As published in Insurance Journal
Tens of thousands of small businesses have changed the way they do business, interacting with customers digitally and adjusting their offerings to provide new consulting services, advice, or training. However, a relatively small proportion of these businesses are making corresponding changes to their insurance programs, leaving the window of opportunity wide open for experienced agents to provide valued counsel and effective insurance solutions to their clients. Increasingly, the key for many agents is to partner with a carrier that can provide responsive professional liability insurance solutions.
What to look for in a carrier
While it is important to make sure clients have the correct professional liability, or E&O protection, we are seeing top agents more critically evaluating the capabilities their carrier partners bring to the table. With an increasing number of small businesses requiring professional liability protection, agents are being very selective about coverage options and carriers, only working with companies they believe have the following:
- Customer service centers that provide servicing for professional lines business. With many carriers only offering service for standard lines in their customer service centers, it is a good idea to consider if a carrier can manage specialized coverages, as well. Placing professional liability lines in service centers, in addition to standard lines, offers both agents and small business clients a more seamless service experience.
- Experienced underwriters and claims teams. A wide variety of professionals rely on this coverage, so it is not always a one-size-fits-all solution. Partnering with carriers that have experienced underwriters and claims professionals can be an important value-add for agencies, offering expert guidance on nuances of the policies and potential professional services risks for small businesses.
- The right coverage options and flexibility. Some clients get the professional liability protection they need from an endorsement to a business owner’s policy. But a growing number of small businesses require coverage that goes beyond the protection afforded by traditional small commercial policies. Partnering with carriers that offer both endorsement and stand-alone options for professional liability enables agents to offer the level of protection their customers need.
- Online solutions. Carriers that have online quoting capabilities, including both endorsement and stand-alone solutions, can improve the ease of doing business for agents by offering an efficient way to provide the professional liability coverage their clients need.
Elevating the insurance experience – for agents and customers
Partnering with a carrier like The Hanover can give agents and their small commercial clients a significant advantage in the market. Whether a client needs specialized coverages, standard limits, endorsements or stand-alone options for miscellaneous professionals, accountants and more, The Hanover’s suite of professional liability solutions can be tailored to meet their unique needs.
Additionally, The Hanover recently expanded its TAP Sales online quote and issuance capability to include its proprietary, stand-alone miscellaneous professional liability and management liability products, offering agent partners the flexibility to offer account-focused solutions or stand-alone policies focused on efficiently serving the specialty coverage needs of small businesses, while helping to improve the agency and customer experience. The Hanover’s customer service center can help manage business written through TAP Sales—as well as traditional small professional liability and management liability business placed through underwriters—on behalf of its agent partners. Acting as an extension of agencies, the service center can nurture and service these policies, driving greater agency efficiency.
Helping small business owners understand the tremendous need for professional liability coverage is a win-win for independent agents. By offering important and valued counsel, agents can guide their clients to protection that helps ensure the continuation and sustainability of their businesses, while reinforcing the agency’s value.
Learn more about Professional and Executive Lines
About the author
Sarah Medina is an experienced insurance leader with more than 20 years in the industry. Since joining The Hanover in 2014, Sarah and her team have expanded the company’s professional lines portfolio and have helped the company’s partners capitalize on the increasing opportunity in the market.