Setting the wheels in motion: Responsiveness is a key part of the broker-underwriter relationship, but success also depends on execution when an opportunity presents itself. Brittany McDonnell, a market-facing underwriter with Zurich North America, demonstrated that essential follow-through when a Select Broker asked if she was interested in pursuing coverage for an e-commerce retailer that sells vehicle parts. The company was young but quickly expanding, and its policy was up for renewal.
Winning this customer meant securing several lines of business — not an easy task, as the company had a solid history with its current, much larger broker. Adding to the challenge was Brittany’s submission deadline.
“We had about a week for me and three other underwriters to tell the broker we could hit their target, and then another 10 days to put it all together with technical underwriting and Risk Engineering,” Brittany said.
In light of these challenges, Brittany and team’s response? “We said, ‘yes, we’re 100 percent in on this. We’ll be there for you.’ ”
Pedal to the metal: Brittany promptly initiated conversations with her colleagues in underwriting and Risk Engineering.
“The time constraints were one of the biggest challenges — so many people, so many moving parts,” she said. “I was the point person for the broker and was trying to quarterback myself and the three other underwriters to stay together and on time. It was really excellent execution on the four of us coming together and getting this done quickly.”
The broker and Brittany further helped their cause by offering the customer two solutions.
First, the broker brought to the customer’s attention a coverage gap in their current Auto coverage.
“We were able to engage our technical underwriting team and come up with a customized manuscript solution to provide the coverage the customer needed and avoid any gaps or gray areas,” Brittany said.
Second, the company’s lines of business were scattered among multiple carriers. Dealing with so many insurance providers not only can create more paperwork and other operational complexities, Brittany explained, it can also complicate the claims process. For example, when two different companies provide General Liability and Security and Privacy coverage, it’s not unusual for each to dispute which company should pay the claim.
“The broker was able to offer all the lines with Zurich,” Brittany said. “When you have all lines under the same insurance provider, it gives the insured peace of mind.”
Taking a victory lap: Having earned the company’s trust and confidence, the broker and Zurich won the business for all lines: Package (Property, Auto, General Liability), Security and Privacy, Employed Lawyers, Directors & Officers (D&O) and Umbrella.
“Our speed was really key,” Brittany said. “When it’s new business for a broker, it’s especially important to help them put their best foot forward and impress the customer. That was our goal, to make them look good in the process, too.”
Brittany noted that the customer also had some substantial premium savings, but in the end their win came down to service.
“They realized that the broker and Zurich are going to be there for them and have their back,” she said. “We look forward to providing an excellent customer experience for this customer and building on a successful relationship with this Select Broker.”