Before approving an insurance policy for a client, most all insurance company underwriters go through a thorough process of evaluating the risk of insuring a business to determine if it will most likely be profitable for the insurance company to take on the risk. Based on the risk assessment, an insurance company’s underwriting department will decide who and what clients the insurance company will be willing to insure. Once the risk is determined, a price and insurance premium is set to be charged in exchange for taking on the risk. Typically, an insurance carrier’s underwriter will consider factors such as ownership structure, past loss experience, financial condition and credit history, any current or previous lawsuits, etc. But did you know that they also consider your website?
As your insurance advisors, we want to help all our clients get the best coverage and pricing out of their insurance policies. We understand that managing your risk also constitutes a major element of your business’s financial plan. Considering all the factors that go into an insurance company’s underwriting decision will help you understand the underwriting process. When we submit a client's potential business to a carrier, it is a common practice for insurance underwriters to thoroughly examine the client’s website to get a better understanding of the potential client. You can say this practice might be similar to that of an interviewer looking at an individual's social media platforms to get a better understanding of a potential employee. Both aforementioned practices have become commonplace only in the last decade or so as the internet era has taken hold, yet many businesses are unaware that this is happening almost each and every day to them and their business.
So what do you do? Well, think of your website as the Wikipedia for insurance underwriters, but in this instance you get to control the content. Insurance underwriters take the time to scrutinize the content on your website as part of their risk assessment. As such you’ll want to ensure you dot the Is and cross the Ts; that all the information on your site relating to your business and services provided are factual and kept up to date. And just because the insurance underwriter approves a policy doesn't mean it would not be reviewed at a later date. If an insurance underwriter sees a situation that may affect the policy and risks, the policy can be reviewed at a later date.
It is important for clients to keep their website content updated. So in the event, for example, you no longer offer a particular service, it might be a good idea to remove it from your website. Hank Massey, in a recent interview, spoke of a real client scenario where a service that had not been offered by the client in years was on their list of services on their website. Sure enough, that particular service was a major issue for the company’s underwriter and a long back and forth process ensued in order to get the policy written and get everyone on the same page. In fact, in that instance it would have been best for the client’s website to focus on their core services and not the ancillary service that they rarely ever sold/offered. Food for thought...right?
At Massey, Clark, Fischer, we see the importance of having an updated website and how it can affect your business’s ability to obtain superior insurance and keep premiums in check. We try to keep our clients updated with the changing trends in the insurance industry. We understand that making changes to content on your website can be tedious and sometimes taxing, but maybe now you can justify the time spent given that it may save you money on your next policy premium.