- San Diego, California
In the world of commercial insurance lines over the last couple of years, Workers' Compensation insurance stands out with flat to declining premiums. In the first quarter of 2023, according to The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers' (CIAB's) Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index, Workers' Compensation premiums continued to fall at an average of 0.5%.* Although rates will change with rising medical costs, currently a great deal of supply is available, and aggressive pricing is making it quite competitive for agents and brokers to grab new business.
But we're here to help. Here are six ways to up your game to sell and win more Workers' Comp accounts in today's soft market, courtesy of Mark Williams, area executive vice president, Atlas General Insurance Services, an RPS company.
1.Target Underserved Markets and Position Yourself as an Expert
Being a generalist in this environment is tough and won't differentiate you in a competitive pricing environment.
"Become a niche industry expert in the space and understand the business's pain points. Try partnering with an association that helps an underserved industry and work on becoming a preferred Workers' Comp broker to association members to get in the door to quote business," says Williams.
2. Understand Your Carriers' Appetite
Knowing the industry segments in which your carriers excel helps you when going to market, as you can target industries based on market appetite.
"You'll also anticipate the questions an underwriter will ask when reviewing a submission," explains Williams, "and have the ability to tell your client's story to get your submission to the top of the pile. Knowing your client's operation and explaining their risk profile facilitates the entire process, enabling you to respond quickly to client requests. To better serve your client's needs, you can also tap into your carrier's knowledge when you know its appetite."
3. Build a Strong Relationship With Your Underwriters
Having a good relationship with underwriters helps you get a quick quote turnaround time, which is critical in today's competitive market.
"A strong underwriter relationship oftentimes will also help you get better pricing," says Williams. "In addition, having a good working relationship with an underwriter can help you win an account. The underwriter may assist you by talking to the client to better understand the operation and explain how you and the carrier can provide the coverage the client needs."
4. Send Accurate and Complete Submissions
Getting submissions reviewed and quoted quickly leads the way to get more business. If you aren't quick to respond to a quote request, you could lose to your competitor who is able to deliver much faster. This means sending in accurate and complete submissions at the outset.
"A solid submission includes a client's safety program and practices and accurate loss runs with detailed loss history, especially if there are large or complex losses," says Williams. "Highlight what the client does, what areas require improvement, and how you, as the agent/broker, will help rectify the account once you place the business. For example, explain how the losses occurred, if the injured worker is still employed at the company, and what measures and mitigation steps will be taken to prevent such losses from recurring."
5. Demonstrate Your Commitment to Managing the Client's Risk
If you're targeting larger clients, offer quarterly claims reviews as part of your services.
"Proactive claims management will help control a client's future ex-mods, which will ultimately reduce insurance costs," explains Williams. "If, for example, the incumbent broker isn't helping a business mitigate and manage its claims and the client's ex-mod goes up, you can demonstrate how your approach with quarterly claims management will make a positive impact. You can also offer midyear reviews for smaller accounts."
6. Leverage Technology
Offer value-added services such as online HR and safety portals.
"This can help make price less of a factor as you bring more to the table," says Williams. "Especially if price is the same and you're not the incumbent, differentiators can help you win."
The road map to getting new Workers' Comp business begins with knowing your carrier's appetite, building solid underwriting relationships, and providing complete and accurate submissions that tell your client's story. These actions are supported by becoming a niche expert, promoting your expertise, and adding value-added services to distinguish yourself in the market.