Acord applications. We all know what they look like and how much they suck, but they are a critical part of the underwriting process. The first agent with a ‘complete’ submission reserves the market. Where it goes from there and how quickly it arrives is a different story.
Underwriters tend to be overworked, or at least love to give the impression. For as much of the human element that has been removed from underwriting, it is still believable. It’s not uncommon for an underwriter to handle multiple territories with multiple agencies per territory with multiple producers per agency. On top of that you have ‘bottle necks’ throughout the year with large concentrations of renewals, 1/1 for example. Put yourself in their shoes. You have 20 submissions on your desk. Being a logical human being, you may think it is a given that they will review these submissions in the order received. Unfortunately your submission is 18th on the list but first to renew.
Logical or not, as human beings we tend to follow the path of least resistance. So if you didn’t cross your ‘t’ or dot your ‘i’…or decided to send copies of an expiring vehicle schedule dec pages instead of a completed app…you may be giving them a very easy path to declining your submission.
Luckily, you can also give them an easy path to reviewing your submission and it is painfully simple – include an Account Summary. What is an account summary? An account summary is a 1-page snap shot of your prospect. It is your sales sheet for selling the underwriter.
It provides high level exposures, expiring and/or historical premiums (if you have them), a narrative on their operations and highlights of any safety or risk management programs currently in place. All in a concise outline format. Check out an example:
What do you think? Would you be more inclined to look at a submission that shoves the decision factors in your face; or work the one where you have to sift through 50 pages to find this relevant, high level info?
We’re selling the sizzle, not the steak. Your account summary is the spice that makes what you’re cooking smell good (or covers up the smell of that bad piece of meat you’re trying to push).