In the insurance business, underwriting is a common term. People outside the industry don’t always understand what it means. Underwriting is simply the process of determining whether or not the insurance company will accept the risk. At Barton, it means assessing the person(s) and the property to be insured. As a mutual company, our policyholders are our owners, so we have a duty to protect their premiums to the best of our ability—we do that by setting standards for what we insure. We use several tools to make the ultimate determination of whether or not a risk is acceptable to our company: roof and construction data; claims history; and agent knowledge of the client to name a few. We also employ field managers around the state who inspect every property risk we write to determine insurability. That makes us a little different than other carriers, but we feel it is still a good way to protect our policyholders, because we get to view every property we insure.
When you apply for insurance, the information you include in the application and the answers you give will be used for underwriting. Most companies (like Barton) employ underwriters. Some online insurance products may use automated underwriting to qualify a risk for acceptance, but we find that the human touch is still very useful in this business. Our techniques and even the data we use for underwriting have evolved with the times, but our underwriters still view every application that comes through our door. It’s just one element of the excellent service we believe every customer deserves.
This information is meant to be a broad overview and should not be the only source you consult for evaluating your risk management needs. Adherence to the above guidelines does not ensure coverage under your policy, nor does it guarantee your risk will be accepted by our company or that your property or operations are safe, healthful, or in compliance with laws, rules, or regulations. Coverage is determined by specific policy provisions, limitations and exclusions that can only be expressed in the policy itself.