Top 5 Things You Should Expect of Your Agent When You Go Out to Market 

Property & Casualty

It’s that time of year again…your insurance renewal seems like it’s right around the corner. Maybe your agent is recommending going out to market this year, or maybe you asked about getting other quote options. 

Going out to market to get multiple quotes can be chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be if your agent is conducting a professional marketing process. These are the top five things you should expect of your agent when you go out to market to make the process as smooth as possible and get the best results for you:

Collaboration with your agent on a plan 

  • What’s your objective? Lower rates, better carrier claims handling, coverage improvements? Identifying what you’re trying to accomplish by going out to market will help to align the process around what you want the outcome to be.  
  • Identify the key players. Are there carriers you have prior experiences with that you don’t want to work with again? Or, are there carriers you have prior experience with that you would like to go back to? Your agent should also have suggestions on where to send your account based on their market research and experience with those carriers.  
  • When do you want to see a proposal? It’s important to know how much time you need to evaluate and make a potential carrier change prior to your renewal date. Knowing this date ahead of time means your agent can set firm deadlines with quoting carriers to ensure everything stays on schedule. There’s nothing worse than having competitive alternative quotes on the table in front of you but feeling too rushed to evaluate the options.

Robust, targeted submissions to carriers 

Flooding the market and sending your account out to 30 carriers with minimal information is not in your best interest. A poor submission won’t get the attention of underwriters and will end up at the bottom of an underwriter’s stack of submissions. Your agent should have conversations up front with underwriters to discuss your business, your risk, and the opportunity before sending in a submission to set the stage and garner interest. That conversation should be followed by a robust submission from your agent. 

Loss control surveys

No one enjoys carrier loss control surveys, but they’re often necessary for a potential quoting carrier to see your operations, gather additional underwriting information, and learn more about your business directly from you.

To make the process as efficient as possible for everyone, your agent should vet those requests from carriers first. If an underwriter has reviewed the full submission and is seriously considering quoting, then a loss control survey should be scheduled. Your agent and agency’s risk management team should help with coordinating these visits, should prep you for what to expect and what to be prepared with, and the visits should happen separately (one carrier at a time).

Meet the carriers

In addition to meeting the carrier loss control representative, there are other key people at the carrier that your agent should introduce you to. Depending on the scenario, those people could include: 

  • Underwriter – This is the person evaluating your risk and deciding how much rate they need to charge to write your coverage profitably. 
  • Leadership – Connecting your executive team with the carrier’s local leadership team creates a deeper relationship. 
  • Claims liaison and dedicated adjusters – Who will be handling your claims? How do they handle claims? 
  • Loss control representatives – Meeting the team and learning the services they have available will be helpful when evaluating carriers. 

Remember, you are also interviewing the carrier, just as they are interviewing you.  

Compare and present the best options along with a recommendation

The carriers have reviewed submissions, done loss control visits, and are now starting to release quotes. It can be overwhelming for you if your agent just sends you each quote as it comes in for you to review. Instead, your agent should be reviewing all options to ensure the appropriate coverages are included and accurate exposures were used. Then, they should ultimately put everything in a proposal that should be clear and easy to understand. The proposal should highlight all marketing efforts at a high level and then get into details on the best options from a coverage and pricing perspective

While it’s ultimately your decision on which carrier to go with, your agent should have a recommendation for you and should be able to articulate why they’re recommending that carrier (and it should tie back to your objectives in step 1 of the process). Just like how this whole marketing process started, discussion and collaboration with your agent on a carrier decision is the best way to conclude this process.

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