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Tips for choosing the right general liability insurance carrier

insurancecarrierAuthored by: Insurance Specialty Group

Whether you’re buying your first policy, or rethinking your current provider, finding the right general liability insurance carrier can be tough. You want to understand what their policy offers and if they’re in good standing with a national rating organization. Here are a couple questions to ask when looking.

Is it important to have an admitted or non-admitted insurance carrier?

Choosing an insurance policy from an admitted carrier means if the insurance carrier cannot uphold their financial responsibility for a claim, the state will step in and back it up. If the carrier is non-admitted, the state does not get involved or offer assistance in the event of insolvency. However, since non-admitted carriers fall outside of state-filing regulations, non-admitted carriers may offer more competitive rates and customized coverage terms. This decision is dependent on availability of adequate coverage in your state, the importance of financial backing and your pricing / coverage requirements.

Are they in good standing with a rating agency?

The insurance industry recommends using an insurance carrier with an A.M. Best rating of “A” or better. Anything below an “A” rating is considered “Vulnerable” and a builder can be exposed to uncovered losses should a carrier default on their claims obligations. Construction defect liabilities can take several years to manifest. It is critical to know your insurance carrier will be financially stable throughout the “statute of limitations” time frame dictated by your state. You could be responsible for construction defect claims long after the house is complete.

Who is A.M. Best?

A.M. Best issues financial-strength ratings measuring an insurance companies’ ability to pay claims. A.M. Best’s financial strength rating represents the company’s assessment of an insurer’s ability to meet its obligations to policyholders. The rating process involves quantitative and qualitative reviews of a company’s balance sheet, operating performance and business profile, including comparisons to peers and industry standards and assessments of an insurer’s operating plans, philosophy and management.

The rating scale includes six “Secure” ratings of A++, A+ (Superior), A, A- (Excellent), B++, B+ (Good) .  The scale also includes ten ratings for companies deemed “Vulnerable”.

NOTE: This is for general information purposes only and is not advice regarding a particular insurance product.  2-10 HBW is not an insurance company or an insurance broker,  and this is not an offer or a solicitation to purchase insurance.