By Susan Henderson

Leveraging E&S wholesale brokers to add value to client relationships

The insurance needs of clients are constantly changing and sometimes your business can directly meet those needs, and sometimes it can’t. With access to wholesalers, however, the times when you cannot accommodate clients should be few and far between.

The surplus lines industry is healthy and growing. A.M. Best’s 2013 Special Report on U.S. Surplus Lines and record attendance at the 2013 National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) Annual Convention, point to the stability of the market and the value of the wholesale broker system in the insurance industry. Surplus lines provide a business model that works for agents, helping them meet a diverse range of client needs.

While the E&S industry has proven resilient over time, with no financially impaired surplus lines companies in the last nine years, there are always challenges to address including the devastating impacts of recent natural catastrophes and generating stable investment returns in a recovering economy. Perhaps the biggest challenge for the industry is for E&S professionals to tell their story effectively and help the retail industry understand how to leverage wholesalers as specialists.

Kevin Westrope, president/CEO of Westrope and president of NAPSLO commented, “Those of us who work in this industry know the value a wholesaler brings to an insurance transaction. Many retail agents also understand that value, but we still have a distance to go in helping the industry fully understand the ways in which a wholesaler’s expertise can help them strengthen client relationships and solve their clients’ most complex risks.”

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