Underwriting FAQ: More Forms Questions
By Melissa Stream, Underwriting Consultant
Forms are a critical piece of your mutual’s process for effectively underwriting policies, but they can be confusing. Below, we answer some of the most common questions we receive about forms.
How do we know if we’re using the most current forms and endorsements?
There are several resources to check if you’re using the most current forms and endorsements: AAIS Direct, the WRC website and your state’s mutual association website. For example, the WAMIC website has the most current flowcharts for Homeowners (HO), Mobile Home Owners (MHO), Dwelling and Farm Fire (DF/FF) and Farmowners (FO) programs in Wisconsin. You can also contact Melissa Stream or Sherry Taylor at WRC.
We updated all our forms years ago, but recently you told us that we shouldn’t use some of the endorsements we’ve used for years.
When this is brought up in conversations, I often ask, “what flowchart or forms list are you using?” For example, the state amendatory endorsements have been updated several times since 2008 for AAIS HO program forms by AAIS and other states. If you’re still using a 2015 edition of the state amendatory for Wisconsin, for example, I’d recommend you use the updated version, which is HO 5848 04 20. Please call Melissa or Sherry and ask if you need to send any disclosure notices prior to updating forms.
Can we add farm endorsements to an HO policy?
No, you cannot. If the HO policy is using AAIS HO forms, neither FL nor FO farm forms can be added to the HO policy. And vice versa, HO forms cannot be added to policies using FL or FO forms. Some common HO forms that have been used incorrectly on Farmowner policies using FO forms are HO 4855 Replacement Cost – Personal Property (use FO-55 instead), HO 2786 Identity Fraud Expense coverage (use FO 0794 instead), and various HO endorsements for Water Back Up & Sump Discharge or Overflow coverage (there are several FO endorsements as well.)
The insured owns more than one dwelling – can we add their seasonal home to their HO policy for property coverage?
No, you shouldn’t. The seasonal home isn’t the primary residence, and we don’t recommend using HO forms for seasonal dwellings. You can extend premises liability from a primary policy using HO forms by adding the premium charge and adding the location to the policy declarations, but we recommend writing a separate property-only policy for the seasonal dwelling. Each mutual will need to review the inspection and photos carefully to decide how that dwelling qualifies per their property underwriting guidelines.
We don’t see some of the ML endorsements on the flowcharts — what should we use?
Look up the endorsements on AAIS Direct or contact Melissa or Sherry because there is likely an updated equivalent you should be using. For example, ML 0686 0902 is an endorsement for Identity Fraud Expense coverage filed to be used with AAIS HO 2.0 edition forms. When the HO forms were updated for 2008, they created a new endorsement which is HO 2786 01 06 (with the same title). I encourage you to review your forms lists in policy admin systems as well as those on your policy dec pages. If your system is still using older ML forms, please review each of them to see if there’s an updated equivalent form.
If a form or endorsement isn’t on the flowchart, but is on AAIS Direct, provisions or conditions could have been folded into one of the state amendatory endorsements that were filed by the state mutuals. It also may have been filed by the state mutual association and not AAIS (for example, forms filed by WAMIC will not be available on AAIS Direct). If you have questions, please reach out to Melissa or Sherry. If you have an underwriting topic that you think could be reviewed or clarified, please email Melissa Stream.