Commercial Insurance Underwriting And The Use Of Websites

Do you have a website for your business? How about a Face-book page? Do you publicize your business on the web? Most business owners these days do have some type of web presence. But what happens when an insurance underwriter looks at your web site to try and get a better picture of your business operations. Let’s take a quick look at a few problems your website may be causing you!

Even small owner operator type of businesses these days seem to have a website. Regardless the size of your business, your website is used not only by potential customers but by commercial insurance underwriters to take a look at the services you say you offer through your business. An underwriters job is to make sure your submission for insurance coverage, whether it be workers compensation, general liability, property, tools and equipment, commercial auto, commercial umbrella or professional liability meets their company’s guidelines and is an acceptable type of business for their company. An insurance company underwriter has many tools at their disposal to review your account, to determine the accuracy of the submission or application and to make pricing considerations for the cost of your insurance policy. A review of your website will tell an underwriter just what type of operation you run. Think about it! Your website is your business told in your own words!

Not all types or classes of business are acceptable to all insurance carriers. Some have a greater appetite for riskier businesses while others will only want to provide coverage for the normal, main street type of operation. These are business decisions an insurance carrier has made usually based upon their own experience and expertise. Makes sense, they want to provide their product to the types of business they know and in their opinion have a better chance of making a profit. Not unlike any other business!

So when an insurance company underwriter reviews a new account submission for coverage they want to make sure it fits with their company.

For example, lets say we have a small construction company, one who specializes in building residential structures, who has a great reputation, uses their own crew and has limited use of insured subcontractors. Looking at their website you find they say they do:

  • All Kinds of Roofing;
  • Fireplace Insert Installation;
  • Home Inspections Performed.

The underwriter sees this and declines to accept the risk for coverage based on the hazards present in their operation. In fact this employer had never re-roofed a house, had never installed a fireplace insert and had never conducted a home inspection. In fact the business owner had placed this information on his website because a competitor in his town had showed similar services.

In another example a high quality auto body repair garage showed as services on their site:

  • Metal Repair & Replacement;
  • Painting & Refinishing;
  • Power Coating;
  • Spray On Liners;
  • Sand Blasting.

 In this case the client actually did perform all the operations listed on their website. The workers comp underwriter declined this risk because of the exposure to sand blasting.

So a word of caution! Underwriters do look at your website! Make sure it accurately displays the services you provide. 

And if you need help with a workers compensation audit or premium problem be sure to contact a workers compensation consultant.

Hope this helps out!