The Second Sale: Maximizing the Agent and Underwriter Relationship
Insurance | Connections Editor | Aug 31 2021
With more than 20 years of insurance experience, Meg McKeen knows the importance of maximizing agent/broker and underwriter relationships, especially given she has worn both hats. McKeen, the founder of Adjunct Advisors LLC and host of the Bound & Determined podcast, shared her knowledge on agent/broker and underwriter relationships during an Applied Net 2020 session.
With an authentic voice and skilled storytelling, McKeen spoke to how, in her first role as an underwriter, she took the time to really learn the science of underwriting before becoming an insurance agent. The core focus of the session was to introduce the concept of the “second sale,” which is defined as the relationship, or partnership, between an agent or broker and an underwriter in order to reach a favorable resolution for a client.
Some questions to consider when preparing for the “second sale” include:
- From the Agent/Broker Perspective –
- What does it take to keep your agency sales member or your agency princple happy?
- Is your pipeline full?
- What is the revenue both coming in and going out the door?
- From the Underwriter Perspective –
- What is the net increase for the new and/or existing premium?
- What is at stake in the negotiation?
- How does the loss ration look? Book of business/profitability?
McKeen emphasized that, in underwriting, it is important to consider timing, pricing and success when communicating with agents or brokers. “What (underwriters) want to know is, ‘Have you had the conversation with your client?’,” McKeen said. “We have to remember that every deal that an underwriter chooses to move forward on means that something else potentially gets put to the side.”
What McKeen described as a utopia for agents/brokers and underwriters is using favorable terms for clients. “[Everyone] wants to know that, when [they’ve] made a submission to a carrier, that [they] are getting competitive pricing and the most comprehensive terms,” McKeen shared. She then highlighted the outcomes of building strong relationships between agents/brokers and underwriters, “Underwriters may not make a commission, but they can be instrumental in helping agents get where they want to go.”
All in all, McKeen encourages agents and brokers to be intentional with their relationships in order to create win-win-win partnerships between the underwriter, agent/broker and client. In closing the presentation, McKeen advised that agents/brokers engage the underwriter as soon as possible in the process and anticipate what the underwriter might want to know. “Give underwriters a timeline, they typically crave order,” she noted. “Be able to tell the whole story to the underwriter so you can set them up for success.”
Tags: Insurance , Applied Net , Client Relations , Sales , Business Insights