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Broker Be Nimble, Broker Be Quick…

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Broker be nimble

How fast response can salvage a deal that hangs in the balance

The ability to meet a seemingly unattainable deadline can not only save an account, but also the deal itself. Just ask broker Chase Elliott of Burns & Wilcox Brokerage in Chicago.

It was mid-afternoon on the Friday that began the July 4th holiday weekend. While many people were heading to holiday celebrations or preparing for their own guests, a group of individuals huddled in an office, closing a commercial real estate transaction. The group included a Chicago insurance agent who had been summoned to the meeting at the last minute when the buyer realized he needed a certificate of insurance for the closing. The agent listened carefully, and when the subject of the certificate surfaced, he assured the seller that coverage was imminent. The deal went ahead, contingent on the buyer presenting documentation of his coverage. Now the agent had to make good on his promise.

As soon as he got in his car, the agent called Elliott. The property’s tough liability exposure made it a definite surplus-lines risk. The property had been vacant for months but was not properly secured, and maintenance issues made it harder to place. Windows and doors needed to be boarded up to prevent vandalism, says Elliott.

It was now 3:30 p.m., but Elliott knew just where to call. “I made one call to the right underwriter and persuaded him to turn this around very quickly,” he recounts. “I had a quote for the Property and Liability Coverage within 20 minutes.” The certificate of insurance was ready for the agent the next business day

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