The Way forward for Underwriting, Half 4: Collaborative Proposals


The process of insurance offers has changed shockingly little in the history of the profession. In the 1800s, freight forwarders delivered offers by mail or messenger. We later moved on to overnight packages and faxing. Today we use email.

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Aside from the fact that the document is now digital, most companies’ submission of the proposal is the same technique we’ve been using for hundreds of years. This is usually followed by a game of tags and emails as broker and underwriter trade messages to refine the proposal if necessary.

Today we will continue our exploration of the future of underwriting by examining how we can do it better.

Facilitating cooperation

The offer process does not have to get stuck in the past. In some parts of the industry this is not the case.

For example, if you receive an automated quote from Progressive, customers can use the Name your Price tool to play with deductibles and limits in a collaborative quote environment so the carrier and customer can easily work together to finalize the solution.

By inviting the customer into the quotation process in this way, you can adapt, negotiate, or fix problems quickly and efficiently. This creates a better customer experience and better policies, both of which are in the long-term interests of carriers.

This particular model is not suitable for a more complex risk or business, but there are numerous tools that enable freight forwarders, brokers and customers to work together. For example, many companies use Microsoft Sharepoint or Teams to create documents together. Google Docs can also modify documents and share comments. It is clearly possible to extend cloud-based collaboration to customers in a safe and welcoming way.

With a little imagination, we can also imagine a completely different sales and offer experience.

  • As soon as the offer is ready, the broker receives a link to the offer. The proposal includes data and analysis that they can share with the client to explain the price, videos or marketing materials on the carrier’s unique value, as well as a collaboration portal through which the broker can connect with sales and underwriting, to make changes to the document. It also includes a scheduling feature tied to the team’s loaded calendar so the broker can easily create a finalist presentation.
  • After a customer has agreed to follow your offer, the broker and the customer are given access to a customized onboarding portal. They have access to frequently asked questions and videos about how the company works, as well as a common checklist to update, complete and review the information required to set up with the new carrier. Every step of the way, they know what to provide or what to expect from the airline so that onboarding goes smoothly. offers a great experience.

A question of will

The landscape of today’s citation practices is reminiscent of the old adage that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. Since only the medium of submitting a quotation has changed a lot over the years, there are tremendous opportunities right now for shippers willing to try new things to differentiate themselves in the market. Working together and providing information on suggestions increases efficiency and increases acceptance.

Carriers just have to be ready to take the next step and go beyond the approach we’ve been taking for more than 200 years.

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