August 11, 2020

Financial Institution Underwriter Questions to Expect Post-COVID-19

Renewing insurance in today’s market is more difficult and time-consuming than ever before. The hard market has developed after several years of significant catastrophic losses. That situation has now been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19, leading insurers to impose even more coverage restrictions. In general, stricter policy provisions include adding sublimits, changing deductibles, enacting policy safeguard limitations and more.

Following are the top ten questions underwriters are asking financial institutions in this mid- and post-COVID environment. Preparing responses in advance will help put your financial institution in the best position to successfully negotiate your insurance renewal.


  1. What is your 2020 financial performance to plan – YTD and projected year-end?
  2. Capital plans – Is there a capital raise in your future? 
  3. What has been COVID-19’s impact on your operations? Work from home, COVID cases in market, reopening, furloughs and layoffs, etc.
  4. Have you strengthened cybersecurity measures to secure remote operations?
  5. Industry sector exposure? Energy/oil/gas, transportation, retail trade, hospitality, recreation, etc.
  6. What percentage of total loans were deferred or restructured?
  7. Bank stress testing – Have there been any recent updates and what are the primary assumptions?
  8. How many PPP loans did the bank originate? What was the dollar amount?
  9. Regarding COVID-19 specifically, what is your communication plan with your shareholders?
  10. Most recent and next regulatory exam dates – any criticisms?

As business advisors and lenders, we suspect you will also appreciate the following preview of the detailed questions underwriters will be asking your customers.


Financial Activity & Operations

  • What is your 2020 financial performance to plan – YTD and projected year-end?
  • How has COVID-19 affected your operations?
  • Have you experienced or do you expect to experience disruptions to your supply chain? 
  • What changes have you made to your onsite processes?
  • Have you strengthened cybersecurity measures to secure remote operations?
  • How do you expect COVID-19 to affect your balance sheet and your ability to timely account for and manage your assets?
  • How much cash do you currently have on hand and how long is it expected to last at the current burn rate? Do you have access to additional liquidity through credit facilities or other sources? Please provide details.
  • Did your landlord provide rent relief? Was it full or partial? When does it end?
  • What are you currently doing to preserve capital while still meeting short-term obligations? Did you have money earmarked for long-term capital investment that you are able to use to help weather the crisis? 

Human Resources & Legal

  • Have you experienced a reduction in force? Were employees terminated or furloughed?
  • What criteria was used to determine which employees were impacted?
  • Did you consult outside counsel? Were consent forms required?
  • Do you have a formal safety plan?
  • Do you require employees to be periodically tested for COVID-19? If so, what frequency?

Business Continuity / Disaster Plan

  • Have you experienced challenges in implementing your business continuity plan?
  • Were there material expenses when executing your business continuity plan?
  • Do you have business interruption insurance?

General Insured Profile

  • Have you made a property damage claim that was honored and paid in the last five years?
  • Have you had a successful business interruption insurance claim in the last five years?
  • Is your business situated in a high-risk location (e.g., FEMA-rated flood zone)?
  • Do you have a detailed property valuation and loss control plan for all of the assets (buildings, contents, machinery, equipment, etc.)?



Answering these questions may prove challenging, but doing so now will ensure you are prepared when asked by the underwriter. Your insurance broker should be reaching out to you at least 60 to 120 days in advance of your policy renewal date to discuss creative solutions to ensure your organization is adequately protected at the most affordable cost. Please reach out to your local risk and insurance professional or a member of the CBIZ Insurance Services team for assistance.

Insurance Renewal Guide graphic

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