How to Get Your Underwriter to Get Behind Your Risk

Communicating the story of your client’s risk profile can yield optimal coverage at the best rate.

One of the most effective ways an agent can streamline the quoting process and get the best rate for a commercial client is by telling your underwriter a story. The story you craft probably won’t begin with “once upon a time,” but it may result in a happier – and more effective – end result for your client.

Underwriters generally evaluate a risk based on the information submitted with the application. Creating a written narrative about the business helps the underwriter understand the operation’s risk profile and tells the story of the business, the property, and – importantly – any claims or losses. The best narratives are the result of collaboration between you and your client with both having ownership in the final product.

When In Doubt, Add More Detail

Details are what it’s all about when it comes to helping an underwriter get the full picture of your client’s risk. Consider these elements when creating a written narrative:


All good stories start by introducing the characters, and this narrative is no exception. If the business owner and/or management have years of experience in their industry,  make a note of it. Be sure to include any relevant education and association memberships. Most importantly, lay out in detail the operation’s philosophy regarding risk management. What steps have the owner and management team taken to implement risk management strategies? What is the safety and security culture at the business? Any information that documents the management’s efforts to mitigate risk can be extremely valuable in the underwriter’s analysis.


Every business has insurance claims. The key is to tell the story of any claims going back three to five years to provide context for the underwriter. What happened, how was it resolved, and what is the business doing to reduce the chances of it happening in the future?


One element of an effective risk management strategy is providing ongoing training for staff to address issues such as slip-and-fall incidents and on-site injuries. Provide details about company policies and procedures, the training schedule and materials, and documentation of past training sessions.

Maintenance, Security & Equipment

If you have a written maintenance and inspection policy, provide a copy to the underwriter along with copies of third-party contracts for services such as snow removal and sprinkler maintenance. In addition, provide details about security measures implemented on the property and include inventory lists and photographs of equipment such as fire-suppression equipment, keypads, surge-protection devices, cameras, lighting, fences, and gates.

Property Details

Include information about other businesses in operation on the premises including business names, owner names, and a detailed description of the type of business being conducted. Also be sure to provide a list of named insureds with updated contact information.

A narrative that includes a high level of relevant detail along with the appropriate supporting documentation and required inspection results can go a long way toward helping an underwriter find credits and offer better pricing and terms for your commercial client. In addition, when underwriters have complete and detailed information from the beginning of the process, it saves time for you and results in a quicker quote turnaround for your client.

MiniCo offers specialized insurance solutions for a wide range of industries and exposures. From nonprofit organizations to self-storage facilities to agribusiness, and more, MiniCo’s experienced underwriters work with you to customize a policy for your client’s specific needs. Contact us to learn about our portfolio of exclusive specialty programs.

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