In this installment, we continue to look at ways for businesses to help keep their insurance costs as low as possible.
- Start early.
In order to gain control over otherwise unacceptable increases, businesses must start early in the process of reviewing their program with their agent and determining what insurance companies to pursue for renewal quotes. Generally speaking, 90 days prior to expiration or earlier is a good gauge. With the flood of applications being sent to insurers in hopes of avoiding increases, insurers are in need of more time to review submissions. .
- Avoid flooding the market with applications.
It may not make sense to have three or four agents shopping your insurance. Rather, pick one to market your account to selective insurance companies that have an interest in your class of business. Insurers know which accounts are shopped every year and shy away from those accounts. .
- Consider higher deductibles.
Higher deductibles can minimize increases. Some businesses can easily withstand a $10,000 deductible or higher for property claims. Companies should avoid turning in small claims to preserve loss histories that all insurers review. .
- Trim frill coverages.
Ask your agent to breakdown the premium by coverage. For example, coverages such as towing and rental reimbursement on your automobile insurance are expendable.
- Remember that your agent can be more important than your insurer.
Evaluate the competence of your agent in terms of the coverage program that has been put together. Use outside consultants to provide an objective view of the work product of the agent. Has your agent marketed your account to other insurers where appropriate and offered suggestions on alternative plans that can minimize your premium costs?
The relationship of the agent with the insurer is critical. Consider using an agent that has a substantial amount of premium volume with insurance carriers writing your type of business.
Finally, look at the professional designations that your agent has earned. Agents with the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) or Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designations have demonstrated a high level of expertise.
…to be continued