Baltimore - Carriers considering new agents pay close attention to how much experience, data and information the agent provides in its pitch, says a major provider of commercial insurance, reinsurance and risk management services.

Lois Massa, programs leader at GE Insurance Solutions, Richmond, Va., told agent and broker attendees at the Target Markets Program Administrators Association midyear meeting that, along with an in-force program with its associated history and experience data, agents need to know how to market themselves even if they are building their insurance program from scratch. The Target Markets Program Administrators Association, Wilmington, Del., is an industry association that supports agents in their business endeavors.

"As a carrier providing capacity to a number of programs, we look at the overall quality of the information submitted," said Massa.

Massa told agents that when submitting a proposal to a carrier, it's best to start with an executive summary and short overview of the program or niche to gauge the carrier's interest. Then follow with a complete package of data and information.

According to Massa, the most important information to submit is:

-- Currently valued loss runs with an independent actuarial study;

-- Detailed comments on large losses including efforts to mitigate future losses;

-- Commentary on frequency-type losses;

-- Exposure base and corresponding premiums for last five years;

-- Profile of agency management;

-- Information on staff retention and development;

-- Association membership and endorsements.

If the submission is for a new program without historical data, the submission should include industry results (from ISO and other sources) and exposure details for the proposed book.

"Carriers also want to review an agent or broker's underwriting guidelines and how they handle exceptions to the guidelines," Massa said. "It's also important to demonstrate how you conduct portfolio analysis and audits and the findings of those audits. If the program is new and the program administrator is looking for in-house underwriting authority, the focus should be on the underwriting expertise of the underwriting team and the proposed underwriting guidelines. Essentially you need to evidence both your knowledge of the industry as well as your underwriting capabilities."

Massa told agents to remain focused on four key areas when pitching their program or niche to an insurance carrier:

-- Understand your niche and your industry;

-- Have detailed, quality account data;

-- Know your competition;

-- Provide a strong business plan.

Source: Business Wire

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