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Some Things Do Change

Some Things Do Change

We have all heard the expression “some things never change”.  That may sometimes be true, but you should never assume that things are never changing with your commercial auto insureds.  You may inadvertently be providing outdated information to your underwriter/insurance carrier, not realizing that the pricing might not be as good as it could have been had you provided updated and correct information.  Aside from that, you may also be setting yourself up for a potential E&O situation down the road.  

We are often asked to quote an upcoming business auto or small trucking account renewal with no changes needed, no changes in the risk/exposure, etc.  That may very well be the case with some insureds.  However, over the last three decades, I have seen multiple instances where renewals were lost because your insured was contacted by another agent who obtained updated information from the insured, went to a different insurance carrier, and obtained a more competitive quote.  Maybe that younger and less experienced driver that was being surcharged is no longer employed by your insured, but you weren’t aware of it.  Maybe your insured no longer hauls that particular commodity which required a higher cargo limit than what is now needed, but you had no idea.  Maybe your insured no longer travels beyond 100 miles, and you last advised your underwriter that the radius was 300 miles.  Maybe the vehicle values have not been updated for a year or two, and you are still working with inflated values that aren’t representative of the current values of the equipment.  Maybe those Additional Insureds and Waivers the insured is paying a premium for are no longer needed.

Each of these things, as well as many others, factors into the pricing you are receiving from us.  If you aren’t contacting your insureds 30-60 days in advance of the expiration date of their current policy to get updated and accurate information, and to assess their needs, I promise you that someone else is.  That someone may potentially be able to provide a quote for coverage that is not only more competitively priced but is also sure to cover the current exposures of your insured, simply because they are working with current and correct information, but you are not.

I urge you to take the time to meet with your commercial auto insureds in advance of the expiration of the policy and treat that meeting as if it is the very first one you have had with the insured.  Ask questions, gather information, and make suggestions.  More is sometimes less when it comes to insurance…providing more information to your underwriter/insurance carrier can often lead to a lesser premium, all because you have taken away some of the unknowns about a risk and eliminated some of the assumptions that may have been made without the updated and current information.

Posted by Jeff Wright, AU, TRS, Commercial Auto Department on Mar 30, 2022