Don’t leave your insurance renewal to the last minute
One of the things that has become obvious over the last few years in the insurance market is almost everything has changed.
Insurers now ask for a great level of disclosure from clients and need this in advance so they have enough time to review and present their insurance terms.
But what we see is, business owners get their renewal terms less than a week before they expire and they panic as their premiums have most likely gone up, there is a change of cover, a change of insurer etc. and they don’t understand why.
We’d like to encourage our clients to think about this at least 6-8 weeks before premiums are due, so we can discuss;
- how your business is going?
- what has changed?
- whether your business has grown or not?
The reason for doing this is it will give us an early indication of any changes, good or bad, which in turn affect your policy renewal and the premium amount.
Because your insurance is based on what you tell them, it allows us as your broker enough time to gather all of the information of how you do business and consider other insurers, based on our understanding of the insurance market and the options which may benefit you.
Have your risks changed?
At the same time as our initial discussion, we will do a “needs analysis” to understand what you are not insure for.
We take the time and effort to discuss what the uninsured risks are, get a reaction of your understanding of this and discuss the potential expense of covering the risks noting some of these may have been around. Another part of a needs analysis to determine your appetite for self-insurance (higher deductibles, lower limits or not insuring the current insured risk) and the means to determine if this is beneficial to you.
Once we have the update information, we will negotiate with the relevant insurers and come back to you about 3 weeks out from renewal and tell what the market is doing for you and renewal. This will include any options we have identified and current uninsured risks
Because the insurance market does change like every market these days, one year one insurer may be great but the next they are not, we need to be aware of who is doing what. We do this by having very regular contact with the major insurers who provide insurance solutions to the small to medium companies in the area.
It may seem bizarre this is how it works. At any one time, potentially up to 20 insurer may consider your business. Each of them will provide different format of cover and level of premium so the trick is to manage what you require to what they are offering and whether it is going to work for you.
You should always read your Products Disclosure Statement.
Each year you are required to disclose all the relevant information for the risks covered by the various policies you have. The relevant information is included in the PDS provided by the insurer or the proposal form required as part of renewing a policy. Essentially, tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God if you don’t.
what is the benefit of reading the PDS?
The benefit of doing this, if something changes and you have disclosed this, the policy will provide cover. An example of this is going from purchasing locally through an agent to importing directly from a different market overseas (you now deemed by law to be the manufacturer). This changes you risk profile. If you have a claim for the imported products and did not disclose this, there is no cover.
Each year, we recommend you have all the drivers of insured vehicles make a declaration of their driving history. If a driver has incurred demerit points or lost their licence and this is not disclosed, if they have an accident, the insurer can deny the claim and potentially cancel the policy.
Devise a plan and follow it!
Are you confident your business is protected?
The role of an insurance is not just to sell the insurance policy, it is to understand what your business does and use this to negotiate the most appropriate insurance program.
The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. You should ensure you obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for the policy before you make any decision to acquire it.