Here are five quick tips to make sure the process of renewing your insurance is as painless as possible, together with our analysis of current market trends and how this could affect your insurance program.
5 Tips to Prepare for Your Insurance Renewal
1. Don’t leave it till the last minute.
You will be sent the details in advance so set aside time to review the documents, to avoid rushing and getting the wrong cover. This might involve a face-to-face meeting with your Account Executive, and we’ll let you know what we need in terms of information ahead of this meeting.
2. Check the details.
All the information must be correct, including your Business Description (what you do). Things change in businesses all the time and your insurance needs to reflect these. It’s your responsibility to do this whether you use a broker or go directly to your insurer. Take time to read what is and is not covered so you know what protection you have.
3. What is the cost?
There is every chance your premium might have gone up; this could be because you now buy more cover or because you have had a claim. As well as changes to your policy, insurance premiums are also affected by other factors in the market which could result in an increase to your insurance premium, and we explore these later in this article. As your broker we will help negotiate the cover you need at a reasonable price.
4. Do you need more insurance?
In a time of recession and with the cost of living increasing there is pressure on costs, and we understand that, but your insurance is there to protect your business and put it back into the position it was directly before a loss. That means having enough insurance in place to cover the risks you face. It might be that during the last 12 months your business activities have changed. Do you need to buy cyber insurance, or perhaps cover for trading in the USA or Canada, or maybe you now offer advice and need professional indemnity insurance? If this is the case talk to your broker or insurer about adding on the cover you need.
5. Do you need an insurance broker to help make sure you have the right cover?
If you’re currently buying your insurance online or direct from an insurer via their website, it is quite likely that they are they are not providing you with advice. This leaves it up to you to decide if the cover you buy is right for you, if you’ve given them the correct details, if you’ve bought enough cover and you’ll also need to understand what’s covered and what isn’t i.e., you’ll need to read the full policy wording and schedule of insurance and understand what it means to your business.
What do you need to prepare for your renewal?
Ahead of your renewal, it is a good idea to prepare the following information about your business.
- Business Description – has your business changed? Are you doing new things, selling new products? Maybe you’ve had to diversify to meet client needs? We need as much information as possible about what you do to make sure that all your business activities are insured.
- Turnover – it’s important to have accurate and up-to-date turnover numbers. It is unusual that these remain the same year after year. Getting this information from your accountant ahead of your renewal is useful.
- Wages – if you employ people, the wages you pay are also used to calculate your premium and having these prepared is helpful. Wages are usually split into the following categories.
- Clerical, Sales & Managerial
- Manual Work on the Premises
- Manual Work away from your Premises
- Work Away from the Premises that involves Heat (e.g., welding, angle grinding)
These areas are often used to calculate your insurance premium, so making sure you have the numbers to hand and that they are accurate ensures your insurance cover and premium are calculated on the correct basis.
What could be impacting your insurance renewal?
While the factors we’ve discussed all impact your insurance renewal, in terms of how an insurer assesses and prices your insurance renewal, there are also wider economic factors that can impact what’s happening in the insurance industry. Here’s a quick summary of the main issues impacting the industry in 2022.
Hard Insurance Market
The insurance market is experiencing the hardest market for some years. Historically the markets cycle through a hard market, characterised by a high demand for insurance coverage and a reduced supply. Insurers impose strict underwriting standards and issue a limited number of policies. Premiums are high and insurers are disinclined to negotiate terms.
And a soft insurance market, is when many insurers are competing for business and premiums are generally low. Insurers relax their underwriting standards and coverage is widely available. Underwriters are generally more flexible and willing to negotiate coverage terms.
Recovery from Covid-19
While the recovery has been moving forward, there is still some nervousness among insurers who are waiting for all claims relating to the pandemic to emerge. It is expected there may be professional indemnity claims relating to business interruption cover yet to emerge. There are additional risks caused by the skills shortage, as many people have chosen to change careers during the pandemic, and businesses have adapted or pivoted, offering new services, and requiring a different set of insurance to protect them.
In summary, it is important that you prepare for your renewal in advance of your renewal date, and set aside enough time to compile the numbers you’ll need to update the information required by us. We will be in touch with you ahead of renewal setting out the timeline and agreeing on the outcomes with you.
While the insurance market faces its challenges as we emerge from the last two years, there is light at the end of the tunnel as things start to return to normal. We will always do all we can to ensure a smooth renewal and we will make sure we are communicating with you every step of the way.