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Aug 24, 2016

How do I know if I need an insurance review?

It might sound a bit flippant to say, but you will not know if you need an insurance review until you have one. If your review is like that of most high net worth families, you may buy your insurance one category at a time: home, automobile, watercraft, valuables and excess liability. This approach can create gaps in coverage and loss of package premium discounts.

But even if all the pieces of your insurance puzzle fit neatly together, a property-casualty personal insurance review evaluates three critical measures—competent technical advice, correct pricing and transactional simplicity—of a correctly structured and administered insurance strategy. And in our opinion, for your insurance structure to qualify as high quality, a review should confirm that these five essential components are also in place:

1. A sophisticated underwriter
2. A competent account manager
3. An agency with organizational structure
4. A valid process
5. A trusted advisor

A sophisticated underwriter is an insurance carrier with an adequate credit rating, underwriting capacity, product design, product flexibility, pricing flexibility, claims integrity and ancillary services. Your broker should represent the most sophisticated underwriters, on a national basis. In our case, we represent all five of them.

You will not know if you need an insurance review until you have one.

A competent account manager is an insurance broker with proper technical background and experience. Expert knowledge prevents problems for you. Selecting account managers within the framework of a company’s discipline in operations yields high-quality control.

An agency with organizational structure demonstrates that beyond your account manager, others in the firm are capable of assisting with service and technical questions. You should consider as essential your ability, post-sale, to reach a person knowledgeable about your account whenever you call.

A valid process has adequate incoming information. For example, we use our risk-profile form to capture the salient parts of our conversations. A synthesis of the information results in a written work product for your policies. After you and we review the product, we go to discussion.

A trusted advisor enhances this process by endorsing the concept of the review. If you are among those who feel there is little product differentiation in our field, an advisor plays an important role in demonstrating the subtle differences between adequate and outstanding coverage. The purpose of the insurance review is to make certain yours is the latter and not the former. And if it is not outstanding, the review reveals weaknesses in your coverage that need correcting to make it so.

Insurance services provided through NFP Property & Casualty Insurance, Inc., a subsidiary of NFP Corp. Doing business in California as NFP Property & Casualty Insurance Services, Inc. (Calif. License # 0F15715).

This article was originally published in the August/September 2016 issue of Worth.

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Disclaimer: Worth magazine is a financial publisher and does not recommend or endorse investment, legal, insurance or tax advisors. The listing of any firm in the 2018 Worth® Leading AdvisorsTM Program does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by Worth magazine of any such firm and is not based upon Worth magazine’s experience with, or prior dealings with, any advisor. The information presented for each advisor, including but not limited to any related profile, statistical data, presentation, report, commentary, recommendation or strategy, has been provided by such advisor without review or independent verification by Worth magazine. Any such information is the sole responsibility of the advisor. Worth magazine makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of such information, assumes no liability for any inaccuracies or omissions therein and disclaims responsibility for the suitability of any particular investment recommendation or strategy for any person. Nothing contained in Worth magazine constitutes or should be construed as any form of investment, legal, insurance or tax advice or as a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or trade any securities, financial instruments or assets. Readers are advised to consult their legal, financial, insurance and tax advisors prior to making any investment or pursuing any investment strategy. Past, model or hypothetical performance is not indicative of future results.

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