Make the frustration of your property & casualty insurance renewal disappear. Did you promise yourself this year would be different? This year you were going to start ahead of time. You weren’t going to wait to get your renewal numbers the day before your renewal. You weren’t going to get in the middle of brokers agrueing for access to carriers. It’s not your fault. It’s the game. The game that is played by property & casualty insurance brokers. This year can be different. By following these 6 steps you can take control of your renewal process this year:
- Know the rules. An insurance agent represents several insurance carriers. The insurance carrier will only release a proposal to one agent. A common maneuver for agents is to “block the market.” If they submit an application to all the carriers, they essentially have eliminated the competition.
- Pick the agents. If you decide to shop your insurance, select one additional agent to provide proposals. A third may be considered, but you may see significant overlap.
- Pick the carriers. Start with your current insurance agent and tell him/her you will be shopping your insurance this year. Tell your agent he/she may select three carriers to generate proposals. Let the other agent select three carriers. You have now removed the game of “blocking” the market and eliminated getting involved in the “broker of record” arguments between the agents.
- Set timelines. Tell the agents you must have the proposal by a specific date – typically 2-4 weeks before your expiration date. You have just eliminated the waiting until the last minute.
- Know what you want. It goes without saying you want the lowest price. But what else in important to you? Some additional important factors may include: customer service expectations, claims management, safety or loss control assistance, insurance coverage analysis. Let both agents know what is important to you.
- Provide consistent information. If an agent requests certain information, save that information. Your goal is to be able to evaluate the proposals side by side. For example if one agent is using revenue figures of $1.2 million, while you later may have a better forecast of revenues and are now projecting $1.4 million, the proposals will be different. Give the other agent your current policy, including the pricing. In football, teams exchange game film of past games. They do not exchange game plans for the upcoming game. You accomplish two things: first, you get a “free” second look at the policy and usually the other agent will provide coverage recommendations. Secondly, price does come into play, and if the other agent sees you have a fantastic program in place with phenomenal pricing, he/she may simply tell you that and you can both move on.
The renewal process can be aggravating. But by implementing these six steps, you can take control of you next insurance renewal process.