How brokers can navigate June like a pro

Pen Underwriting's guide to surviving and thriving in the busiest month of the year for many insurance brokers

How brokers can navigate June like a pro

Construction & Engineering

By Bennett Richardson

This article was produced in partnership with Pen Underwriting

Insurance brokers across the country are currently gearing up for one of their most important times of the year – the final month of the financial year.

It’s a hectic period when gross written premiums can clock in at more than twice the amounts seen in less busy months for some lines. Insurance Business asked multi-line agency Pen Underwriting what brokers need to do to run the gauntlet successfully – and what not to do.

“We are gearing up for June, which for us and many other insurers and agencies, is our busiest month by far,” says Nick Best, property team manager at Pen Underwriting.

Pen writes around 20% of its overall business in the month.

“In addition to the renewals we have, we are expecting close to 2000 new business submissions to be sent in June alone, across all lines, [and] of this amount we typically provide quotes on almost half of the submissions sent in,” he says.

But given the limited number of days, it is very time-consuming when submissions arrive with key components not included that necessitate chasing up.

“Quite often we receive submissions from brokers that have no detail as to what the insured does or how they manage their risks other than an email or word document with sums insured, a broad description of the business, address and no claims history.”

The key for a successful submission

Best has devised a cheat sheet of sorts, a printout of which should probably be on broker fridge doors everywhere.

For a broker to make their submission stand out he recommends:

  1. Providing a completed quote slip with required policy limits, sub-limits, declared values, extensions and covers required together with proposals (particularly for new business) that identify exposures and how these are managed by the insured.
  2. Providing supporting documentation that will assist an underwriter to understand the risk involved. These could be completed surveys, valuations or photos of the property or financial records.
  3. Providing a detailed history of the account and why it is being marketed.
  4. Providing full claims history on insurer letterhead that goes back at least last 5 years.   Make sure they are up to date and show the initial inception date and upcoming expiry date. It is key to provide detailed information on the circumstances of claims and any remediation action that has been taken to prevent further claims.
  5. Making your submission in plenty of time

And an insider tip for real pros: call ahead as it might just get your submission to the top of a large pile.

“We take pride in the relationships that we build and are happy to discuss an account in person or on the phone prior to it being sent by email [as] this gives our team context and an opportunity to get information early for quicker turnaround times,” says Best.

Catering to the current hard market

While the above cheat sheet should cover the bases and allow brokers to maximise business during the June period, there are some other factors driving the current market to also bear in mind.

“Inflation has now formed a key part of discussions for both brokers and their clients,” says Best, which sits at near 30-year highs.

Given the increased cost of claims it is imperative that the correct replacement values have been reviewed and client’s assets covered adequately to avoid any underinsurance issues.  

“We like to receive confirmation that this has been addressed with the client and is factored into the renewal submission so that we can underwrite the account appropriately,” he says. 

Certain industries are suffering more than others in terms of reduced capacity, increased rates and limited coverage. Some industries that Pen is well placed to assist with include Excess Layer Professional Indemnity cover in the construction industry, Care Liability, Hospitality Property and Liability for businesses such as pubs or hotels, Industrial Special Risks (ISR) for certain industries, construction, general liability and more.

“We are fortunate in that we can help with a number of these industries across the different products that we provide,” says Best.

He recommends checking out the Pen website for a list of recent wins for each product line.

When the going gets tough

There will always be complex opportunities that arrive at the last minute or take more time than others. But Pen may be able to help brokers with these too. 

The important thing is to get onto the tough nuts as soon as practicable because more complex risks require a significant amount of time and effort from the initial meetings with clients, to gathering all the required information, through to negotiating with insurers.   

“We have a lot of success as a result of brokers calling our underwriters and discussing accounts with them so I would suggest at least a call to provide some background on the account.”

Calling early to discuss an opportunity can fast track some parts of the request and may also save a lot of wasted effort if Pen is unable to help, or if there are extra hoops to jump through.

“Either the opportunity can be shut down quickly if it doesn’t meet our appetite or we can identify what other information, if any, is required early on,” says Best.

With offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, Pen Underwriting is recognised as one of the leading agencies in Australia with a team of 60+ underwriters and support teams. Over the last decade, Pen has developed into a multi-line agency with extensive expertise in property, casualty, financial lines, transportation and construction. It has a strong presence across industry sectors including manufacturing, wholesale, food and beverage, logistics, hospitality, aged and community care, construction and transport. Based on mutual respect and a desire to add value for the benefit of our brokers’ businesses, our products and exceptional service demonstrate our commitment.

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