Between high volumes of submissions, a tight talent market, and other industry challenges, it’s easy for underwriting teams to become overwhelmed and overtaxed. When this happens, it can lead to delayed quotes, loss of good quality business, staff fatigue, and reputational damage among distribution partners.
To keep underwriters focused and efficient, insurers can develop a standardized approach to clearing and triaging submissions. Triaging ensures underwriters devote more time to submissions that are in-appetite, while quickly declining or rerouting those that are not.
Submission Triage in Four Steps
After years of working with insurance carriers to help them make their submit-to-quote processes more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective, we’ve established a framework for best practices that is flexible enough to adapt to a carrier’s specific workflow. These best practices are designed to improve underwriters’ ability to reach in-appetite businesses more efficiently.
Note that none of these practices require underwriting experience to carry out. Any decisions involved follow clear-cut guidelines for inclusion and exclusion. The process begins with a broker’s submission and ends when it is either rejected for ineligibility or the verified request is sent to the underwriter.
In effect, the solution divides the submit-to-quote process in two: “submit-to-triage” and “triage-to-quote.” Here’s a brief overview of the submissions and “triage” process that should take place before a submission ever reaches an underwriter’s inbox.
1. Review the submission
In this initial stage, the operating team receives requests from multiple sources—phone, email, web form submission, etc.—prioritizes rush requests, and checks them to ensure they include all the information required for submission clearance. This includes insured name, mailing address, broker information, effective and expiration dates, and information required for certain lines of business (LOBs). If there is missing information, the reviewer requests it from the broker. It is also returned if it was submitted too early before the proposed effective date according to the underwriter’s guidelines.
2. Qualify the broker
The next step is to look at the broker: Is it ineligible to submit due to competitive conflicts or a reputation risk? Is the broker properly licensed and appointed by the underwriter?
3. Review the insured
Next, check to see if the insured is, in fact, eligible for the program in question. Using NAIC/SIC code, is the nature of the business and primary operations eligible? What about the exposures and LOBs?
4. Review any prior or ongoing relationships.
At this point, it is important to determine if the carrier has any current relationship with the insured, if this is a duplicate of a submission already in process, and/or if the submitting broker is the broker of record (BOR). This will determine next steps, such as re-routing as a renewal, resolving BOR conflicts, rejecting, or passing along to the underwriter. Questions to ask at this stage include:
- Has the existing new business been declined recently?
- Is coverage already in force?
- Has existing new business been received recently (is this a duplicate?)
- Is existing new business from other business unit/product with same or similar LOBs?
Only once, and if, the submission clears all these hurdles will the reviewer clear it to proceed to underwriting. By following these best practices to integrate people, process, technology, and data across their underwriting and policy servicing department, carriers can follow up on profitable business quickly and effectively, ensure timely response to the distributors, and maintain a work environment in line with their culture.
Visit our Carrier Solutions page to learn more about how ReSource Pro can enable you to boost your quotable business, develop corporate and functional strategy,