Organizations are constantly searching for opportunities to reduce insurance costs. Companies need to view their role in the insurer/insured relationship differently. The insurance company isn’t selling you insurance; you are selling them your risk. Don't let them assume what you do and what your risks are. By providing detailed risk management plans including your organizations ability to produce and implement trend analysis reporting, your organization is promoting its proactive, risk consciousness environment. When history is unknown or the internal approach is more reactive than proactive, insurers will typically err on the side of caution. This frequently translates into higher premiums and more restrictive coverages and limits.
Follow these tips below to get the best insurance for your organization:
Everyone hates insurance renewal time because you have to fill out forms, collect data and go through the whole agonizing process every year. This is the computer age, take advantage of it. Implementing a claims & risk management system is the best way to track, manage and report on data. Renewals become effortless as all updated data can be exported and shared in minutes. Inside a claims & risk management system, you can scan and keep copies of all insurance renewal applications that you fill out. Ask your broker if they have electronic forms that you can edit, so you can save them and just update them annually. Every risk management policy, safety policy, contract wording, sales agreement, marketing materials, and anything else that helps show the insurance market what you do and how good you are at managing risk should be in this system. By keeping this information up to date, renewals become much easier, less time consuming and more effective.
2. Risk improvement
Constantly work on improving your risk and document your efforts. Saying to an insurance company, “here is our risk management plan and here are all the things we implemented to improve our risk”, is a lot better than saying, “we wing it”. Every successful organization manages risk whether they know it or not. You are already doing a lot of the right things to mitigate your risks. Take it a step further by implementing a claims and risk management system. This way, your organization can easily report on trends, uncover causes of past occurences and show what's being done to mitigate the frequency and severity of future losses. Presenting this data demonstrates you're actively managing risk and have a plan in place to minimize future occurrences. This process makes your organization more attractive to insurance markets and dramatically affects the cost of insurance premiums.
3. Take it seriously
How much does your organization spend a year on insurance? How much time do you spend on preparing your insurance application/renewal? Now consider how much time you would spend going after a customer that paid you annually as much as your insurance costs. The amount of time should be the same, but I’ll bet a nickel you spend a fraction of the time on insurance as you do on the sale.
4. Start early
Contact your insurance broker 90 days before your renewal date and start working with them to get your application/renewal documents together and ask your broker what their renewal strategy will be for this renewal.
There are good ones and bad, don’t settle for substandard service. It is a very competitive business so if your broker doesn’t want to make the effort there are a hundred lined up behind them that will. Make sure your broker has the experience and access to plenty of insurance markets that write your type of insurance coverages.
6. Get your hands dirty
No matter how good your broker is they will never know your business as well as you do. That being the case, how can he be expected to communicate your organization’s risk effectively to the insurance market? Work together. Your broker can add a lot of guidance and value but you are your organization’s best salesman!
7. Make it personal
Write an executive summary for the insurance companies and give it to your broker to include with the marketing submission they prepare. The letter should give an overview of your risk, why you are a good risk compared to others and the highlights of the things you do to mitigate the risks in your business. It will let the insurers know you care about your risk and leave them with a positive impression of your organization. Remember, people make these decisions, not computers, so the impression you make is important.
Follow the link here to ClearRisk's eBook about controlling insurance costs for small to medium sized businesses.