Work with a broker that understands what you do, is well-resourced to absorb the additional time that renewals will take, and that can leverage the insurance market - regardless of which part of the cycle it is in. Those brokers that have maintained strong, collaborative ties with insurers during softer market conditions, are now better placed than those brokers that slashed renewal rates extensively.
An early start
Start your renewal process early with a clear strategy for what you want to achieve and contingent plans in place, should the need arise. A three or four month lead time for renewal is highly advised. We cannot stress this point enough; insurers are referring some risks right up their management chain, they want more time to review all information, they ask more questions. Don’t risk leaving your renewal too late.
Choosing the right insurer
Not all insurer offices or individual underwriters behave in the same way. It is important that you work with the right underwriters for your business; those that understand your risk profile and can work with you to achieve the optimal terms. Be wary of those underwriters that are being opportunistic, or those where service levels have dropped in recent months. Are they being unresponsive? Have they let you down during a loss? Your broker will guide on which insurers are the best partners for you, as they will have noted any deterioration in underwriter behaviour on other client accounts.
Basis of valuation methodology
Underwriters are increasingly looking at implementing margin and co-insurance-style clauses due to fears of under-reported valuations by some clients. It is essential that you can demonstrate recent and accurate valuations/appraisals, in order to have the best opportunity of limiting the extent of any restrictive language being applied to their policy wording.
Your broker will ask you about new structures and programme designs to ensure they’re looking at all available options to secure your renewal. If there’s an option for greater utilisation for higher deductibles, or restructuring a limit, or considering entirely new markets, or structures (such as captives), discuss it. If you’re willing to take more risk on the balance sheet, let your broker know.
For large corporates, particularly those with international operations and assets, the utilisation of the full gamut of international insurers can be vital at renewal. European markets, plus those in the US and Bermuda, or even Asia, can all provide options for certain risks. Be flexible and ready to trade with new underwriters; all possible global capacity should be approached and all options sought out.
The extent that your renewal will be affected by a hard market will vary depending on your risk profile, claims record, strategies for risk management, and the capabilities of your insurance broker but in this current climate, the majority of organisations are likely to see sizeable raises in premium rate. At Gallagher, we work with a large variety of businesses and individuals, each exposed to unique risks and dealing with individual challenges and circumstances. As one of the leaders in risk management, we remain fully committed to supporting businesses and individuals through these uncertain times.
In this short video, Simon Collings, Managing Director – National Broking and Placement at Gallagher and Sarah Murfin Key Account Manager at Gallagher, discuss the affects a hardening insurance market will have on a business and how they can prepare to manage such impacts.