Jul. 18, 2016
To be sure that you’re getting the best out of your professional liability insurance policy in terms of cost and coverage, it’s best to shop your coverage once every three years. You can do it yourself, or save a considerable amount of time and effort by having an independent broker who specializes in professional liability insurance do it for you.
You don’t pay more if a broker is involved. The insurance company absorbs the brokers expense by paying the broker a commission. The insurance company includes brokerage commission as part of their acquisition costs and does not pass this cost along to the policyholder. If the broker doesn’t have direct access to the insurer, a wholesaler is usually used and the commission payable then is split by the broker and the wholesaler.
A mistake not to make: don’t use multiple brokers and wholesalers to shop your coverage. That results in multiple submissions to the same insurers and confusion! The result is wasted effort by the brokers and a halt to the processing of your application while a broker of record letter is requested of you. No broker will be pleased to find out that he/she has been blocked from consideration by a market (the insurance company) because you are working with another broker. The insurance business runs on dedicated relationships and brokers and insurers respect that you recognize that. They will work harder to win your business as a result.
A better approach is to discuss the markets that your broker has access to upfront. If the broker can’t get you a quote from the insurance companies you want, ask why. It may be that the insurer you had in mind only deals with appointed brokers or an underwriting manager and you're going to need to make that application on your own, or maybe you need a different broker! An experienced, trustworthy broker will be able to evaluate your application and help with identifying a good fit for you even if it means that he or she will likely not place your coverage.
Your professional liability insurance is a much needed tool to protect your business and your reputation. It is also a major part of your annual budget. Work with just one trusted, experienced professional liability broker to be sure that you are getting the best value for your premium dollar.
Cindy Wiedman, founded Wiedman Insurance Services, LLC (LiabilityPro Insurance Advisors*) August 1, 2014. Cindy is a Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU) and has designed and administered professional liability insurance programs over a 35-year career working for various insurance administrators in the Midwest such as Shand Morahan & Company, Kirke Van Orsdel, Marsh and Lockton Affinity.
*Currently working with investment advisory businesses domiciled in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska.