How Insurance Risk Determines Policy Underwriting

How Insurance Risk Determines Policy Underwriting
As a property insurer, your dual purpose is to provide your clients with the coverage they need to protect their property and to do it at a cost that fits within their budgets. To do this, an important part of the underwriting process is a comprehensive property inspection to determine the nature of the insurance risk you’ll be underwriting with each new policy. Inspections may also come into play at renewal time.
Insurance Risk
To a property insurer, insurance risk is anything found on a property that may represent future claims against an issued policy. Identifying hazards that have the potential of leading to a future loss is good for you, the insurer, and for your client, the insured. You want to know about any insurance risk found by your property inspector so you may accurately determine policy cost and also inform the proposed policyholder of what items require attention. They should be happy for this information since addressing risks or hazards will not only make their property safer for them and their family but could also lower their insurance cost.

As Always, Don’t Expect What You Don’t Inspect!
Sometimes, informing a prospective policyholder that they’ll be subjected to a property inspection brings out a touch of anxiety or a bit of fear that any negative things found will mean an increased premium amount. The fact is, as a property insurance underwriter, you can explain to your client that any type of insurance risk uncovered during the property inspection can likely be mitigated to make the property safer and cost less to insure.

Depending on the property in question, there is a list of inspection types to choose from to satisfy your business needs. These start with a basic exterior photo inspection and go up to a complete interior/exterior high value inspection with an added 4-point inspection.

Improved Inspection Technology
Advancements in property inspection technology have allowed for inspections to be more comprehensive, require less time to complete and provide more important information to benefit the underwriting process.

While it’s fairly easy to see a crack in a sidewalk or driveway that may represent a future trip, stumble and fall liability claim, some other potential risks aren’t so easy to see. An electrical hot spot in a wall or inside a breaker box isn’t so easy to observe without some high-tech equipment like an infrared imaging camera. Catching an insurance risk like an electrical hot spot allows for mitigation before serious trouble occurs, which bodes well for both the insurer and the insured.

Inspecting the exterior of a high-rise building is made much quicker, easier and safer with the use of high resolution cameras mounted on remote-controlled drones. Using drones instead of having to climb out onto steep, hazardous roofs for a roof inspection provides great advantage to property inspectors. With video chatting capabilities, as an underwriter, you can even “go along for the ride” when roof areas or building exteriors are being viewed with the use of drones.

The Nature of Risk
Risk is defined as the potential for loss. In the insurance business, loss is defined as the unintentional decrease of an asset’s value due to a peril. A peril is defined as something that causes a financial loss.

Getting a clear idea of what risks a particular property has is the job of your property inspector. For more than 35 years, Insurance Risk Services has helped property insurers decide what risks are acceptable and how much to charge to underwrite them. Contact Insurance Risk Services to see how they can help you.