Each day, I spend time with clients who are distraught by very high insurance rate increases. With inflation, back-to-back destructive hurricane seasons, rising construction costs and more, insurance expenses also are increasing for property coverage, particularly flood insurance.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are hundreds of insurance companies available, and all have different rate structures and appetites. One thing you can do is shop around. I would recommend working with one agent who has access to many different insurance markets. If you use multiple agents, all may have access to the same markets, and multiple submissions will muddy the waters and cause the insurance companies to decline to offer coverage.
You will need to provide your loss run report to the agent who is re-marketing your account. This report shows all losses you have incurred in the past five years. As a fellow business owner, I recommend requesting a copy of your loss runs from your company every year, whether you are shopping or not, because some unscrupulous agents may withhold the reports if they learn you are requesting quotes elsewhere, which delays your re-marketing efforts.
Allow at least two to three months for the agent to re-market your account. Without adequate time to negotiate with multiple markets, especially if you are within 30 days of your renewal, it is unlikely that the agent will be able to obtain the best quotes, as the market is overwhelmed with requests.
GETTING THE BEST PRICING
Claims will impact your policy pricing for five years. By avoiding excessive claims and continuing to implement stronger risk management strategies, your business will benefit from being more attractive to the insurance industry. This leads to more options on your coverages and lower rates. Most insurance carriers also will provide inspection and risk assessment services that will keep you better protected. Some insurance increases may be inevitable due to the global nature of the pricing, but by mitigating business risks, you always will benefit from the best available pricing.
KEEPING UP WITH CHANGES
As you grow your business, your risk exposure changes. The marketplace changes, and you may have increased assets, inventory and staff. Be sure that you adjust your risk management plan and your insurance coverages accordingly, and work closely with your agent to ensure you have proper coverages and optimum pricing.