A Lost Art: The Submission Letter

Surety_5.8.24_Submission Letter

In the olden days, before Zoom or Microsoft TEAMS, or even before (gasp) email … when a surety agent would submit an account to a surety underwriter there was this weird thing that would be attached: a submission letter!!!! The letter would basically tell a story about the account that was being submitted, giving information about its background, who the owners were, and thoughts on their future plans and goals. This letter didn’t replace a face-to-face meeting, but it would provide context to the other information being submitted, such as financial statements, bank letters and the Contractor’s Questionnaire.

These days, in the insane hustle and bustle of instant communication, the submission letter has all but disappeared. You do still occasionally see it — like a white rhino in a nature preserve, it’s out there, but so rare as to be almost extinct. Agents these days are so busy running from one fire to the next that sitting down to write this letter seems like a waste of precious time. As a one-time agent, I took great pride in being able to craft this letter for my accounts. It was my chance to immortalize their past achievements and to talk up their capabilities in a clear and succinct manner that would not get lost in all the other information being submitted.