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Experts say start early


Regardless of the nature of an account's property exposures, risk managers should make sure that underwriters receive as much information as early as possible in the renewal process, observers say.

"Data is critical," said Kevin Kelley, chairman and chief executive officer for Lexington Insurance Co., a Boston-based unit of American International Group Inc.

The more information they can provide "in an organized fashion is certainly helpful to property underwriters," said Ed Radzinski, vp of Chubb & Son Inc. and worldwide property manager at Chubb Commercial Insurance in Whitehouse Station, N.J.

"It's the same as it's always been—good information, accurate and timely," said Tim Rose, president of Liberty Mutual Group's Liberty Mutual Property unit in Weston, Mass. "If you're a cat-exposed risk, (be) early to market—explore all available and alternative markets. Finally, as your options start to come together, in this market, you have to be very flexible and innovative. Those types of accounts are still very difficult to place," he said.

Risk mangers with cat-exposed property should "get the right information very early on" to their insurer, said Gary Thompson, a senior vp at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. in Hartford, Conn. Those with older properties should emphasize what they've done to mitigate the exposure, such as installing new roofing.

Risk managers need to put themselves on the same footing as the insurance market—using the same modeling tools to make certain they're providing accurate data, said Aaron Davis, director of Aon Corp.'s National Terrorism and Property Resources unit in New York.

The markets need large amounts of data to put in their models, he said. "Models are only as good as their inputs," Mr. Davis said.