Why placing coverage with a long-standing, well-established carrier has its benefits
By Amanda Juratovic
The professional liability marketplace is ever-changing—carriers entering and exiting the marketplace, changing rates, and fluctuating underwriting positions. Typically, the longer a carrier has been in the professional liability marketplace, the more stable it is when it comes to making changes.
With longevity, a carrier can utilize its experience to properly price and underwrite the line of business to maintain profitability. As a result, the insured will experience fewer changes.
Longevity also impacts a carrier’s ability to handle claims effectively. Carriers that have been active in this line of business have established strong relationships with their panel counsel to advise on the potential defense of a claim. Further, the claim adjusters are more experienced in handling claims specific to insurance agents’ professional liability, which typically will result in a more favorable outcome for the insured.
Developing meaningful risk management material requires extensive experience in a line of business. For this, a carrier needs to understand what drives claims and which tools to recommend for an insured to mitigate these claims. Carriers that have been in the professional liability marketplace for a long time have years of claim history at their fingertips.
Many carriers offer a deductible waiver or reduction to an insured after they have been continuously insured with a carrier and loss-free during that time. Meanwhile, it isn’t uncommon for a carrier to enter and then exit the marketplace within two to four years. In these situations, the insured would never reap the benefit of this coverage enhancement. Without longevity in the marketplace, the deductible waiver features would be meaningless.
While insurance is a commodity, there is a strong relationship between a carrier and insured that develops over time. Trust is a very strong piece of that relationship and it doesn’t happen overnight. Carriers that come and go in the marketplace cannot cultivate these types of relationships.
Placing your professional liability coverage with a carrier that has longevity in the liability marketplace will benefit your agency in many ways. Stability, claims handling experience, cashing in on deductible waiver features and risk management tools are just a few of the reasons why you should consider a carrier that has been a player in the professional liability arena for many years.
Amanda Juratovic is assistant vice president of errors & omissions operations for the Big “I” Professional Liability Program. Learn more at independentagent.com/EO.
This article was originally printed in Independent Agent magazine. Reprinted with permission.