If you’ve ever submitted a client’s project for coverage through the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich and had the account go on hold, it might’ve seemed like a temporary inconvenience at best, or an indication that Zurich wasn’t interested in protecting your client’s project at worst. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking the latter, you’re certainly not alone.
As the exclusive program administrator for the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich for 40 years—20 of which have been spent utilizing online policy issuance—we’ve heard similar concerns with online policies.
In answer to these, we’d like to address the reasons that risks may go on hold and how those seemingly pesky holds actually ensure the security of clients’ projects.
So, why do risks go on hold?
The simplest answer to this question is that an underwriter needs to take a closer look at the submission. Most often, the hold is due to a risk that doesn’t fit the mold of the pre-programmed online policy system (because of the level of risk, project eligibility, backdating, etc.). Perhaps we need to map out where your client’s project is in related to location-specific risks like coastal, flood or wildfire zones, or we may simply need to confirm certain details of the project with you. In some cases, we may also offer additional insight to help you better understand and select coverage options, as appropriate for the specific risk.
It’s a common misconception that a hold is a hard stop. This could not be further from the truth. A risk going on hold is not an indication of a provider’s desire to cover it. Having a further review of the details is a precaution to ensure the underwriter knows all the necessary information about the risk and accepts the exposures, so neither the underwriter nor agent will be surprised in the event of a loss. With this thorough process in place, the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich has never pulled out of a state to leave insureds unprotected. These holds keep the program going, and make it better equipped to protect your clients from loss.
Between May 2015 and September 2017, an estimated 63 percent of risks submitted to US Assure flowed through the online system, hold-free. During that same time period, an estimated 90 percent of submissions put on hold were later approved.
While a risk that goes on hold may potentially take more time than one that’s instantly issued, it not only better protects your clients from the unexpected, but offers us the opportunity to expand our programs to better suit any unmet coverage needs. After all, it was due to holds and feedback form the agency force that the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich expanded to offer additional coverages like change orders, for example.
As the insurance industry continues to evolve, these holds, your clients’ needs and the feedback you provide enable us to evolve with it and create programs that assure your success.
To learn more about how a stable, reliable and thorough partner can impact the success of your business, download An Agent's Guide to Pursuing the Right Builders Risk Partner: 9 Factors for Success. This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.