Ask An Underwriter: Submitting Builders Risk Online
Whether you are new to quoting and issuing online with the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich or are a seasoned representative of the product, questions can arise at any stage of the application and underwriting process that require assistance. We asked our team of underwriters to share tips for agents and brokers using our online system. In this Ask An Underwriter feature post, we address three frequently asked questions that could save you time and unnecessary frustration.
1. I’m preparing to submit my first online application. Is there anything specific I should know or prepare for before starting?
Our online builders risk insurance application is a fast, simple process for quoting and issuing.
To prepare for submitting an application, make sure you have all the information about a project you can gather including: insured name and mailing address, builder information (name, years of experience, number of structures built/remodeled in last 12 months, projected number of structures built/remodeled in the next 12 months, loss history), and property information (project address, total completed value, age of existing structure—if applicable, type of construction material, fire protection class, square footage, and number of stories).
When you go to submit an application, you should also have a solid understanding of what the policy will cover and what coverage limits and endorsements are applicable.
2. How long will the underwriting process take when a hold is generated?
Most applications flow through our online system to generate a quote and issue a policy in minutes. However, there are a few project or coverage scenarios that require additional underwriting review. The time needed to underwrite an application on hold will vary based on many factors. As a general rule, it can take up to 48 hours from the time a complete application is submitted in good form until the policy is issued. However, underwriters may need additional information before a policy can be issued, which could impact the timeframe.
Several factors may signal an account hold pending further underwriting review, including:
- Applications that include coverage for flood damage
- Values or limits that are outside the producer’s binding authority
- Applications that are backdated beyond your binding authority
- An application for which the course of construction has already begun
- Remodeling project with major structural changes
- Applications for projects involving structures that are more than 100 years old
While this is not an exhaustive list and other reasons exist why an application might generate an underwriting hold, these are the most common. Our underwriters will always provide feedback for you about the hold, so their best advice is to review the underwriting comments and keep the lines of communication open.
You can be proactive too, by providing information for underwriters that may help clear up confusion and speed policy issuance. If you’re not sure what to ask when you’re quoting a policy, we can help. If you are entering something and you are not positive the information you are entering is accurate, let the underwriter know by leaving comments.
Also, when planning the policy effective date, keep in mind that the process of reviewing and issuing a policy can take up to 48 hours.
If there are changes to the information you previously provided, always send the new information directly to your underwriter. If you modify an application in approved status, the application will again return a hold and require underwriter review.
3. Help! I am writing an application and have questions. What is the best way to find answers quickly?
If you encounter something within the application or process where you would like clarification, it’s always best to ask for guidance. Guessing about what’s being requested can cause delays in processing the application or even errors within the policy. The best way to get assistance is to call (800) 800 - 3907 to speak to a service representative or an underwriter. This is especially important when time is of the essence.
Whether you are new to builders risk insurance or have been writing it for years, questions can arise, but US Assure can help. Download From Groundbreaking to Remodeling: Builders Risk 101 Guide to learn more about mastering the basics.
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.
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