These techniques can help build better relationships with underwriters.
Although it’s a partnership, the relationship between agent and underwriter can feel like a battle at times. While they both share the same motivation, their priorities sometimes conflict. Agents value time-efficiency, wanting to share quotes as soon as possible with the client. Underwriters value accuracy and want to provide the right quote that bests suits the client’s unique risk and exposure.
Understanding how underwriters operate can help you to communicate your needs to them better, which can lead to faster quotes. Take these tips into consideration the next time you find yourself in one of these situations.
A Sit Down with Seifert
Listen to Art Seifert as he discusses the relationship between underwriters and agents and how they can work more effectively together.
Arthur B. Seifert has almost 40 years in the insurance industry including positions in sales, financial consulting, underwriting and leadership in multiple companies. He currently oversees six niche insurance programs as the President of Glatfelter Program Managers.
1. Submitting an incomplete application
Sometimes you need a quote before you have all of the details. So you turn in an application with the bare minimum information. While this is a timesaver for the agent, this can present problems for the underwriter. When underwriters see large sections of an application blank or crossed out, they might assume that the agent doesn’t care about the client and therefore the submission is of low priority. To avoid this trap, try writing a note with the application explaining the situation and that you will follow up with more information.
2. Your quote is taking longer than expected
The need-by date is quickly approaching – or has come and gone – and you still haven’t heard back from the underwriter. You’ve filled out the application as thoroughly as you could, and you can’t understand why the quote is taking so long.
Sometimes there are aspects of a submission that require an underwriter to refer the application to a supervisor or someone else. This type of referral may take additional time and sometimes communication lines break down. Don’t be afraid to reach out to underwriting and ask for an update on the account.
3. What can I do to help underwriters speed up the process of issuing a quote?
You can help underwriters (and yourself) by providing information on the application neatly and clearly. The time that you take to write clear and thorough answers on an application can actually help reduce the turnaround time it takes for an underwriter to provide a quote.
Agents and underwriters rely on one another to succeed. By communicating openly and honestly with one another, you can build more effective relationships that can help win more business.