Monday, June 28, 2010

Lawyer's Professional Part I (qualifying the prospect)

A number of agent's have asked about some of the nuances regarding lawyer's professional and it makes sense to touch on some of the details in a series of posts. If this sparks another question or thought please let me know...

When we're asked if Tuscano can compete on your client's or prospect's malpractice policy, the answer is really no different than on any other class; yes, and it depends. I believe we can compete on anything, but the reality is we can't win on every account. It's a quick phone call or email to us to find out, and to help you and us evaluate your chances here are a couple of diagnostic questions to ask your customer:

  • Which insurance company writes the coverage now? If it's a surplus lines carrier I can almost guarantee we will compete - we have some very competitive options available. If it's an admitted carrier we'll need to know which one and we'll have a pretty good idea how we'll do. We do write with some very good admitted markets.

  • Number of attorneys, limits, deductible and the retroactive date. If you have more than one attorney in the firm, we need the date each attorney joined the firm (individual retro dates). If they have coverage now and they tell you they have "Full" prior acts, it would help to know what that means in terms of years. If it's more than five years that's sufficient enough, less than five see if you can determine exactly how long they've had continuous prior acts coverage in years. It will make a difference when it's rated.

  • Area(s) of practice. If you don't normally work with attorneys, this term may be a little odd but the info is pretty easy to obtain if you have any carrier's new business app in front of you. All apps include a grid that allows your client to show by percentage the categories of law in which they work (called "areas of practice" by attorneys and insurance underwriters). It's impossible to get a valid quote without that info. Look for a separate post that will provide more details on which areas of practice are tough to write, which ones require separate underwriting information, etc. It will help speed up the quote process and will let your client know you understand what you're doing.

  • Coverage. If your client has an expiring policy with a carrier that provides extensive additional coverage, including defense outside the limit (see post labeled "professional liability terms and usage part II"), we need to know that. If we think we're competing with a basic policy form and our pricing is close, then find out it's loaded with additional coverage "bells and whistles" it may well change our opinion. We're always willing to compare coverage for you so if you're not sure about coverage ask your client to give you a copy of the expiring wording and we'll break it down for you. How easy is that!?

  • Claims. Of course. Just knowing basic details about any outstanding or closed claim will help us determine if we can quote admitted carriers or not, which could save us all alot of time, depending on our competition.

That seems like a lot of info, but f your client or prospect will give you an app, even if it's a short form renewal app, a fair amount of the needed info is there. Or we can walk you through this in a phone call of a few minutes and determine if it's worth your time to pursue a prospect.

* first customer to identify the golf course pictured - I'll send you a sleeve or Pro V1 golf balls