The hard market continues to put pressure on insurance transactions. Even though there is lack of capacity, increased prices, and renewal issues, insurance brokers can still generate new business, solve their client’s insurance needs, and set themselves apart from other channels by leaning on the fundamentals of their vocation: advocating for the client and building relationships with underwriters.

In a hard market, insurance professionals must know how to deliver bad news, and brokers are on the front lines. How you are able to convey this bad news, whether it be price increases or changes to coverage, having a solid relationship with your client and underwriter is foundational to continued success.

Here are CHES Special Risk’s Top Five Tips to help brokers succeed in the hard market:

  1. Pick up the phone.
  2. Texting and instant messaging may be the most common way of communicating outside business hours. But when it comes to advocating for your clients and getting the best coverage to fit their needs, instead of submitting an inquiry to an underwriter via email, pick up the phone. This is the best way to capture your underwriter’s attention and makes it harder for insurers to decline business.

  3. Paint a picture. What is your client’s risk profile?
  4. When a submission comes alive, it encourages the underwriter to take a closer look. Instead of sending a one-dimensional application about your client’s insurance needs, try rather painting a picture of the risk. Describe the insured, their background and approach to insurance, and what potential upsides there are to underwriting the risk.

  5. Suggest a price guide.
  6. In order to encourage a dialogue between you and your underwriter, try giving a suggested price guide and the terms your client is looking for. This helps build a rapport with the underwriter for the coverage you are currently looking for and increases the likelihood of continued collaboration down the road.

  7. Compare apples to apples.
  8. Here is where brokers can tap into their wealth of product knowledge and communication skills. When relaying information to the policyholder, describe in detail the terms and conditions of the coverage instead of giving a simple price comparison. If the customer doesn’t fully understand the coverage, it is difficult for them to understand any potential price difference. Explain and compare the product not the price.

  9. Foster relationships.
  10. Shooting off mass emails may save some time up front but is counterproductive when building longer-term, productive relationships. If you have a generic email template, consider parting ways with it. Insurance is a relationship business and at every turn during an insurance transaction, insurance professionals have an opportunity to tend to those connections.

Relying on these top-five tips will continue to bear fruit even after the hard market is firmly in the rear view mirror.

Visit CHES Special Risk for more details on how our bespoke approach to underwriting will help solve your client’s complex insurance needs.

As seen on Insurance Business Magazine.