Does your proposal include this?

Let me ask you a question:

When you provide a proposal to a client (current or prospective), what information are you using to develop that proposal? While there may be some information you can gather from websites or other third party sources, aren’t you, in reality, using the information that the client has provided you?

What if that information is not totally correct? If the policy is written and the client suffers a claim, this is often the time when the carrier discovers some inaccuracies in the application. Based on the degree of those inaccuracies, the carrier may look to deny the claim based on a position that “they never would have written the account had they known the correct information”. Your agency’s position may be “we used the information the client gave us”.

There are some defenses that could be used but obviously only if they were in place.

One of those defenses should involve requiring (not just requesting) the client review the application before affixing their signature. Using a statement such as “I certainly believe that I have taken down correctly the information that you provided me so I would like to have you sign the application. However before you put your signature on the document, please review the application and advise me if there are any answers noted that you do not feel are accurate”.

Another approach to provide some degree of protection in the event of a problem is to make it very clear to the client that you used the information they provided you. To assist in protecting your agency in the event of an issue, give thought to including a statement such as:

In evaluating your exposures to loss, we have been dependent upon information provided by you.  If there are any other areas that need to be evaluated prior to binding of coverage, please bring these areas to our attention.  Should any of your exposures change after coverage is bound, such as your beginning new operations, hiring employees in new states, buying additional property, etc., please let us know so proper coverage can be discussed.

Following some simple steps could make a world of difference if a dispute arises.

 

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