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Elmore Insurance Brokers

What makes a good insurance submission?

By | Blog

During these unprecedented times and hard insurance market conditions, it’s essential to prepare and present a good insurance submission to an underwriter. So, what are the key things to consider about your company’s risk profile?

Background and context

There is always a backstory with a risk presentation. Your business could be an existing policyholder or one underwriters are working with for the first time. Perhaps you operate in a fast-growing sector such as infosec where there are special challenges and requirements. Background and context are essential starting points to help an underwriter judge how to approach and prioritise your enquiry.

Key factors and focus

Before presenting to an underwriter, be certain to clearly demonstrate your motivation and deciding factors. For example, is the priority price, service level or coverage? It’s vital to communicate your buying attitude and challenges to ensure you have the right focus from underwriters.

Right information, right time

Make sure there are no knowledge gaps. You must be fully prepared and have all the correct and relevant information ahead of your deadline. With the majority of us working from home, some turnaround times have increased – and for the moment, at least, it’s not possible for brokers to simply cross the road to get a quote from an underwriter at Lloyd’s of London. Therefore, ensure all your electronic submissions are relevant, accurate, and complete.

For most current submissions, you should include an assessment of how the business has been affected by Covid-19, such as financial impact. And If you are presenting a cyber submission, you should include a ransomware proposal form because of this growing threat. Sometimes you will need many attachments, so make sure everything is clearly labelled and nothing is missing.

Understand emerging and specialist risks

Digital innovations such as crypto and blockchain are transforming the world, but all new technologies and practices have associated risks. Your business activities, geographical reach and customer base may be affected by the rapid pace of change, so you must understand how emerging risks impact any submission when communicating to insurers.  Remember, you must disclose any information that could impact the judgement of an insurer considering insuring your business.

For fintech and infosec businesses, where change is rapid and there are unique needs and challenges, it’s especially important to understand how policy coverage addresses your business. Traditional insurance products may not provide adequate cover for newer risks and business models, so submissions must embrace evolving needs and market trends. This is one of Elmore’s key strengths as an insurance broker. We understand specialist needs, the pace of innovation and regulatory change, and provide the right focus for fintech and infosec businesses.

Written by Tom Abbotts, Client and Operations Executive, Elmore Insurance Brokers Limited.

Changing Jobs During a Pandemic

By | Blog

We’ve lived with Covid-19 for more than a year, and no-one has escaped its effects. Apart from the tragic loss of life, many of the things we take for granted have also disappeared. For example, our familiar office environment and work routines.

Working from home has become the ‘new normal’ for most people, while many others have been furloughed or, worse, made redundant. Against this unsettling backdrop, the thought of changing jobs  – a challenge at the best of times – seems daunting.

For Elmore, rather than being knocked back by the pandemic, it has been a time of continued growth. Thanks to the benefits of technology, the firm has embraced remote working and has even hired new staff.

I’m one of the new hires, having joined the firm in lockdown. It’s a novel experience to start a new job while compelled to work from home and unable to mix with colleagues, but the team has made me very welcome and technology is bringing us together. In fact, as a technology-focused insurance broker, Elmore has made the transition to home working very smooth.

Apart from being able to do my job just as effectively as if I were in an office, I also have the benefit of more time because I don’t have to commute. Time lost to travel is time gained for studying and perhaps obtaining professional qualifications.

Although I’m comfortable working from home, and Elmore has made it easy for me to start my new role, I look forward to meeting my colleagues face to face once the pandemic is over.

Written by George Pearson, Junior Client Executive, Elmore Insurance Brokers Limited.

Insurers’ Supply Chain Under Attack

By | Blog

Even cyber security experts get caught out. A recent cyber-attack on multinational technology provider DXC Technology, which among other services provides incident response for clients, has shown that even experts are vulnerable to attack. This demonstrates the systemic risk of an industry being reliant on one major supplier.

Lessons from the Xchanging cyber-attack

DXC’s managed services subsidiary, Xchanging, experienced a significant ransomware attack which lasted almost four weeks. The firm worked hard to restore access to its operating environment and kept insurers and brokers up to date with progress, but good comms alone doesn’t keep clients happy. The significant delays in processing claims and premiums will live long in the memories of all involved in the related insurance transactions. A poorly handled cyber event can be an easy way of destroying trust that a firm has spent years building. Transparency is key.

Not all firms adopt a transparent approach. After all, finding out a business is subject to possible regulatory or governmental investigation can be disconcerting. Plus, it’s expensive to manage a cyber event publicly and in challenging times a firm may have other spending priorities.

This means that cover-ups happen, but the cost of a cover-up is likely to be higher than the cost of managing an attack well. For example, Uber tried to cover up a breach and was fined USD148m. While the urge to ignore, deny or even remove potentially incriminating evidence is understandable, it must be resisted.

Supply chain risk

It is often said that the weakest link in a business’s cyber security is its supply chain as a firm’s vulnerability increases with its dependence on a critical supplier. This point is illustrated by the DXC cyber event, which has raised questions about the reliability of one supplier responsible for settling USD100bn of premiums and claims for the insurance industry.

Scrutinise risk registers

Cyber risk isn’t just down to a company’s anti-virus or firewall malfunctioning. It comes down to the core operational controls required to monitor and maintain good working practices. A firm should explore every risk, including business interruption, reputation harm and supply chain failure. After all, the likelihood of a solar flare from the sun damaging satellites, communication systems and power supplies has the same probability and impact as a global health pandemic.

It’s essential that firms keep an up-to-date and comprehensive risk register, which is accompanied by insurance mapping to define what risks are insured against and which are not. DXC will more than likely be considering its own business interruption for both lost revenues and the cost of handling the ransomware attack, along with its liabilities to the insurance industry for causing major disruption.

About Elmore Insurance Brokers

Elmore Insurance Brokers Limited advises its clients to actively manage risk to optimise insurance.  Insurance is a partnership between businesses and insurers. This partnership can be significantly enhanced by focused engagement to understand and implement risk management best practice.

Written by Simon Gilbert, Founder & Managing Director, Elmore Insurance Brokers Limited.

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