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How to have an efficient insurance renewal

How to have an efficient insurance renewal

Despite the world seemingly returning to some sort of normality following a difficult 24+ months, the increased cost of living this year has stung everyone. But for business owners, they have been stung twice, with a rise in the cost of fuel and raw materials to name a few, seriously impacting the day to day costs of running their businesses.

Speaking to our clients in Hereford, it does appear businesses have been hit particularly hard. For those businesses relying on vehicles for example, diesel costs are rising on average 50p per litre within the year.1 This has added pressure on profit margins for owners.

Both myself and the rest of my colleagues here at Marsh Commercial in Hereford, empathise with the struggles business owners are facing today. Commercial insurance programmes can also be a significant, although necessary expense, especially in today’s challenging market.  It’s therefore understandable that as costs rise, businesses are naturally beginning to look at ways they can cut their cloth, scrutinising their insurance in the process.

However, by taking the right steps and working with the right broker, business owners can find value from insurance programmes at renewal.

The current state of the UK insurance market

Now before I share my top tips, it’s worth briefly highlighting the state of the UK insurance market.

  1. The bad news is that we’re still very much in a challenging market. The good news however is that we have seen the rate increases in all major coverage areas decelerate. In fact, insurance pricing in the first quarter of 2022 in the UK increased at a lower rate of 20%, compared to 22% in the fourth quarter of 2021.2

If you’re interested to learn more about the state of the UK insurance market, I’d recommend taking a look at this Q1 Pricing Review from our colleagues in Marsh.

Top tips for having the most efficient renewal

Here are my top tips for owners/operators:

  1. Start your renewal process early
    This allows you to examine your options in sufficient time and make a decision based on value rather than necessity. I always recommend to touch base with your broker at least two to three months before renewal, if not sooner. Together, you can work to provide a detailed presentation inclusive of risk management provisions, to all relevant insurers in the sector.
  2. Regularly communicate with your broker
    Your broker should be advising on market conditions, likely hurdles and proposed plan of action well before renewal. In return you should be devoting time to discuss your risk management processes and strategic plans over the next two to five years, to ensure the presentation to market really details the business' risk profile and potential.
  3. Think about your approach to market if looking elsewhere
    Should you be exploring your options for an alternative broker, avoid using more than one other if you can.  Having multiple brokers approaching the insurance market on your behalf often drives adverse results. This could include some insurers refusing to quote.
  4. Keep your insurance renewal front of mind throughout the year
    This is particularly important when considering new contracts, new projects or undertaking any work which may be deemed a higher risk. Considering the impact on your insurability when making your decisions ensures any new risks can be mitigated as early as possible.
  5. Investigate your claims
    Claims handling continues to be imperative, with first notification of loss processes a key focus area. Working closely with your broker and implementing the relevant training and processes throughout your organisation will be imperative in maximising cost efficiency at renewal.

Even the best risk-mitigated businesses have insurance claims. Notifying your insurer swiftly and working with your broker can help bring these to a resolution as soon as possible. It is also a great way to reduce the prospect of a large unresolved claims reserve sum. Claims reserve is money set aside for a claim that has been reported but not settled, any insurers looking to underwrite your risk will pay close attention to this.

Closing thoughts – engage early, benefit from the results

To conclude, the insurance market is showing signs of slowing premium increases, however to see any benefit in real terms businesses must ensure they are appealing to the market. By working closely with your broker, this is achievable. Failure to do so however, will only add to the ever growing problem of the rising cost of business.

Here to help

Speak to our local experts in Hereford for help and support.

Amanda Jolley
Amanda has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years looking after all types of commercial insurance from SME’s to multinationals. Having relocated to mid-Wales in 2016, Amanda joined Marsh Commercial and enjoys working with a wide variety of businesses, bringing her years of insurance expertise to provide support and solutions.