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Why is JSA different? I hope this information will answer that question. We feel we must strive to provide the finest service possible in order for you to want to do business with us. It is as
important to have "the right attitude" as it is to have the right products. We strive to make it a pleasure to do business with us and we hope our efforts are succeeding. We truly believe that "we are in business because of you," and we shall never forget that.
I hope that this information will let you realize that JSA is different than most excess and surplus lines brokers and the difference is a positive one. Of course, I always welcome your feedback. If you find that JSA is not living up to what we say, let me know. Thanks for taking the time to review the following information and I know that you will discover "why JSA is different."
Sincerely, Wayne Sumner, President of Jackson Sumner & Associates
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⇓ We are in business because of you; not vice versa.
We make our living from you - you don't make your living from us.
⇓ We write what your Standard Companies will not.
You make your living from your standard markets. Our job is to complement that relationship by finding you a market for those things your standard markets won't or can't do. We are not account-oriented. In fact, we encourage you to give your standard markets any portion of an account they want. Talk to us about what they don't want. You will not hear us ask you for supporting business.
⇓ Retail & Wholesale Never the Twain Shall Meet
You are in the retail business; we are in the wholesale business. As far as we are concerned, never the twain shall meet. We will not walk both sides of the street. We don't deal directly with your insured, nor do we have any affiliate who does. We appreciate what you do and are most happy for you to do it. We will not - under any circumstances or guise - go directly to your insured.
⇓ We are Telephone Oriented
Please use our toll-free number. We prefer talking with you and giving you quotes on the phone whenever possible. We are able to handle the majority of our business by telephone. Market conditions (soft vs. hard) sometimes dictate the need for applications, but there are on 2 situations where applications are always required:
- to issue the policy after it has been bound
- lines of business that cannot be done on the phone such as Umbrellas, D&O, Professional, large schedules, complex or multi-location risks
If you prefer to mail, fax or email us an application by all mean do so! We want to do it your way!
⇓ Call us Before you Send an Application!
Even if an application is required, call us before you fill it out to see if we can handle the risk first. If we cannot, we will tell you then and you won't waste your time with unnecessary paperwork. If we can handle the risk, then we can tell you the specific information that will make pricing better or placement easier.
⇓ Policy Issued Within 24 Hours
Since we bind over the telephone, and phone calls are difficult if not impossible to recreate - if we issue the policy (which is 90%) we will get it issued within 24 hours of binding. Note that if the policy is one that the company requires us to have the signed terrorism form before binding or issuing, we will deliver within 24 hours of receipt of the signed form.
In those instances where we do not issue the policy (about 10% of the total) we will send you a written binder within 24 hours of binding. You should never have to wonder if we bound what you requested. For those policies bound online, you will receive a binder via email within 15 minutes of binding.
⇓ People you Know, People you Trust
One of the things that bothers us about our industry today is that is seems like every other week we find ourselves working with a new underwriter at our companies and having to try to build a relationship all over again. We're sure you get frustrated by the same thing with your companies. We are very pleased that 70% of our people have been here 5 years or more (some of us a lot more!).
⇓ JSA is Here to Stay
Long-term relationships and stability are very important to us. We think they are important to you the agent, as well. The financial position of JSA is obviously vital to us. Since we stand between you and the company, it is also vital to you. After all, you send your clients' money to us and depend on us to pay the company.
There are many situations, particularly in the London market binding authorities, in which we pay the claims and recover our money from the company. Therefore, we must view our position as if we were the insurance company. Like every other corporation, our CPAs conduct an annual review; however, at our insistence, they review our figures monthly. The statement consistently made by our CPAs as a result of these reviews is:
The liquid assets maintained by JSA are more than sufficient to meet all existing known obligations. Adequate reserves are maintained for all payments to insurance companies. The conservative business philosophy of JSA over the years leads us to believe the reserves will continue to be maintained.
⇓ Our Underwriting Staff
We will put our Underwriting Staff up against anybody, anytime, anywhere! There are 28 of us (wow when this was first written a few years ago there were only 5!). 13 of us do Transportation, 13 of us do the other Property & Casualty Lines, and 2 of us do Personal Lines.
A few of us have been doing this a long, long time...40 yrs plus. Some of us grew up on the company side before the bureaucracy of corporate life drove us to the point of insanity. Some of us actually worked in retail agencies before we learned there is far too much work involved in that occupation. One of us was an outside claims adjuster who got too old to climb up on roofs anymore (don't tell her I said that).
The point is that between us we have pretty much been there and done that. We understand both of the groups that we are a bridge between..agents and companies.
We are especially proud of the education achievements of many of our staff members; 5 CPCU's, 4 working on CPCU designations, 9 CIC's, 8 working on CIC designations, 5 who hold Insurance Degrees from Appalachian State, 2 ASLI, 2 CRM, 1 ARM and 1 AIC.
In short, we find that we actually have more experience and insurance education than our company underwriters. We generally know what we are trying to do and we are not ashamed to admit it when we don't.
⇓ Who Pays for our Mistakes? We Do!
If we give you a firm price and the facts don't change, that's the price you pay! If we have made an error, it's our problem, not yours. We have never, never, ever gone back to ask an Agent for more money because of our mistake.
Have we ever had to pay a company out of our pocket? Yep! The only time we come back to you is if the facts are different - more square footage, a change in payroll, receipts, values, etc.
⇓ We Might have the Edge
For many years we have consistently been among the top performers in the nation for our larger company partners. What does this have to do with you? Even though no self-respecting company would ever admit it, you know and we know that companies and Underwriters will do things for some agencies - those that support them and make them money - that they won't do for others. That edge may be all we need to help you find the coverage and price you need.
⇓ Back to our Staff for a Minute
We are totally different personalities. People don't do business with companies - they do business with people. You choose who to work with, we don't choose for you. If you want a particular Underwriter, you will get that Underwriter. If you don't care, neither do we... talk to the Underwriter who is free at the moment. We pretty much run the gamut from unbelievably handsome and drop dead gorgeous to looks like he already dropped dead. From nearly brilliant to dumb like a fox. From so laid back it's hard to detect breathing to so hyper a paper bag is always handy in case of hyperventilation. The point is..we think you will find one of us who suits your style.
⇓ Size isn't Everything - Is Bigger Better?
While our egos are probably as large as the next guy's, we have not, and will not reach the point where we don't want to mess with the small account. We will work just as hard to find you a market for a $500 policy as we will for a $10,000 policy. Just like everyone else, we like writing the big premiums, but in terms of total income, the small ones are more important and much more stable. Don't hesitate to call us because you think something is too small.
⇓ Small Agencies are Big Business with us!
How about small agencies, small towns, premium volume commitments? We have never, and will never ask an Agent for a volume commitment; nor will we ever refuse to do business with an Agent because that Agent does not give us enough volume. You may only need us once a year, or you may need us twice a day. Either way, JSA will be here!
⇓ Delivering Our Product
Claims are why we are in business. While we think we're in sales, it's only because of claims that people buy what we sell. Finding the markets and prices you need, sending you timely binders and policies, and servicing your business are all important. But until your insured suffers a loss, we have not delivered our product. Because of this, we are very conscious of the need to provide you with excellent claim service. To this end we have a full-time Claims Manager. Her sole responsibility is to deliver our product. Just as with quotes, call us about claims. We will report to you every development in the handling of the claim as it progresses. We believe that communication which keeps the Agent out of the dark is the key to good claims service.
⇓ We Love Answering Questions
Are you fairly new to the business? Or do you have new, inexperienced staff members who are hesitant to call, afraid that they will not have all the information they need or be embarrassed by not knowing enough about what they are doing? Everyone has to start somewhere. We consider it a compliment of the highest order when someone calls us and says, "I don't know what to do with this," or "How do I handle this?" or simply "Will you help me?" We don't always know the answers either, but we'll try our best to find out. You have our number. Relax and give us a call.
⇓ No Money Down
We do not require money to bind. If you tell us to bind it, you are responsible for the premium.it's as simple as that. We send you the invoice when we send you the policy or the binder. A few exceptions may apply with Direct Bill policies. Call JSA today to work with the pros...and not the hassles!
⇓ How we Handle Renewals
Renewals are vital to the success of every agency. We know that you have your own system for controlling renewals, but we sleep much better at night knowing we also have a control system to support yours.
Sixty to Ninety days prior to renewal we will send you a letter making you aware of the renewal and asking you for renewal information. We aim to get our renewal quotes out 30 days before the renewal expiration date. There are a few exceptions where we might be waiting on a required application or waiting on the company to send us a quote. With these we will get the quote out as soon as we can. If we don't hear from you, you can count on hearing from us a day or so before the expiration date. We don't do this to harass you. We have found that these precautionary calls have saved many renewals from falling through the cracks of being overlooked.
⇓ A Website that Works for you 24/7
Our website, www.jsausa.com
, is much, much, more than an advertisement page where you can find our name, address and phone number. There is a plethora of information on the site waiting for you, but let me point out two areas that have become wildly popular with agents. The first is Gary Anderson's picture under "Meet the Underwriters
". On second thought you might want to skip that one.
Seriously, "Print Applications
" is a place where you can download to your own printer any of our applications, including ACORD's and F Forms, policy fee consent forms, terrorism notice forms, etc. If you want to get the form signed while the customer is in your office, here is where you get it.
The most popular seems to be "Get a Quote Online
" where you can do your own quote in a matter of minutes (or less) on many artisan contractor classes, special events, habitational, Liquor Liability, Personal Umbrellas, Physical Damage, Cargo, and many more. One of the most popular is doing a certificate online and printing it in your office
Try it, we think you'll like it.
⇓ You bet we'll Return your Call!
We will without fail return your telephone call. It is inexcusable for anyone in business not to return telephone messages. Of course there are times when the person you are calling is on another line and you don't have time to wait. You can leave a message with our live receptionist, as we have no voicemail, and have 100% assurance that your call will be returned. No one leaves the office any day unless attempts have been made to get back to you, even it it's late. If we miss you, we will call you back the next morning.
With twenty of us to take telephone calls, fortunately someone is usually available to you all the time; so we do not have a lot of calls that have to be returned. The messages that we do get will be returned the same day unless you leave your office before we leave ours.