By Angelo J. Gioia of AgentsofAmerica.Org
It is extremely important as a retail agent that you take your time when looking for the right Wholesaler. Picking the right partner can not only save you time and make you money but if you understand how they work and the value that they bring, you will realize that they also can become a natural extension of your own marketing efforts. Wholesalers play a very vital role in the insurance marketplace, especially in the placement of unusual and difficult risk.
Remember Insurance is a “Relationship Business” and that the commodity you just happen to be selling is Insurance. Having great relationships will not only help grow your business but also help you in finding the right insurance partners.
Locating the right Wholesaler partner can often require a great deal of work and time, there are no short-cuts to success but starting with an appreciation that you are forming a long term relationship that can be mutually beneficial really helps. Wholesalers not only can bring years of experience and expertise in a large array of coverages but also have access to multiple carriers both domestically and in the London marketplace. Whether or not you have success with them will depend on how you perform and what they expect from you.
With that be said, there are going to be times that your will need to place or renew a risk that the standard or traditional markets won’t write and will require the services of a Wholesaler. Your objective is to make certain that the right coverage is placed and that your client has the same level of coverage’s as expiring. At the end of the day your E&O is at risk and your client will expect that you know the coverages and terms differences, if any.
Here are a few suggestions when working with a Wholesalers. It always a good idea to put together a quality submissions with complete accurate information and making certain that the application is dated and signed, by the insured, including:
1. Brief description or narrative about the insured or client and their business operation.
2. Also this is a perfect opportunity to disclose any issues or problems with the risk, including providing all loss information, declinations, etc.?
3. Effective date of policy and retro date of policy needed
4. If this is a new client with existing coverage(s), suggest you get a Broker of Record Letter.
5. Don’t signed the insured name to the application and don’t advance any premiums.
6. Make certain that the Wholesaler has an understanding as to your expectations, timelines and deadlines.
7. Including requiring that they provide you with the names of the carriers that they will approach to place your risk?
8. That you like to receive multiple quotes, description of coverage’s, policy forms, exclusions, warranties, fees, commission, taxes and surcharges (if any), including Carrier(s) information and their ratings? Also it is extremely important that if you are replacing existing coverage that you understand and note any coverage differences?
9. How and when Premium are to be paid and is there a minimum earned premium?
10. Are there any additional applications or supplements that need to be completed and submitted?
The key in working with your Wholesaler is understanding on how the process works, don’t assume anything or be afraid to asked questions?
11. Also make certain that you understand Wholesaler expectations, he needs to know:
12. What markets did you go to and what was the outcome and do you have any quotes or declinations?
13. What other Wholesalers did you go to, normally not a good idea,
Finally make certain all discussions are documented with the Wholesalers and/or Specialty Market including making certain that you keep your client abreast of all quotes, declines or need for additional information. Remember creating relationships is like establishing your reputation, it takes years to build and only one mistake to destroy.