Posted by: jmwilsonmga | November 13, 2012

Top 5 Excess & Surplus Lines Insurance Trends for 2013

Alan Croton, Lloyds of London, David Wilson, J.M. Wilson President, Sandi Fritz, J.M. Wilson Vice President, and Frank Parker, Benton & Parker

I once again was fortunate to attend the NAPSLO (National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices Ltd) Annual Convention, held in Atlanta Georgia this year, along with our President, David Wilson, and Vice President, Sandi Fritz. This is the largest convention held annually for those connected to the Surplus Lines industry, and its a meeting that JM Wilson does not miss. It affords us an opportunity to meet with virtually all of our binding markets, and some brokerage markets, during the course of three activity filled days. We met with approximately 30 different partners, to give us a chance to have short face to face meetings, to discuss current trends, and plans on the horizon for 2013.

All of the attendees that I spoke to this year agreed that the overall tone of the event was very positive for our industry! Different carriers are focused on different plans of action, but there were a few common themes that I would like to share:

(1) Technology is key – if you’re not ahead, you’re already behind! Most of our carriers have either developed, or are actively developing, vast improvements to their technology. The ones that are ahead of the curve are very well positioned for 2013, and the types of improvements they are investing in will help us to quote risks faster, with greater efficiency, and to process policies much more quickly. All of this creating a win-win situation for JM Wilson, our agency partners, and our insureds!

(2) Rates are increasing – if you haven’t seen it already, you will be any day now. The market is showing slow and steady signs of hardening. Not the lightning fast, overnight everything has changed, type of event, but a slower more methodical turning of the market. This is probably good news for us, perhaps slower, more well thought out changes over time will be the key to more lasting underwriting results. It would appear that use of credits will be less and less frequent over the coming months.

(3) Customer service is becoming more and more important to our carriers. This is good news for JM Wilson and our agency partners! The better service we receive from our carriers, the better service our agents will receive from us! Carriers realize that competition is fierce, and that this is a major differentiating factor (plus technology….see item 1 above!). Fast & friendly service will often win the account just as often as pricing will. We are happy to see our carrier partners on board with this mentality!

(4) Underwriting Discipline. Not only are rates tightening up, but expect underwriting to become more disciplined as many markets look to clean up their book and more appropriately price business that has been under-priced for several years running. You may be hearing from your underwriter at JM Wilson a little more frequently asking to clarify key points in relation to insureds’ exposures.

(5) Growth, growth & more growth! Unlike NAPSLO meetings in the recent past, where finishing the year flat was considered a success, aggressive growth goals will be the norm for 2013.  Carriers feel they and the market are finally positioned to achieve these goals, and we will all be a part of that process. Hopefully we will not only finish 2012 strong, but to keep it going in 2013, and have one of the best years the industry has seen in a long time!

About the Author : Roxanne Barry, Michigan and Southern Region Property & Casualty  Manager

Roxanne joined the J.M. Wilson Team in 1997 and currently serves as the Property & Casualty Manager for Michigan and the Southern Region.  She manages, grows, and leads her department which includes other lines of business such as Professional Liability, Errors & Omissions, Directors & Officers, Employment Practices Liability, Products & Manufacturing, Medical & Health Related Professional Lines, and Excess.  She loves that everyday in her position brings a challenge, whether she is researching coverages, classes of businesses, or even learning about an insured’s business operations.  She also loves working with her team of underwriters and watching them grow within the industry.  In her spare time, she loves to enjoy the art and music in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Although Kalamazoo is not a large city, it is unique in offering a variety of art, performance, culture, and food (home of the famous Bell’s Brewery!).

Connect with Roxanne on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2012 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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