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Getting Personal with Personal Lines

Join Personal Lines Underwriter, Marsha Peck, and Springfield Marketing Representative, Parker Esworthy, as they discuss personal lines and the differences between the standard and E&S markets.

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 Good morning everyone. I hope that you're having a wonderful Wednesday. My name is Parker Esworthy, and I'm the marketing representative for Chris Leef General Agency in the Springfield area, and this is Making Great Amazing. I'm joined today by Marsha Peck, our Personal Lines Underwriter in Springfield.

How are you doing today, Marsha?

I'm doing well, thank you.

I would love to learn more about the difference between personal lines and the standard markets versus excess and surplus lines markets. Why would a policy go into an E&S.

Pretty much the reason that a risk would be sent to us, um, is it's, it's situation is something that falls outside of the standard market guidelines.

Um, maybe they have losses, maybe it's an older home that's hasn't had updates, maybe the protection class or like the roofs in bad conditions. So it's something that the standard markets, they will not take. So, We offer, um, in the E&S market, a place for them to put those risk for a while.

And so kind of what's the main differences between, you know, kind of those standard personal lines, markets and those excess and surplus lines markets?

Typically a standard markets would be like your clean risk that doesn't have any issues. Um, maybe no losses or maybe one small loss. You know, in pretty good shape. So the, those would go into the, the standard market, an E&S market, we would be more considered like a high risk. So, um, with those situations, you could expect to have possibly higher deduct deductibles.

Maybe for a specific claim, maybe it's a water claim, we could do a higher water deductible. Um, also typically the premiums tend to be a little bit higher than the standard market.

I know we have a lot of new producers out there, so , what's something they should know when they first start submitting new business to personal lines at Chris-Leef?

Okay. Typically the easiest thing that I have found to tell agents is to, um, if they have a risk that does not fit their standard market guidelines, those are the ones that we should be seeing. So whatever the situation is, um, whether it is due to claims or the protection class, or maybe they have a business on-premise or something, if it doesn't fit their standard markets, then they should send those to us and we can help with those situations.

Kind of in the excess and surplus lines world, you see a lot of weird and wacky risks out there. So what are some of the ones you've seen recently?

We have some unique constructions that we typically will see. I know log homes are difficult risk for agents to place with standard markets. Um, with those we would need to know the type of logs, whether they're hand tuned or milled.

And we can help with those. We also see tiny homes. We've seen container homes, um, barn dominiums or shoust um, where it's basically a metal building and they use part of it for maybe a garage or even like a, an arena for horses or something, and then they live in part of it. I have seen floating homes before or homes that are on stilts, so just kind of some unique situations that maybe wouldn't fit a standard market.

So for a new producer, what is something they should know when they first start submitting new business with to personal lines at Chris-Leef?

Okay. The, pretty much an agent should send business to us if it doesn't fit their standard market guidelines. Um, the ones that maybe have claims or maybe in protection class nine or 10, but for whatever reason, if it doesn't fit those standard markets, then they should send those to us.

Um, also on submissions, when they send those in the better that they complete the application, um, the better quote we can get, we will need updates. We need loss details. We need to know if there's prior coverage. If there's been a lapse, we need to know why. That information helps us determine which company we can go to and which coverage that we can offer.

So the better information we have, the better quote you'll get.

Awesome. What is the end goal for personal lines placed in the E&S markets? ,

pretty much we would like to have your customer, um, if they have, if maybe it's, it's not acceptable to your standard markets, maybe they've got a lot of losses or something.

If you, if you send it to us, then we would approach it with higher deductibles or maybe supplements or exclude a specific coverage. Um, pretty much we want to get that customer to a point where they're healthy and don't have claims to where the agent can actually take it back to their standard market.

So we may have it for two or three years, but then once they get healthy, then they can go back to the standard markets and keep your client rather than, um, sending them down the road because they have two or three losses within a three year period of time. So that's kind of where we feel like our place is to be able to help you maintain your customers, um, to get them healthy.

Definitely. And I know customer retention is huge to our agents, so


So Marsha, I know you're out in Springfield. Are there any trends that you're currently seeing out there?

Um, typically we've been seeing a lot of homeowners that, um, or dwellings that have losses, um, that make them unacceptable to standard markets.

We also see quite a few risks that are located in protection class eight, nine, or 10. Those are kind of hard to place. Um, with the dwellings we can do vacants or vacants with renovations, sometimes Airbnb or they're doing short term rentals. We also, um, can offer a standalone adjacent structure. Maybe you have a garage or even a boat dock that's located on a piece of property and there's no living quarters there.

So we can help with those. We can offer property and liability. Um, also if they have vacant residential land, a few acres that there's no structures on at all, we can help with those. Um, and in the Marine we can offer contents in a mini storage, and that seems to be a helpful, uh, coverage for some agents that they're not able to get.

So it'd be your residential property in a storage facility. We can do scheduled jewelry or guns. Arts collectibles. We can also help with, if they have a maintenance vehicle, we can write those on inland marine form, like a small tractor or maybe a gator or a skidsteer. In umbrella, we are seen, um, Some different rate increases with some of the standard markets we've heard.

Um, personally, we've had a market pull out of the umbrella coverage, and so we do have USLI and then RLI. And RLI does a really good job. They can offer a quote on an umbrella for the, if they have lower auto Limits, which is kind of unique. So they can do those 100 300 or the 250 500, um, where most of them require either 500 or a million underlying auto.

That's how we can help with those.

Sounds like there's a lot going on out there. What do you like about personal lines versus commercial lines?

Um, commercial lines seems just very broad and there's just a lot of different aspects to it and personal line's a little bit smaller window, but there's always unique situations that come up.

So I've had people ask if personal lines was boring and it's never boring cuz people come up with all kinds of weird things that they're doing that doesn't fit the standard markets. So or have situations come up. So it's just kind of. Challenging to me to come up with a unique underwriting way to address the risk that comes if they've got losses, you can do the higher deductibles, you can do supplements, you can exclude a coverage.

So it's just trying to find a way to make, to get the best quote to the agent that addresses the situation. So I enjoy it.

Yeah. And Marsha, can you tell me a little bit more about how you got into insurance?

Well, that's kind of a story in itself. I, I had a little business when I was right outta high school.

My friend and I had a little flower shop and there was a petition between us and a shelter insurance agent. So if he was out of the office or something, we would answer his phone. We would, you know, help with customers do filing, that type of thing. So I kind of heard a little bit of insurance lingo. And then later, um, in looking for a job, there was a position open in a insurance brokerage an E&S brokerage here in Springfield.

And so I thought, well, I know a little bit about insurance, so I applied and got that job and the rest is history. So once, once you get an insurance it sucks you in and it never lets you out is kind of my thoughts. So here I am, a long time later, so of course.


You can tune in every other Wednesday for another episode and may the commissions be high and the hard times pass you by. See you in a couple weeks, folks.

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