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Working with an Agent or Broker and Putting Your Insurance Program Out to Bid Derek S. Symer, CPCU Senior Vice President, AH&T Insurance.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with an Agent or Broker and Putting Your Insurance Program Out to Bid Derek S. Symer, CPCU Senior Vice President, AH&T Insurance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with an Agent or Broker and Putting Your Insurance Program Out to Bid Derek S. Symer, CPCU Senior Vice President, AH&T Insurance

2 Overview What is an insurance agent/broker? How are they compensated? What is the role of an agent or broker? Helping the broker to help you Evaluating your agent or broker When its time to make a change –Bidding Approaches Summary

3 What is an Agent? What is a Broker? Agents (independent) –Represent the carriers with which they have appointments (contractual relationships) –Serve clients by placing coverage with appropriate carriers and maintain relationships with multiple markets Brokers –Potential to approach any insurer –Serve clients by placing coverage with appropriate carriers and maintaining relationships with multiple markets

4 How are Agents and Brokers compensated? Compensation Categories: Carrier-paid Commissions Client-paid fees for services Carrier-paid incentives (contingency fees) Typical Commission Ranges Property/General Liability: 10% - 15% Workers Compensation: 3% - 7% Directors & Officers: 10% - 15% Other Professional: 10% - 15%

5 Compensation Fees Can not be combined with commission unless fully disclosed. Specific fee agreement language must be used. Usually used when large premiums are involved.

6 Compensation, continued Contingencies Rewards for profitable business. Do not apply to specific accounts. New rules based on past performance. Not service agreements.

7 What is the role of an agent or broker? Role of the Agent/Broker Risk Analysis The agent/broker must become familiar with the organization and its exposure. Coverage Evaluation Insurance coverage should be frequently evaluated in light of existing exposures and market pricing.

8 Agent/Broker Role, continued Carrier Negotiation Serve as an advocate for the insured where dealing with the carrier. Claims Assistance Be ready and willing to assist in claim settlement situations.

9 The $25K Question: Whats a Fair Price for Insurance? Your exposures Your risk financing strategy and priorities Your insurance program Affordability Carrier willingness and ability to pay

10 Lowest Price does not usually equal best coverage When there are large variations in pricing from multiple carriers for the same product, ask questions! Is the coverage different? Is there coverage missing? Does the premium include claims handling? Is the carrier rating acceptable? Will the carrier be there in the long term to pay claims? What happens to your organization if the carrier is unable to pay the claim?

11 Broker Services If your agent/broker cannot give you specifics on pricing variations and differences in coverage, then they do not understand the coverage well enough to place the line of business for your organization.

12 Determining Service Needs and Your Expectations The culture of your nonprofit or company The size and complexity of your insurance program The broker as a business partner Range of services Your top issues and concerns

13 Not all Agents/Brokers know all lines of business There is a big difference in coverage expertise for different lines of insurance coverage Agents/Brokers specialize in certain lines of business Lack of knowledge by an agent/broker ultimately leads only to a price purchase and may result in your organization purchasing substandard insurance coverage

14 Helping the Broker to help you Meetings Agree to frequent meetings Eliminate distractions Invite appropriate staff members Prepare in advance

15 Helping the Broker to help you The Need for Information Changes in Status 1.New Locations 2.New Property 3.New Activities Renewal Information in a Timely Fashion

16 How much will I pay for insurance? Your Formula Past Losses x Exposure x Market Presentation = Cost

17 Helping the Broker to help you Proper Claims Reporting Understand the reporting rules for claims made policies. Trust the Broker with information. Learn claim reporting procedures and share with others in the organization.

18 Helping the Broker to help you Treat the Broker as a Professional Part of your Management Team. Allow the Broker to confer with other professionals. Respect the Brokers time. Insurance isnt a commodity; dont treat it as such.

19 Evaluate Your Provider Responsiveness Timeliness Credibility Commitment Claims handling Accuracy Results

20 Using a Scorecard Up to 10 points in each category? 50+: meets expectations 31-49: partially meets expectations 30 or less: does not meet expectations

21 Choosing a New Provider Choose an approach to obtaining bids Informal: –Referral from a peer or referral partner Formal: –Open bidding –Market assignment –Conceptual proposal

22 If a formal approach is selected… Prepare specifications (specs) Determine proposal requirements –Be specific!

23 Open Bidding Specs provided to several bidders Interested bidders approach insurance markets and return to the nonprofit with a complete proposal Buyer (nonprofit) tries to accept best bid; lowest price for required/desired coverage Downsides: potential time-waster for skilled agent/ broker; winner may not have skills you require

24 Market Assignment Select agent/broker bidders (based on referrals, incumbent, etc.) and assign markets to approach on your behalf –This generally involves asking brokers to select markets, taking turns Each bidder needs detailed information on your insurance program in order to proceed –An RFP or document containing specifications will be needed

25 Market Assignment, continued Upside of this approach: you may receive complete proposals for the full package of services/coverage you need Downsides: you cant separate proposal components (e.g., select carrier without broker)

26 Conceptual Competition Choose your advisor first, through a process that will help you match your needs with the skills and abilities of an agent or broker Integrity in your process leads to the best result Leap of faith requiredthe winning bidder will be able to secure the coverage your nonprofit requires at a price you can afford

27 Conceptual Competition: Dos and Donts Do be forthcoming about your insurance needs and current program Do strive for fairness (each bidder receives same information, stick to deadlines) Dont be intimidated by a bidder and stray from your process Do be explicit with bidders: tell them what they can, cant, should and shouldnt do

28 Service Provider Agreement Whats included? Duties and responsibilities (both parties) Compensation Financial security of carriers Feedback and reporting processes

29 Measuring Performance Objective review of performance based on criteria in the broker services agreement Revisit the selection criteria you used at the outset of the relationship: how has the broker measured up?

30 Summary Agent/Broker Role The broker has the responsibility to be a proactive advisor and advocate. You, the client, have the responsibility to be cooperative and respectful of the relationship. An atmosphere of mutual trust is necessary to maximize the benefits of the client/broker experience.

31 Summary If its time to make a change… –Remember that you have several approaches –The feasibility of putting your program out to bid may depend on the size of your insurance program –Many small nonprofits & companies change providers based on an endorsement or recommendation from a peer or association –If you choose a conceptual competition, plan your work and then work your plan

32 Thank You! Contact information: –Derek S. Symer (703) 669-1121

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