In the ever-evolving world of an insurance agent, two critical objectives consistently remain at the forefront: driving sales growth and mitigating the risk of Errors and Omissions (E&O) claims. Achieving this delicate balance can be a complex task, but there exists a remarkably effective tool that can help you accomplish both objectives simultaneously — the coverage checklist. By providing a structured approach to insurance consultations, these checklists not only remind agents of all the different optional coverages and endorsements to discuss, but also significantly reduce the risk of E&O situation by avoiding the “failure to offer coverage” claim. Let’s explore how this simple yet powerful tool can boost insurance sales, bolster client satisfaction, and mitigate E&O claims.
First, what’s the difference between a coverage checklist and a data-intake or quote sheet? A coverage checklist is a list of coverages and coverage options a client can choose from whereas a data-intake sheet is gathering the information about the risk being quoted. While it is important to know all the information you need to create a quote, a quote sheet doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk of an E&O claim or prevent future back and forth when it comes to “Does the client need ‘this’ coverage?” This is one of the many benefits of using coverage checklists.
A coverage checklist also can help an insurance agent upsell/cross-sell coverage by reminding them to ask the client if they are interested or need additional coverage not included in the base policy. This can increase sales and provide a better experience for the client by having their exposures addressed in an efficient conversation. If the client is not interested in a certain type of coverage that an agent recommends based on their situation, a coverage checklist should provide the option for the client (during in-person meetings) or agent (for phone meetings) to check a “rejected coverage” box. The client should also have an opportunity to request a quote for any coverage they do not have during the time they review the coverage checklist and sign-off that they reviewed the document. Lastly, a good coverage checklist should include language stating that the client is welcome to contact the agent in the future if they would like to discuss coverage options at a later date.
While most applications have a client signature and many of the different coverage options, it may not have everything that a coverage checklist has. It also does act as another piece of documentation in conjunction with the application to show the client has multiple opportunities to request certain coverage if an unfortunate situation arises.
Coverage checklists provide a better experience, a better risk assessment and better documentation for the coverage assessment process. This documentation can be valuable in the event of a dispute or E&O claim as it provides a clear record of the coverage options discussed and which were agreed upon. Not only that, but it also provides agents with a structured approach for each client, reducing the risk of overlooking important details or failing to offer essential coverage options. It gives the agent an opportunity to educate customers about coverage choices that might otherwise seem confusing in written policy form.
Virtual Agency Solutions proudly offers sample checklists for personal, commercial, farm/ranch and life & health insurance! You can download them here: https://www.virtualagencysolutions.com/checklists or contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can email them to you. These samples are meant to be updated and customized for each agency’s needs. If you have existing checklists, you may review our sample checklists to make any updates or changes to what you’re currently using.