Renewal of your business insurance is often a time to step back and take stock, evaluate changes in your business, risks, costs and your current insurance cover.
With so many insurance companies and policies to choose from, renewal can be a time consuming and daunting process. For busy directors, it’s often quicker to just simply renew with current providers, but this can be a costly mistake.
Expiry date of your current insurance policy
The renewal date for your current insurance policy will be clear listed on your current Schedule of Insurance and you should be sent an insurance renewal notice
If you employ an experienced insurance broker, they should work closely with you to ask lots of questions about your business and any changes since your last renewal whilst also reviewing your current levels of cover and any additional covers that may be relevant.
Do not leave sorting out this year’s insurance until the last minute. By giving yourself as much time as possible prior to renewal it will allow you and your broker to carry out a thorough risk assessment of the business, look at gaps in your cover and allow your broker to conduct a full marketing exercise to ensure that the widest possible cover is obtained at a competitive premium.
Understanding your insurance cover and policy
The insurance industry as with many other industries contains lots of insurance jargon and terms that many business owners may not understand. Often people just take out online insurance without truly understanding what they are purchasing. This is where an experienced insurance broker can make a huge difference. They will be able to clearly explain the cover and terms of policies, explain the risks and answer any questions you have. They are also likely to be able to get you better cover for the same price or potentially save you money on automatic renewals etc.
Is my business insurance cover adequate?
It is important for your business insurance to meet your company’s evolving needs. Time to consider changes in your business is critical to getting the right cover and minimising your risks. Underinsurance (especially underinsurance of commercial property) can be a common problem in many businesses that don’t use an experienced broker or consider changes and increased risk in their business.
Does my current insurance provider offer me the best deal?
The key to any renewal is to not just settle for the same provider and the same cover year on year. By taking this view you could be missing out on either a better deal or a better level of cover for the same price. You could also risk not taking out the right insurance cover as your business changes and evolves.
An experienced insurance broker, such as Harborough Portas, will work with you to carefully assess your needs and will work on your behalf to find the right level of cover tailored to your business and obtain the best prices from a wide range of insurers.
Have your business insurance requirements changed?
Many businesses change and it is crucial to update your insurance cover to reflect those changes.
Even minor changes to your business could affect your insurance cover. This shouldn’t just be done at renewal, but you should work with your broker throughout the year to consider any changes and if these will affect your policies.
At Harborough Portas we encourage our clients to actively discuss their plans and changes in their business with us. Don’t consider any change to be too small to discuss with your broker.
Business insurance renewal checklist
If you have made changes to your business in any way during the past year, you need to speak to your broker. Below is a checklist of some of things to consider:
1. What are the renewal dates for your current insurance policies?
2. Do you have up to date financial information – has your turnover dramatically changed?
3. Have you changed your business structure such as new directors, joint ventures, shareholders etc?
4. Have you added new locations, moved premises etc?
5. Have you assessed the value and rebuild cost of your business property recently? Read more about the risk of commercial property underinsurance here.
6. Do you employ more or less people this year?
7. Have you purchased new business equipment such as machinery, solar panels, IT equipment etc?
8. Are the services / products you provide changed?
9. Have you entered into new contracts with anybody such as rental agreements, leases, subcontractors etc?
10. Have you carried out a health and safety assessment recently?
11. Has your use of business technology changed that may make you more at risk, for example cyber-attacks?
12. Have you installed any new security equipment in your business?
13. Have you added vehicles or changed vehicles on your fleet, employed young or inexperienced drivers?
14. Have you made any claims in the past year on your current commercial insurance policies?
15. Do you have a business continuity plan?
16. What are your future business plans – do you have major changes planned?
Preparing in advance for renewal of your commercial insurance policies is crucial to ensure you and your broker have time to assess changes in your business, potential risks and find the right tailored insurance cover for your business.
However, don’t just leave this type of assessment to renewal time. Communicating and working with your insurance broker to talk about changes and plans for the business throughout the year is also important to ensure your insurance cover remains fit for purpose at all times.
If you would like to discuss your insurance renewal, call us on 0116 260 0506 or email us at email@example.com.