Negotiating terms for renewal: the importance of being proactive



18 November 2021

The UK insurance market has hardened beyond a level that many in the profession have seen in their careers.  Unfortunately, Social Care is in the centre of those sectors hit the hardest with very few insurers with appetite to write business in this area.  The outcome for operators is a reduced number of markets to approach and increasingly a prescribed underwriting approach from those insurers still providing cover.

Howden Health & Care are proud to have been finding solutions for many operators who, having been insured elsewhere previously, have found themselves in a position where they have been unable to source renewal terms over this challenging period.  Operators who are rated ‘Requires Improvement’, which the CQC note as 3,271 homes as of July 2021[1], or ‘Inadequate’ (or equivalent) have had particularly difficult issues, with insurers putting the spotlight not only on the current rating, but on outcomes of previous inspections.

Being prepared for your insurance renewal now means operators need to take as many steps as possible to demonstrate continued excellence through favourable regulatory inspections where possible and proactive risk management where ratings are, or have previously been less than ‘good’.

So how can you put yourself in the best position to negotiate terms when your policy falls due for renewal?

Be proactive not reactive

  1. Speak to Howden Health & Care to understand options available in good time, we can advise you on market options available as in some cases we are seeing operators struggling to obtain terms from their incumbent market very close to renewal, even those who are rated ‘good’ by the CQC
  2. Giving insurers a lead-time to review your proposal will allow time for due consideration. Do not wait for terms from your current provider before engaging, this could leave you in a vulnerable position.     
  3. If your regulatory rating is less than ‘Good’ or equivalent, ensure you have not only an action plan but surrounding commentary and risk management evidence to demonstrate improvements made.  

What is ‘in good time’?  We recommend contacting us a month before your policy falls due for renewal.  Insurers will need at least 2 weeks and we will want to talk to you first to decide a course of action! 


We partner with a number of specialist service providers in the Social Care sector

Howden not only aim to provide you with insurance solutions but also to help you manage your operation efficiently and effectively.  With CQC rating being of paramount importance to insurers, managing ongoing practices is essential.   

AHR logo

If CQC rating identifies an operation needs to improve, AHR Consultants provide a verification service Available from £500 plus VAT, which looks at gaps (as well as good practices noted) within the previous CQC report and produces an evidence based report to validate that improvements or continued good practice have been achieved.

To find out more about the verification service and how AHR could help you contact:

T: 0345 076 2288 – option 1

E: [email protected]  

Case Study

An operator approached the team at Howden 24 hours before renewal having just learnt his incumbent insurer were not putting terms forward due to his CQC rating of ‘Requires Improvement’. Even a claim free record had not helped this operator source Insurance in a hard market. 

Howden were able to work closely with insurer partners and care specialist risk consultants to validate the operator’s action plan and subsequent operational improvements, which gave insurers confidence in the risk presented and the commitment to ongoing improved practices.

We are pleased to say that the operator was able to continue to trade with a robust insurance package in place for a further 12 months.

[1] The state of health care and adult social care in England 2020/21. Care Quality Commission.