Attributes Successful Broker

05/19/2015

The Six Attributes of a Highly Successful Broker-MGU Relationship

Working with a Managing General Underwriter (MGU) can be one of your most beneficial relationships, helping you build your book while addressing your clients’ major insurance issues. However, selecting the right MGU partner, and understanding how they differ from carriers, is important. If you can identify the following six attributes in a prospective or current MGU, you are likely have found a professional MGU partnership that will work well for both you and your clients.


1. Knowledge

MGUs are often specialized and have a higher level of product expertise, or a greater comfort working in specific geographic areas or market niches, than a carrier might. In today’s environment, for instance, an MGU may have more experience dealing with stop-loss medical coverage, a risk that has become a top concern since healthcare reform became law. Carriers understand this and often grant MGUs the ability to underwrite, price, offer binding coverage, and even settle and pay claims. When working with a client who has specific needs, an MGU may be able to provide more value than a carrier with broader, general knowledge.

 

2. Speed and Flexibility

Speedy and accurate claims handling, flexible underwriting decisions and reliable communications should be a given when working with carriers or MGUs. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees and it is necessary to conduct due diligence when establishing a relationship. A carrier’s mammoth size, for instance, may result in potentially slow claims processing. And while MGUs are smaller and should be more nimble, that isn’t always the case. Choose your MGU wisely by asking for referrals that demonstrate the skills, expertise and responsiveness you want in your relationships.


3. Creativity

Competition has commoditized most insurance products, making price a non-issue within many lines. All risks, however, are not the same. Perhaps you have a client with claims experience that is shorter than desirable. Or you have a client with recent poor experience, but no prior history of higher-than-average claims. In these instances, you face the possibility with many major carriers, which operate within strict guidelines, that the insurance your client needs is unaffordable or even unavailable. MGUs are more likely to look outside the box when structuring programs – and in some cases, may be able to customize a program to meet a client’s unusual circumstance. A good MGU will maintain flexibility and look for ways to do business (not ways to avoid business) that work for everyone.


4. Intimacy

How often have you tried to talk with a decision-maker at a carrier to speed along some business, only to be rebuffed? MGUs focus on personalization, and offer brokers a smaller company vibe with more ownership and accountability. With an MGU, you are more likely to have direct access to underwriting and claims managers without the red tape you might have to maneuver around at a carrier. The right MGU offers a level of transparency and responsiveness your clients deserve.


5. Empathy

Because MGUs typically operate with an entrepreneurial spirit, they enjoy working with brokers to understand a client’s entire risk portfolio. Good MGUs will ask lots of questions while looking for real opportunities; they will roll up their sleeves and dig in to truly understand a client’s needs. This holistic approach can open doors to new business – if not with this MGU, then with another MGU or direct through a carrier.

 

6. Financial Strength

An MGU’s financial strength must play a role in any decision you make, so make sure the MGU you select has a profitable track record.  Equally as important are an MGU’s carrier relationships and their insurers’ ratings. While many lines of business may be commoditized, a slightly lower price is worth little if a carrier struggles to maintain decent financial ratings or if loss ratios regularly exceed industry norms.


Add it all up and the right Managing General Underwriter can give you and your clients a level of service that you might not expect from a carrier. In fact, many MGU managers gained their experience working for carriers, but have moved on as they prefer the autonomy and authority MGUs grant them. Taking time to select the right MGU will lead you to a long-term partnership that can benefit both you and your clients. Because good service trumps everything else, the right MGU will understand that relationships matter and are key to keeping clients happy.

Contact Us

To learn more about how AmWINS can help you place coverage for your clients, reach out to your local AmWINS broker.  If you do not have a contact at AmWINS, please click here.

Legal Disclaimer. Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Discussion of insurance policy language is descriptive only. Every policy has different policy language. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. Please refer to your policy for the actual language.

(c) 2017 AmWINS Group, Inc.

Most Popular Insights

Insurance Impacts of COVID-19 on the Healthcare and Senior Living Industry

03/30/20

As the healthcare industry remains on the front lines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, staying abreast of the changing landscape and how the insurance market is adapting is critical to ensure new exposures are covered and renewals are successfully placed. In this article, our specialists share what they are seeing in the Healthcare and Senior Care markets, tips for risk control and mitigation, and how to get the best results for insureds.

COVID-19 – Are Your Clients Covered?

03/19/20

The disruption to business and everyday life caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is resulting in an economic impact for insureds. Much of this disruption is likely not covered by insurance. We have consulted with several AmWINS insurance specialists across the Property, Casualty and Professional Lines sectors and offer a COVID-19 update.

From Seed to Sale: The Top 5 Issues Impacting the Cannabis Insurance Industry

09/19/19

​Over the last few years, the legal cannabis industry has seen rapid growth and had a significant impact on the U.S. economy. With states continuing to legalize its use, insurance needs for cannabis-related businesses are becoming a popular topic of discussion. This article examines the evolving cannabis industry by exploring five key issues impacting coverage.

Four Key Additional Insured Endorsements for Contractors

Construction contract negotiations, which determine the kind and amount of insurance required for a construction project, can be time-consuming, complicated and frustrating. Project owners require contractors on a project to name the project owner as an additional insured on the contractor’s casualty insurance program. It's important that both project owners and contractors understand the coverage provided by these additional insured endorsements. This article discusses four common ISO additional insured endorsements related to commercial general liability policies purchased by contractors, including their limitations, conditions and exclusions.

How Parametric Products Benefit Catastrophe-Driven Risk Transfer

03/19/20

Parametric insurance is an innovative product that functions differently than traditional insurance by covering the impacts of an event and not just losses sustained to an asset. Proceeds of the policy are paid quickly and can be used flexibly to cover any expense associated with the triggering event. Coverages can be designed to capture the impacts of natural perils and other forms of non-damage business interruptions such as future epidemics. Learn how the parametric landscape has and will continue to play a major role in improving coverage and the recovery experience.

Understanding Property Theories of Recovery and Ensuing Loss Clauses

​The theories of recovery, as well as the ensuing loss provisions, contained in property insurance policies are often complex and, at times, seemingly in conflict. Although a policy may not directly address these theories, their application by courts plays a significant role in the coverage determination process after the claim. It is essential that brokers understand the primary theories of recovery – Efficient Proximate Cause, the Concurrent Causation Doctrine, and the Anti-Concurrent Causation Doctrine – in order to navigate the challenging post-claim process and effectively serve their clients.

Sign Up For Our Monthly Newsletter

Sign Up