Belinda Bagnall, Managing Director of Residentsline provides more details about the underwriting process.
The underwriting process is largely unknown to people who work outside of the insurance industry.
Many aren’t aware of the level of detailed work involved in underwriting and designing the perfect policy for a block of flats, and premium calculations are often a mystery.
The aim today is to demystify how we locate the right policies for our customers, ensuring that their policies meet their needs and budget.
What Do Underwriters Do?
Underwriting in its simplest form is the process of assessing the risks associated with insuring a building. This process will look to review key criteria set by the various insurers to determine the level of risk presented and the premium that ultimately needs to be charged in turn for accepting that risk.
Residentsline underwriters are trained professionals who really know the industry, we ask key questions designed to properly understand the risk presented so that we can ensure adequate cover is provided to protect the property in the event of a loss.
Focussed on the leasehold sector, our team offer policies for Residents’ Management Companies, Right to Manage Companies, Residents’ Associations, Developers, Freeholders and Landlords. Our trained professionals have a keen eye for detail and will often talk you through the underwriting process explaining which features of risk are likely to bear impact on the final price.
Our specially designed insurance policies cover your flats and apartments for the widest range of risks possible, and we’ve worked hard to produce blocks of flats and apartments insurance policies that our UK customers can trust. We tailor-make all policies to match your property, ensuring you feel confident in your coverage when partnering with us.
Our blocks of flats insurance policies are provided with A-rated insurance providers, so you can be confident that your insurance policy is backed by a UK market-leader you can trust when problems arise. All our UK customers have access to our 24-hours claims line and emergency services helpline too.
What Does the Process Entail?
The process begins when we receive your quotation request for building insurance, some people like to provide the details via our online quote form, some like to give us a call on
0800 281 235 and others prefer to send their existing policy information over to our quote inbox Quotes Inbox – Quotes@residentsline.co.uk and let us take it from there. During the fact-finding process, we will ask you for accurate details about the property such as its location, construction type, age, occupancy, and any previous claims or damages. Our expert team will guide you through the process and look to work with you to best understand your property and overall insurance needs.
Certain criteria can have a huge impact on the overall price you pay its extremely important that you have checked these details for example did you know the floor type or your roof materials are likely to impact the final price you pay?
Assessing Your Risk:
One your underwriter is satisfied that the fact-finding process is complete and that they can comply with the duty to present all material facts to insurers your underwriter then reviews the key criteria and assesses the risk associated with insuring the building. Underwriters will often carry out additional checks such as reviewing external street view images, they will take a look at the aerial view of your property, check for historic listing data, complete postcode checks and environment agency searches along with considering factors such as the property’s condition, age, previous loss history, proximity to fire stations, crime rates in the area, and other relevant risk indicators.
Our underwriters often work on a delegated basis – which means the insurers delegate an authority to our trained professionals to assess, review and calculate the premiums associated with your risk within the parameters of underwriting guidelines and rates supplied by insurers. The underwriting guidelines will outline the acceptability criteria for insurability and our risk tolerance. Should a risk fall outside of these guidelines the risk is then referred directly to the insurers for their consideration. These guidelines help our underwriters to make consistent, informed decisions.
Our underwriters investigate the property’s loss history, including any previous insurance claims. This information helps assess the likelihood of future claims and provides insights into the property’s overall risk profile. Ultimately, insurers are looking to insure the unknown and not the inevitable – if a property regularly suffers from frequent waters losses an insurer will expect underwriters to provide them with further information as to the mitigation measures taken to prevent further instances of a similar loss. When presenting a risk for consideration with a colourful claims history it is always helpful for you to provide extra information, details such as the exact loss dates, confirmation of the full circumstances, whether the incidents are linked and what measures you have taken to prevent these from happening again are very helpful. Providing this additional information is likely to open your risk up to more insurers and help secure the best possible terms.
Inspections and Surveys:
In some cases, the underwriter may request a physical inspection of the property and order a survey by a professional surveyor. This process helps verify the accuracy of the information provided in the application and assesses the property’s condition, safety features, and risk factors.
Once the underwriter has evaluated the risk, they determine the appropriate premium for the coverage. The premium is the amount you will pay to the insurance company for the policy. It’s typically based on the level of risk, replacement cost of the property, and any additional coverage options selected. Premiums have notably increased in recent years for multiple reasons outside of the control of insurers and brokers- you can read more about that here and, specifically regarding index -linking, here.
The underwriter then prepares an offer or quote, detailing the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. This offer is presented to the you, giving you the opportunity to accept, negotiate, or decline the offer. While many will be drawn directly to the premium offered it’s important to look for any additional factors for consideration such as cover exclusions, increased excesses or subjectivities applied to the policy. When the policy offer is presented, make sure you read all accompanying documentation ensuring the statement of fact or any similar documentation accurately represents the risk presented.
If you accept the offer, the underwriter then finalises the insurance policy documents. These documents outline the coverage, policy limits, deductibles, exclusions, and other terms and conditions. Once issued, we provide the policyholder with a copy of the policy.
Even after the policy is issued, underwriters continue to provide ongoing support. If a property was made subject to certain conditions – they will continue to monitor these conditions and ensure they are met. If a property requires a mid-term adjustment such as a change in value following a reinstatement cost assessment they will assist with this too. Underwriters may be involved in the consideration of works mid-term should your property require some ongoing or emergency maintenance.
Residentsline’s flats insurance policies are tailored to your needs and have been created for all sizes and types of blocks of flats and apartments. Our insurance product offering also includes the following additional products that often go hand in hand with Buildings insurance such as directors and officers liability insurance, terrorism insurance, lift inspection and machinery breakdown insurance and legal expenses protection. Whatever your needs, at Residentsline, we are ready to help find the cover to suit you.
To read more from Residentsline, please click here. Alternativly, click here to find more from Flat Living. Head to the Residentsline website for information on all of our products and services or, if you’d like to speak to one of our fantastic, specialist team, give us a call on 0800 281 235.