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The True Healthcare Specialist: A Case for Agency Management

David Huss - Jul 19, 2021

A few years into the last medical malpractice soft market cycle I was disappointed, although not surprised, to see several national retail agencies significantly restrict the number of wholesale insurance brokerages they allowed their producers and support staff to work with. Over the years, more national retail agencies, and even some larger regionals, made the same decision. Even now, as the medical malpractice market hardens, the dynamic continues albeit at a much slower pace.

The rationale for such a decision is primarily to leverage greater volume with fewer wholesale organizations. The theory is that the retail agency can then demand a higher level of attention from the chosen wholesale organizations—and extract another point or two of revenue out of the applicable business. The typical result? A retail agency’s production staff is forced to work with a short list of very large, generalist wholesale shops.

Now, a generalist wholesaler can do a decent job on a broad range of product lines. That explains why there are so many of them! However, some product lines simply require a true specialist … and medical professional liability is one of them.

In my recent blog article, The Case For A True Healthcare Specialist, I explain why it’s important for a true healthcare specialist wholesaler to be utilized for medical malpractice placements when the assistance of a wholesaler is required. The target reader for that article was a retail agency’s production staff. However, it isn’t the production staff that makes the decisions about which wholesaler they can work with—they just deal with the consequences of those decisions. Management makes the call.

As I was reflecting on this, it occurred to me that when it comes to the decision about which wholesale brokerages to work with, agency management would look at things through a different lens than their production staff. Agency management would probably be more focused on the broader business implications of the benefits their production staff receive from a true specialist than they would the benefits themselves.

Leveraging the Power of Your Production Staff

So here is the case for agency management allowing their production staff to work with a true healthcare specialist wholesaler to assist in the placement of medical professional liability:

  1. More Effective Staff– The specialist wholesaler makes a retail agency’s producers and support staff more effective. They bring broad market access, meaningful underwriter relationships, experience, and an elevated level of expertise to the table for their retail customers. They provide not only the right competitive options but also the information necessary to sell them. This makes an agency’s production staff capable not only of a higher retention rate on the healthcare-related business they already have but a higher hit ratio on the new business opportunities they generate.
  2. More Productive Staff The specialist wholesaler increases the efficiency, and therefore the productivity, of an agency’s production staff by providing them with all the information they need to do their job the right way. A true healthcare specialist wholesaler is already an expert in the healthcare space, so the retail agency’s production staff doesn’t need to be.
  3. Lower Operating CostsWhen it comes to medical malpractice placements, a true healthcare specialist wholesaler will make far fewer mistakes than a generalist. This reduces the retail agency’s E&O exposure and, in turn, the cost of an agency’s E&O coverage. But the savings do not stop there. Less E&O claim activity means fewer deductibles need to be paid. It also means management spends less time dealing with these unfortunate situations.

When it comes to medical professional liability, a specialist like Ethos can help a retail agency’s production staff do better work less expensively. By providing honest, high-level expertise and market access, we help your production staff find the right insurance solutions for your clients faster so that they can spend less time searching for options and devote more energy to developing the relationships that drive your business. It really is that simple!

Now that makes dollars and sense.

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