Insurance Renewals: Sharpen your business edge

17 September 2018

Are you treating your construction insurance renewal as a chance to get an edge over your competitors? If the answer is “No”, you could be missing out. Shrewd contractors, developers and owners are optimising their renewals procedures, using them as a form of company promotion. Why? Because standing out from the crowd helps them secure insurance terms that surpass those of their rivals, enhancing their competitive position.

PARTNER WITH A CONSTRUCTION INSURANCE BROKER

To obtain the most favourable terms from insurers, construction companies must work hard to differentiate themselves during the renewal process. The easiest way to do this is by working with a construction insurance broker who has the business relationships, industry expertise and market knowledge to negotiate the best deal. 

Additionally, take these simple steps to turn the spotlight towards your company. 

1. BE TRANSPARENT

Going the extra mile with communications will help differentiate your risk. Be open about what your organisation does (and is planning to do), to ensure coverage options are provided for all exposures. Recent risk surveys or property valuations will eliminate many insurers’ questions. And reassure underwriters by keeping them informed and answering additional questions promptly.

2. PROVE YOU’VE LEARNED FROM PREVIOUS MISTAKES

Insurers appreciate that claims do occasionally occur. However, the more effort made to reduce the likelihood of another loss, the better. Changes made to the exposure, process or protocols to minimise the potential of re-occurrence can improve an insurer’s view of the risk. It is vital to detail work you’ve undertaken to determine loss drivers and implement control programmes.

3. PRESENT DIRECTLY TO INSURERS

Renewal presentations by senior management demonstrate the level of importance your organisation places on insurance. Such forums also allow you to show passion for and deep understanding of your business and its risks. However, it’s important to avoid marketing your programme where you have no intention of changing insurers as this may have a detrimental future effect.

4. WORK YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Long term relationships are valued by underwriters and let you negotiate renewal terms from a platform of historical profitability for the insurer. Instead of marketing your programme, think carefully about what you want to achieve and how you can do this by leveraging existing relationships. 

Relationships should be mutually beneficial and in difficult times; you should rightly remind insurers of your loyalty during periods when competition for your business was more prevalent. However, don’t assume you’ll always be able to rely on good relationships as these cannot support loss making business in the longer term.

5. HAVE A PLAN B

No matter how good your relationship is with your insurer, don’t make the mistake of assuming the current terms and conditions will be available at your next renewal. 

The market is dynamic and your insurance programme should be too. Articulate the fact that you could be open to new ideas and prepared to make changes. Then work to agree the options that are to be obtained from insurers and establish a fall-back position so you’re not caught without alternatives.

TALK TO AN EXPERT

For further information, please contact Mike Lewis, Partner, Construction Division on +44 (0)20 7528 4521. Or email mike_lewis@jltgroup.com