As published in Insurance Journal
In a world of ever evolving risk, marine coverage is an essential part of any insurance program. Why? There are numerous situations where standard property policies may not provide the specialized coverage or increased limits needed for proper protection. This may include owning specialized property, working at offsite locations, storing inventory off premises or transporting products for customers. The truth is, the majority of businesses need some type of marine coverage to address such risks.
What to look for in a carrier
The best independent agents are strategically selecting marine carrier partnerships that empower them to be more efficient — at a time when operational excellence is more critical than ever — and help maximize protection for their clients.
These agents align with carriers that offer:
1. A broad range of specialized marine capabilities
When a carrier’s marine product portfolio offers solutions that are a natural complement to its standard industry offerings, agents can seamlessly provide both standard property and specialized marine coverage for a broad range of risk exposures with a single carrier. This yields operational efficiency for the agent and a higher level of customer service for the client, with a single bill, a single carrier contact, coordinated loss control activities, and policy language designed to complement and consistently integrate with other policies offered by the carrier.
Many agents look for carriers with diverse product portfolios that respond to a wide variety of marine risks – from specialized property and goods in transit by air, land or sea, to buildings and structures under construction.
2. Online solutions
In a world where risks continue to evolve and financial pressures are at a peak, speed and efficiency are must-haves for any independent agent. Online platforms that enable agents to rate, quote, bind and issue marine coverage simplify the insurance transaction, while allowing the agent to improve customer service and deliver cost efficiency.
3. Program capabilities
Programs can be an exciting business opportunity for an agency. Leading marine carriers have the deep knowledge and expertise needed to write truly unique marine risks. These carriers can offer access to customized coverage and terms through existing programs or can partner with an agency to build custom programs for a verity of groups with similar coverage needs.
4. Technology for clients’ risk management efforts
The best marine carriers provide technical and specialized tools to help policyholders best manage risk. That means a commitment to innovation and keeping up with the latest technologies.
Look for carriers that offer drone surveys for aerial risk evaluation, IoT sensors to detect leaks or freezing conditions on construction sites, telematics for high-value assets, and more.
5. A dedicated marine claims team
Marine is a complex and intricate business, and its claims should be treated as such. Look for carriers that offer a dedicated unit of marine claims professionals who have a significant level of knowledge and expertise. The highly specialized nature of marine products means it really takes equally specialized claims professionals to quickly and accurately handle such claims.
Elevating the insurance experience – for agents and customers
Partnering with a carrier like The Hanover, a top 10 marine writer, can give independent agents a distinct advantage in the marine marketplace, providing access to:
- A broad product portfolio and specialized coverages, including program capabilities
- Expert marine underwriters who partner with agents to understand a client’s various exposures and help develop tailored solutions
- Online quote and issue capabilities that make it easier to underwrite, rate and issue builder’s risk and contractor’s equipment policies efficiently
- A team of specialized claims professionals focused solely on marine claims
With the right carrier partnerships, agents can offer their clients great marine protection that helps ensure the continuation and sustainability of their businesses, while reinforcing an agency’s value.
For more information about our marine offerings, visit Agent Solutions.
About the author
Tony DiMarzo is president of marine at The Hanover where he leads the inland and ocean lines of business, overseeing business strategy, tactical initiatives, appetite and portfolio management.