FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
GRIFFIN UNDERWRITING SERVICES
Please contact us if you have a question or comment that isn't addressed below.
GENERAL INSURANCE FAQ
E&S refers to Excess and Surplus Lines. The E&S insurance market writes the accounts that cannot be covered in the standard insurance market. These types of accounts are usually higher-risk and hard-to-place due to certain characteristics of the risk. E&S Insurance is not regulated by the state Insurance Commissioner. Instead, all E&S markets are regulated in much the same way by the state Surplus Lines Association.
Griffin does represent some Standard (also referred to as Admitted) insurance markets, but the majority of our markets are E&S (Non-Admitted).
As a wholesale broker we help insurance agents access a broader group of specialty insurance companies, as well as offer our expertise in navigating these unfamiliar waters. We know our carriers and their appetites, and know which risks would be better placed with which company.
We can divide our markets into two categories: Contract and Brokerage. With our "contract" companies, of which we have over twenty, we are considered an Authorized Representative, and in this capacity we usually handle all of the rating, quoting, binding, policy issuance, and policy maintenance. This means we have been granted the underwriting authority to affect coverage quickly.
For any business that does not qualify for any of our "contract" companies, we have well over 100 "brokerage" companies that we can turn to - even more if you consider that some of those companies have access to an equally wide array of markets. This vast selection of markets ensures that we have the scope to handle nearly anything you can throw at us. If you know that an account has been referred to our Brokerage Department, be sure to allow for additional time, as we do not have in-house authority with these markets. Therefore, all requests must be relayed to the Carrier.
If you have specific questions about whether or not we can place business with a particular company, please contact your underwriter.
Griffin Underwriting Services was founded as a market for Washington state, but quickly expanded into Oregon and Alaska, and has maintained a large agent base in the Pacific Northwest ever since. Our territory later expanded to include the rest of the West Coast: Idaho, Utah, Nevada,
and California. Our product offerings for those newer states are more limited, but we are continuing to develop quality products that make sense for those markets.
Through a special relationship with Allstate Insurance, Griffin has also
spread its territory nationwide (all states except West Virginia & Louisiana) for Personal Umbrella and Excess Personal Lines products. This nationwide territory can be accessed for non-Allstate agents by our Brokerage Department, as well as via many of our online quoting links, but not from our standard in-house quoting departments.
We act as an MGA [Managing General Agent] and as a Wholesale Broker. As such, we only transact business with retail agencies. We do not do business directly with the public.
If you are a consumer, you must contact a licensed insurance agent to access the products we offer. We suggest you ask people you trust who they use, check your phone book, or click here to locate an agent convenient for you.
If you are a licensed insurance agent or broker, click here to access the paperwork needed to get you set up to write with us.
We do business with many of the best companies in the insurance industry and we have a high-level of expertise in our field. Part of what sets us apart from our competition is our combination of product diversity, markets, experience, and service. We know that you have your choice of MGAs, and we strive to earn your business every day.
We were one of the first Surplus Line brokers in the region to be granted binding authority by Lloyd's of London, and we continue our reputation of quality and dependability to this day. We've been leaders in the surplus lines industry for over 75 years and we have withstood the ups and downs of the marketplace - all without losing the personal touch that comes with doing business with a family-owned company.
Click here to see what our customers have to say about us!
We close the books on the last working day of the month, and statements are then mailed out on the first working day of the following month. Payment is due by the 15th of the month.
Direct Billed Policies - By the 15th of the month. On direct bill policies with installments, the commission is paid to you after the installment is paid.
Agency Billed Policies - Usually the first week after statements are printed as long as the bottom line of the statement is a credit. Others are sent out throughout the month.
Not over the phone, but we do accept both online. From our home page, if
you go to the Policy Service menu you'll find "Pay Online". This
will take you (or the insured) to a 3rd party site that accepts Visa, Mastercard,
and Discover for an additional site fee (works out to about 3% of premium), or
they'll accept e-checks for a flat $2.50 fee.
It is strongly recommended that you do so. Once you bind the policy, you as the agent are responsible to us for payment of the premium. The policies cannot be cancelled flat and are usually subject to a 25% minimum earned premium plus fees and taxes, if applicable.
While we prefer to receive your agency check, especially on commercial policies, it will not prevent the policy from being bound.
We need the down payment along with the request to finance the policy. We then send the finance paperwork out in the mail to your agency to have you get it signed and returned to us. You as the agent may sign the finance agreement to save time. We then email it to the finance company for processing, and then IFC will bill the insured in 9 monthly installments. The majority of our quotes specify the down payment needed as well as the amount of the monthly payments.
Since the vast majority of our policies are subject to a 25% minimum earned with the fees fully earned, we calculate 27.5% of the premium, plus the fees and taxes. By doing this, if it is financed, this amount will cover the earned premium plus any earned finance charges.
We can try to have the policy cancelled flat. This, however, requires the Carrier's approval. We ask that you send us a copy of the NSF check and request that the policy be cancelled flat. We will contact the company for their approval. If the company approves we will send cancellation notice to the insured stating that all coverage is null and void. If the company does not approve flat cancellation, notice will be sent for non-payment and will result in earned premium.