy that fits their needs.
3. If You Don’t Have Actual Numbers, a Guesstimate Is Better Than Nothing
Okay, we know we said accuracy is critical, but we know that’s not always possible. Maybe your client is starting a new business, so you have no precedent to go off of.
If you can’t provide definitive numbers right away, it is still a quote, so we can give you ballpark figures based on the numbers you give us.
4. Let the Underwriter Know What Your Ideal Premium Is
You probably already know what your client wants to spend on insurance, so tell your underwriter what your target premium is. That helps us see if we can work with that number, give our best counteroffer, find a way to get an even lower premium, or match your ideal amount.
Knowing the premium gives us a great starting place and enables us to tell you if we’re not the underwriter you’re looking for so you can continue your hunt for the right underwriter.
5. Let Them Know ASAP If Anything Changes
Especially if you’re working with guesstimates, keep your underwriter up to date about changes in your client’s insurance needs. We understand that there are always moving pieces in business, and we can’t stop things from shifting around.
But we want to make sure that all the pieces are adequately covered, so as soon as you know of any changes, let your underwriter know. Once your underwriter knows what’s going on, they can adapt your quote to reflect the new developments.
Craig and Leicht for Surplus Line Underwriting
Getting surplus quotes and coverage shouldn’t be stressful. At Craig and Leicht, we’re here to help you fill the gaps in your clients’ general coverage.
We know how irritating it is when you’re sitting around for days waiting to get a quote for your clients. As we said before, as long as we have all the information we need, we can get a quote back to you within a day or less.
In fact, we’ve even completed quotes within an hour. You get the personalization of working with a real agent and the speed of working with an automated quote generator. Everybody wins.