Best Practices for Working with Underwriters

So, what best practices can you apply in working with your underwriters?

  • Understand that insurance is a relationship business. Communicate clearly and directly about the qualification you have done and how the process you used. This demonstrates that you value the underwriter’s time and business.
  • Ask your underwriter to guide you on how to get your submissions to the top of the stack. He or she will be pleased as this will generate new and renewal business for both of you.
  • Make certain that you always send a complete submission. 
  • Ask your underwriter if there are automatic declines. Then match your submissions to the appropriate carrier.
  • After you have obtained as much information as possible from your clients, verify the information. Accuracy is essential in your submissions.
  • Make sure you communicate the history and risk on every account you present to the underwriter. Give your underwriter a comprehensive context of any claims situation and include a brief outline of losses.
  • If you cannot verify the accuracy of the information, call your underwriter before you submit the account. Your underwriter can provide a great deal of knowledge and share his or her insights ahead of time. A short phone call with some details about the risk also gives you a better chance at a quick response. Underwriters will appreciate sharing their insights rather than dealing with an unqualified submission later. 
  • When you start building your relationship, find out what your underwriter’s risk appetite is. When you subsequently submit accounts that match the carrier’s underwriting appetite, your underwriter recognizes that you are not wasting his or her time, and the level of trust and confidence between you increases.
  • Keep track of your submissions by carrier. Record the results of each submission: how many were accepted? How many were rejected? Review your submissions log each month and assess whether your submissions matched your carrier’s appetite. If your underwriters declined a large number of submissions, communicate with them to ensure you thoroughly understand their risk appetite.
  • Prioritize phone communication vs. email.
  • Be respectful even when you receive a “No!”
  • Send praise and appreciation to underwriter and underwriting management.
  • Use video to its fullest.

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