Anyone who has ever purchased an insurance policy has seen the power of underwriting in play. When it’s done well, it helps insurers assess risk and stay profitable, it elicits confidence from insureds, and it ensures that insurance policies comply with regulatory requirements, which benefits insurers and insureds, alike.
Joe Valenza, president of Virtue Risk Partners, LLC, says that the entire team at his agency strives to deliver top-notch value through its underwriting approach.
“Our daily value proposition at Virtue Risk Partners is to operate at a level higher than any other branch underwriting office and offer quality service, solid coverage, competitive pricing and stable risk management alternatives,” he says.
Here are some of the ways they’re doing just that.
Commit to doing the right thing
At Virtue Risk Partners, underwriting excellence is accomplished by doing the right thing, always.
“This includes doing the right thing for the carrier, for the MGA, for the broker and for the insured,” Valenza stresses.
The team responds to every submission that comes through their doors and they take the time to understand the needs of each party. Then, they build a custom policy that helps everyone accomplish their goals.
Pay attention to the details
The little things matter at Virtue Risk Partners, and the team pays attention to the finer points when underwriting a policy for an insured.
“We focus first on having the highest attention to every detail in our underwriting process and making sure the facts line up,” he says.
For example, if someone presents a risk with “environmental” in its name, they dig deeper. That term has become ubiquitous in the current landscape, and not all companies that carry it in their monikers are actually environmental services businesses.
“We’ve seen true-blue demolition contractors with the term ‘environmental’ in their name,” he notes. “Just because they handle jobs that also carry significant mold or asbestos exposure doesn’t make them a fit for an environmental underwriting operation.”
Another time, a consulting firm with revenues under $1 million requested $10 million in excess limits to cover more than 50 extra-heavy autos. The Virtue Risk Partners team noticed that the revenue to auto count was misaligned, which helped them direct the insured to coverage that better fit their needs.
“Details matter, so we all pay attention so we can get our insureds the best possible protection for their unique risks,” he adds.
Take a look back
At Virtue Risk Partners, the team always looks at past data to get an idea of a risk has performed historically from a claims perspective.
“Frequency breeds more frequency and also severity,” Valenza’s says. “Therefore, if an insured has more than one claim in two years, this becomes a major yellow flag in need of greater underwriting attention.”
This diligence helps ensure that a given risk is a good match for the agency’s risk appetite.
Insureds are looking for a stable carrier with a solid track record. The Virtue Risk Partners team knows the value consistency adds for insureds, and they make it a priority at the agency.
“We strive to remain consistent year over year in terms of our underwriting appetite, who we decide to insure and who we decline. This approach brings consistency and stability to all that we do and to all who rely on us.”
The world is moving fast, and the insurance industry needs to keep up. This includes quick and thorough underwriting.
“We need to quote fast, and we need to decline fast,” Valenza notes. “We will never waste anyone’s time.”
With these underwriting strategies at the forefront, agencies are sure to gain an edge over the competition.
“If we focus on all of these aspects of underwriting excellence, we create our own luck and drive our own success,” Valenza says. “This approach brings us and everyone we work with long-term stability and sustainability, which is a winning proposition.”