Care Providers – 7 Questions to ask at Renewal
Insurance premiums can be one of the highest operational costs to a care provider, so obtaining the right cover at a competitive price is imperative.
The annual insurance renewal provides a perfect opportunity to review the needs of your business: how it has evolved over the past year and how risks to the business are managed.
With this in mind, what are the key questions you should consider when renewing?
1. How long does it take to source the right level of cover?
Your insurance broker should typically make contact about six weeks in advance of your renewal date; it could even be up to three to four months in advance for larger, more complex portfolios. This allows time to carefully consider your existing arrangements and for you to research other alternatives if you feel it is necessary.
2. When should the renewal cover be finalised?
You should always make sure that the renewal of your cover is finalised and confirmed before the renewal date to ensure continuity of your cover. Make sure that all documents, including your Certificate of Employers' Liability, are issued evidencing your cover is in place.
3. What if I have more than one type of insurance with different renewal dates?
We would always suggest having one common renewal date for all of your insurances. Not only does this save you time, but it also maximises your buying power as the marker can consider your portfolio as a whole. Ask your broker to help consolidate several policies into one common renewal date.
4. What should I look for in a broker?
A good broker should really understand your business and its needs. They should be able to answer all of the important questions at the time of renewal – who will be handling claims? How hands-on will they be in the event of a major claim? How well do they understand the care sector? – so you can feel confident that in the event of a major insurance claim, you have the support of a specialist partner.
5. Do I really have to give all of this information to my broker?
The devil is in the detail! In order to secure the best terms and most competitive pricing, your broker needs as much additional information as possible. This includes health and safety practices, security features of your buildings and other assets, maintenance of the property and equipment, as well as staff recruitment and training programmes.
6. Surely all insurance is the same - why shouldn’t I just choose the cheapest option?
It is always best to have a balanced view of how to select your premiums. Although the price may be a key aspect of your decision-making process, you should be wary of allowing it to be the sole factor taken into consideration. A cheap premium is often cheap for a reason; it may have limitations in cover, insufficient service provision or unfavourable terms and conditions, so it is essential to make a balanced assessment of all key factors. Policy wordings can vary considerably, and so you should always look past the headline cover and drill down to the detail.
7. Now that I have renewed my insurance, can I forget about it until next year?
Although it may be tempting to forget about insurance for another year, your annual insurance renewal is an opportunity to thoroughly review the risks facing the business and reflect on what can be done to mitigate them. It is a good opportunity to discuss with your broker whether there are any additional steps that can be taken to improve your terms and conditions for next year.
After all, action taken now might allow your business to reap the operational benefits throughout the year and achieve a more favourable result at renewal in 12 months’ time.