Would you like to manage your builders risk policies more effectively? We have insights to save you time and trouble.
We interviewed Steve Bristow, US Assure's SVP - Head of Operations to debunk common misunderstandings from agents and CSRs around online policy issuance with the Zurich Builders Risk Plan.
Misconception #1: I must rely on an underwriter to issue my client’s builders risk policy.
That's not the case in many instances. Through our online policy issuance platform, you can submit a builders risk application for projects valued up to $75 million. If no holds occur, most projects valued up to $10 million will flow through the system, and we’ll send the insured an invoice for the policy afterward. Producers also have the option to pay at the time of issuance.
If you're looking for coverages such as flood and quake, or for higher limits, those applications will require an underwriter. The system is built to generate a hold so an underwriter can review the application, limits and risk, then follow up if any additional information is required. If the account is approved, the underwriter will notify you so you can then issue the policy online. If the risk is new home construction valued up to $500,000, your experience can be even faster through our XPressBIND platform.
Misconception #2: I can’t apply for commercial course of construction coverage online.
Actually, you can start the builders risk application process online for residential and commercial construction projects valued up to $75 million. If the total completed value is more than $10 million (or higher limits are needed), the application will be directed to a dedicated in-house senior underwriter who will conduct a manual review of the account. The underwriter will then follow up with you via phone or email where they will discuss the account details. If eligible, you’ll receive either a binding or tentative quote detailing any additional information needed.
Misconception #3: My application is on hold so there must be an error or the risk isn’t eligible.
We hear this one all the time, and it couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact: over a 2.5-year span, an estimated 90% of submissions that were previously on hold were quickly approved. An underwriting hold often simply means that the project is more complex than those accounts that generally flow through our system. So, an extra layer of underwriting review is required. Their knowledge could identify gaps in coverage and be added protection for you against E&O claims. When a policy goes on underwriting hold, take a look at the details of the hold and follow up with the requested information or documentation. Attachments, including PDFs, Word documents, Excel sheets, etc., can be submitted along with your online application to further expedite the process.
Misconception #4: Any application change, no matter how minor, will trigger a hold.
Sometimes policy changes happen even after an application has been approved. Some modifications might trigger a hold. However, our system allows you to change the effective date, insured's mailing address, or add a mortgagee or loss payee at the end of the application without triggering an underwriting hold.
Misconception #5: If my colleague is unavailable, I can't access any of their in-progress submissions.
Within an agency, you might have many users who access our platform, each with their own username and password. Our system also allows any user within an agency to change or finish an application for other representatives within the same office. The system will also track and record the changes made, should that information be needed in the future. Check out our easy-to-follow instructions to show you how to access the account.
Misconception #6: My client’s builders risk policy will automatically renew.
As the agent of record, it's up to you to start the renewal process for an additional term. With underwriting approval, the policy could potentially be renewed for an additional three years (with the last year considered unsold dwelling coverage). If you secured a policy online and that client needs a renewal, you can start the process on our policy issuance platform, and an underwriter will review it. For commercial policies that were previously issued manually by an underwriter, you should email your underwriter to request the renewal.
Misconception #7: I have to re-enter existing customer information every time I submit a builders risk application.
If your client needs another Zurich builders risk policy, you don’t have to go through the tedious effort of typing their information again. Once you’re logged into our policy issuance site, you can find a link to populate that existing client’s data into a new application from your homepage dashboard.
Misconception #8: I don’t need to view, print or download the builders risk application.
We strongly recommend downloading and printing the builders risk insurance application, getting it signed by yourself and your client, and keeping that signed copy for your records. Not only can it be a helpful reference when discussing the project with your client, but it can offer a form of “protection.” In the event of a claim, you'll have a written record of the coverage agreed upon by your client.
Misconception #9: I have to submit a request to receive copies of policy documents.
While you certainly can request support from our Service team, you can access policy documents any time for projects up to $10 million through our builders risk policy issuance platform. After logging in, you can locate them using the Policy Search feature found on the homepage dashboard.
Bonus Misconception: I can use the blank endorsement online to request a policy cancellation.
We don’t recommend this. Instead, try the more direct way. Fill out an Accord 35 form and submit it via email to us at mailto:email@example.com. If you don’t have access to an Accord 35 form through your organization, we recommend using a search engine like Google or Bing to find one online.
Bonus Misconception: I can’t generate a quote proposal for a reporting form policy.
You can! After completing our online builders risk application, click the Quote Proposal button within our policy issuance platform to generate a PDF. You can then forward the electronic quote proposal to your client or print it and review the information together.
These are just a few of the common misconceptions we talk to agents and CSRs about nearly every day. If you have questions about the what our online builders risk platform can do, contact our dedicated team of specialists to discuss it.
If you’re ready to get started, grab a copy of our Application Tip Sheet for more underwriting insights.