The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military instruction book that has been followed by the most successful militaries ever since its publication. The principal concepts of the book are that the battle is won or lost before the first shot is taken due to thorough and detailed planning, or lack thereof. Managing your commercial insurance renewal is stressful, but if you embrace a well-planned process and strategy, you will no doubt yield the best outcomes that the market will provide, while feeling much less stress and greater awareness. The following steps should be a part of your insurance renewal plan:
- Start early, but not too early. Many companies literally hate the insurance renewal process and put it off as long as possible, literally a few days or weeks before the current coverage expires. The ideal time to start working on your insurance renewal is 60 days in advance of the renewal. The reason being is that most insurance companies will require both loss runs and MVR’s to be no older than 60 days before renewal.
- Ensure the quality and accuracy of your data. Just as if you are going to the bank for a loan, if you walk in with scattered information on a napkin, versus a thorough, well organized business plan and financials, the outcome will be equally different with your insurance renewal. Obtain your historical loss runs and MVR’s, assemble your driver and vehicle schedules and review them for accuracy BEFORE submitting them to any insurance carrier. Underwriters are evaluating the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the data as much as the data itself.
- Create and prioritize your renewal goals. Sure, everyone wants the absolute lowest price, but you should evaluate where you are and be sure you understand where you want to go. Specifically, what agent and insurance carrier are you currently working with? Are they responsive to your service requests? Are they prompt and accurate in dealing with your premiums? Return premiums? Vehicle changes? Driver changes? What coverages are protecting you now and how can they be improved? What services are the agent or insurance carrier providing other than the policy itself? How are claims being handled? Are you kept abreast of claim development? The list can be endless, but if you know where you are wanting to go the probability of getting there dramatically increases.
Purposefully and professionally managing your insurance renewal will absolutely lead to the best outcomes the market can yield, giving you much greater control while meaningfully lowering the stress of the process. A well-qualified agent will guide you through the process quickly and professionally.