Underwriting Insider Insights

From the Manager’s Desk

Behind the Scenes at Flinsco.com • Underwriting


Insurance is no walk in the park, no matter what side of the picture you’re on. Agents, managers, clients, and carriers all have to stay on point and truly read the fine print. Here are a few October 2019 updates from the Manager’s Chair relative to underwriting insurance plans and some nuances that correspond with setting up a new policy or rewrite for Auto and Homeowners Insurance policies.

Keep in mind, our agents are trained, scolded often, and licensed to sell the great carriers and products we represent. In this day and age, it’s hard to tell who you can trust, and we want to offer you our inside scoop and nitty gritty from the staff angle. That way, you know we have nothing to hide and we have standards to uphold.

Feel free to reach out if you have any confusion or questions surrounding these updates and comments via our Contact Page.



Acronyms, Deductibles, & Surcharges for Adding Household Members


Infinity Auto no longer surcharges for additional household residents. As a result, the applicant needs to list everyone in the household.
Ocean Harbor does not surcharge to add an extra driver if the additional driver is a lower rated driver than the main driver. Clarification: For instance, a 20-year-old single male or female driver gets a quote. If you add their parents, the rate will not go up, it might go down. 


With United Auto, if they are the only driver on the policy, the PIP deductible applies to the Named Insured Only (NIO). NIO is more expensive than Named Insured and Resident Relatives (NIRR), in which case the PIP deductible applies to the Named Insured and Resident Relatives.


If you have any questions on this, please call a live, licensed agent at 888.307.1907.


Uber Important Information for Ridesharing


Carriers are cancelling our customers’ insurance plans for material misrepresentation. What does that mean? A lot of our insurance carriers are cancelling car insurance plans for business use, and it is mostly Uber or Lyft.
Our agents will be making sure to ask customers if they do work for Uber or Lyft, as that is business use. We DO have carriers that allow Uber and Lyft! Ridesharing is all the rage, of course, and companies like Infinity and Bristol West are there to accommodate.


Address the Full Address


According to Management, we receive piles of return mail, due to “insufficient address”, meaning we have the correct address we are just missing the apartment or unit number. 


We are making sure that FLINSCO.com agents ask the customer, after providing their address, if there is an apartment or unit number. 


This is very important, if a customer does not sign their application within a reasonable time, the application is mailed to them for signatures, and again we are spending time and money to do so.


Sign the Application  


We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a signed application.  If we do not have signatures for the coverage rejections, such as the Uninsured Motorist rejection and the BI rejection, if it is a Personal Injury Protection or Property Damage policy, the agency is on the hook for that coverage! 
Therefore, if the insurance company will write 100/300, we are on the hook to pay a BI claim for $100,000 per person, max $300,000 for the entire accident and the Uninsured Motorist Coverage of $100,000- per person and max $300,000 per accident. 


If the insurance company writes up to $1,000,000.00, we will be responsible for that amount as well.  We ask that our Agents make sure that their customers sign their applications. Seems obvious, but somehow a signature can fall through the cracks.


Accuracy and Photos


We process the inspections for National General and United Auto, which are the carriers that require a completed inspection. We cannot do the inspection if the agent, did not get ALL photos of the vehicle.  DO NOT approve photos with parts of the vehicle cut off, more than likely there is damage to that part of the vehicle.  If the vehicle has damage, ask the customer to send you an extra photo of the damaged area.  Ocean Harbor is now not requiring the odometer reading.


However, please still get the odometer reading for all the other carriers, especially United Auto and National General, where inspections are required and they also still require it.


Proof of Prior Insurance Coverage


When a discount for proof of prior is given, the customer must have AT LEAST 6 MONTHS OF PRIOR COVERAGE, WITHOUT A LAPSE. If they have a lapse in coverage for more than 10 days the discount is not applicable; because they had a policy for 1 month, it is NOT proof of prior coverage.


Homeowners Discount


Just because they own the couch in the home, does NOT qualify them for the homeowners discount. We can check if they actually own the home, whatever county they are in, go to the property appraisers website for that county and search the address, it it comes up in their name, give the discount. 


If it comes up in their uncle’s, cousin’s, sister’s name… NO DISCOUNT.


The discount is only given to the address listed on the policy, if they own a home in Jamaica or Trinidad (even though Bob Marley is from Trinidad and should have the discount), or another state, the discount DOES NOT APPLY.


Thank you to Rhonda for authoring this guide via email, setting the record straight, and keeping our offices abreast of the industry, consumer, and agent sides. We owe her for keeping FLINSCO.com in ship-shape compliance!