Editor's note: In April, Steve Pozzi, senior vice president and chief underwriting officer, Chubb Commercial Insurance; Donald J. Pickens, executive vice president and chief underwriting officer national markets, Liberty Mutual Group; and John R. Glancy, chief underwriting officer, XL Insurance, sat with
Risk & Insurance® Editor in Chief Jack Roberts to discuss the state of underwriting today. As part of the wide-ranging discussion, the underwriters talked about the challenges of a soft market. An edited version of those comments is reprinted here.
Editor: One issue we've recently come across is recent exposures to the supply chain area.
Steve Pozzi: In that case you sometimes start to become the risk manager because a lot of our agents are even further behind some of our own underwriters. So you actually have to act as a risk manager and say, "OK, here's the exposures we've got, here's what we can and can't do. Here are the questions you want to ask."
It gets back to delighting the customers. If you don't know a lot, what you want to hear is "yes." When you ask questions, almost invariably what you're getting are "maybes" or "no's," and a lot of our clients don't like those as much as "yes." They just want you to do it. But if we don't ask these questions, we're both going to be sorry in a year from now. So there are a lot of moving parts.
John Glancy: It's a global issue and it's not confined anymore to the Pepsis and Coca-Colas of the world. There are small companies in Philadelphia that are importing products from China, from India or whatever, and that whole supply chain and all the risks that are involved in that from the actual manufacturing--how many recalls have we seen in the last six months, and they are just not all big companies.
JACK ROBERTS is editor in chief of Risk & Insurance®.
July 1, 2008
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