An underwriters recipe for perfect submissions

May 14, 2024

An underwriter’s recipe for perfect submissions and the ingredients distribution brings to the table

How Brokers, Agents, and Wholesalers can obtain positive underwriting results

The insurance renewal cycle and the weekend kitchen at a restaurant are quite synonymous. What goes on the plate and what ends up in the trash at the restaurant is driven by the order the waiter brings to the chef. Likewise, the submissions that an underwriter quotes and the ones they place at the bottom of the pile are influenced by the quality of submissions the distribution brings to the underwriter’s desk.

Here are the top 4 tips for distribution to get the best results from their underwriter:

Number 1: Don’t send incomplete submissions

Underwriters are faced with submissions that are:

Soupy – predominantly standard and with minimal deviations

Salads – with custom risks and modifications required to standard coverage

Any complete submission is a good submission!

Complete the required apps and broker specs; provide the necessary information including class codes, payrolls, and exposure. Give the underwriter all the information they need at once. Make sure the underwriter doesn’t need to go back and forth with you.

Number 2 – Share all the information you have

A waiter gets to say bon appétit when the table is set; the order is taken with keen attention to special requests; drinks are served; food is made as per requests, brought to the table, and presented to guests.

Being a good producer is not just about sending complete submissions; it’s about providing an experience to the underwriter and the insured. Familiarize yourself with the underwriting process, approach, preferences, insights, and the insured’s business, operations, risks, and opportunities in the account.

Providing a good narrative summary of the account that includes a description of operations, what they do and what they don’t do, and what were their losses reduces the amount of digging the underwriter has to do and the time they have to spend. Enable underwriters to identify a spot in their books for the risk.

Number 3 – Share up-to-date loss runs

When guests make special requests at a restaurant or talk about their prior experiences, it is crucial to engage in active listening and ensure clear communication. Effective collaboration with the kitchen and chef ensures that special requests and restrictions are met.

An insured’s history of losses will be the primary factor in any analysis of risk from an underwriting perspective. In the current market condition, producers have very limited opportunities to shop around and underwriters have marginal allowances to accommodate a risk on their books. Verbal communication of losses is a stale thing, and a clear understanding of losses is crucial.

Being aware of the loss history your underwriter would need and presenting them with loss insights and summaries from loss runs drives positive underwriting results. Giving the most updated loss information upfront is key to getting a quote that will bind.

Number 4 – Provide Underwriters a Target Price

Including prices on the menu allows guests to decide whether the menu offerings align with what they want to spend. This eliminates any unpleasant surprises and allows them to plan for their meal.

Rising insurance rates have reverberated throughout the industry. Commercial insurance rates have continued to increase, although at moderating levels except for outliers. Rising insurance costs are affecting consumer sentiment and behavior.

Businesses are continuously exploring options including reduced coverage, captives, dynamic pricing, and parametric insurance. Communicating the target price upfront enables underwriting to check in the submission for writing to their books.

Concluding Thoughts (or The Dessert!)

With the underwriting cycle being inherently complex, topped with shrinking capacity, and restricted appetite for new risks, underwriting discipline is paramount. Underwriting teams are actively building guide rails by leveraging technology to validate incoming submissions for completeness, and summarize information about the account and their losses.

The real value distribution teams can deliver is
creating a submission pack that the underwriter cannot refuse.


Bharatan Kumar

Bharatan Kumar
AVP Underwriting Solutions IntellectAI

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