6 Strategies to Manage Your Upcoming Insurance Renewal
Monitoring and evaluating the risks facing your organization helps you plan for and mitigate worst-case scenarios. Internal risk can be difficult to quantify, and it gets even more complicated when you’re assessing risk from third parties. Third-parties with whom you do business could present reputational and other risks you can’t predict, but their liability and business insurance policies can also protect you.
Many companies rely on verifying a third party’s insurance coverage as part of their third-party risk management procedures. But it’s not an easy process, it’s often manual, complicated, and frustrating.
Whatever team handles COI tracking in your organization – risk management, legal, or compliance — they’re probably tired of the spreadsheets, the unanswered phone calls, and emails, and the wide range of coverage types they need to monitor to demonstrate compliance. Even when third parties respond and supply a COI, it’s not always an accurate snapshot of coverage.
TrustLayer was built to help customers to digitize and modernize their insurance verification practices. As we’ve grown, we’ve identified a few things your business can do right now to improve your COI collection, management, and monitoring processes.
Collecting certificates of insurance from vendors, subcontractors, and others is a big part of the tracking process. If you’re still sending back-and-forth calls and emails, that means your risk management team is spending a lot of time on tedious administrative tasks. In smaller companies, without a dedicated risk management team, it’s easy for COI collection and management to fall by the wayside.
Automating the initial part of the COI verification process goes a long way towards improving the tracking process. Any automation process should include managing contacts, responses, follow-ups, and exceptions. Try to partner with a solution provider that doesn’t force your vendors and their broker to create logins or remember passwords in order to upload their documents for you.
Once you digitally collect COIs, take it a step further. To get the most value from an automated COI collection process, partner with a solution provider that has technological capabilities to help you compare vendor coverage against your corporate requirements.
TrustLayer’s COI tracking and management tool has an extraction and analysis engine that examines structured data (i.e. policy expiration date, limit amounts, etc.) and compares it against coverages and limits you’ve predetermined. TrustLayer brings your attention to unmet compliance requirements and allows your team to focus on reviewing the more complex insurance language that truly requires a person to analyze. It can also help you facilitate a variety of business decisions, from documenting waived requirements to sending follow-up requests.
Policy extraction view within the TrustLayer platform
It’s also important to improve the COI tracking process before you approve and allow a third party into your network. If you have a reliable and cost-effective process for verifying COIs in place before entering a relationship with a third party, you can save yourself from vulnerabilities down the road.
Compliance should go beyond just the presence of a COI in your system and reflect actual insurance policy attributes and endorsements. Your COI tracking platform should check if the coverage is current and if the coverage amounts are correct. TrustLayer is building a Digital Proof of Insurance solution that will be embedded in the insurance industry and will help you verify in real-time that sufficient coverage exists and is in force.
Higher loss levels and increased risk are driving higher premiums in the commercial market. If your business operates in a geographic area that’s been hit by natural disasters, your P&C rates will go up. In general, property lines are seeing increased premiums of 5-20% in primary general casualty and product liability has gone up 10-20%.
A rate increase is never a pleasant surprise, so communicate the expectation of higher rates to upper management and other stakeholders. That way, they can adjust the budget accordingly. If you haven’t received quotes yet, ask your agent about standard increases for other businesses in your industry to help them ballpark.
Once you have multiple quotes, decision-makers can use them to forecast various budgets and possibly find cost savings elsewhere to offset higher insurance costs.
The right fit for your business goes beyond affordable premiums and coverage levels. Working with a low-cost carrier can lead to headaches if you file a claim and find their customer service to be subpar. An experienced, financially stable insurance carrier may charge higher premiums, but save you difficulties in the long run.
If you operate in a smaller, less well-known industry, prioritize working with insurers who have the knowledge and expertise to cover your business. They’ll have a more accurate idea of the unique risks your industry faces.
Establishing a relationship with your carrier has benefits for both of you. You can rely on them to help you appropriately hedge your company’s risk, keeping you safe. Because they have confidence in your answers to risk assessment and know you and your business, the carrier can rest assured that your risk is covered and their policy is priced correctly.
Risk underlies everything in the insurance industry. Your company purchases insurance to hedge and mitigate risk. Underwriters price policies based on the potential risk you present to the insurer. Insurers protect against your risk but also their own.
While you can’t entirely avoid risk in the business world, you can determine a safe level of risk for your business. Review your policy for areas where you might want to increase or decrease coverage. Risk profiles change over time and the coverage you needed five years ago is not the coverage you need today.
Identify key areas of concern and critical coverage needs; then ensure your policy offers enough protection in those areas. When reviewing coverage, ask yourself if you need policy limits that high, or coverage in an area where you’ve never incurred a loss. If you’re more willing to accept risk in some circumstances, lowering some coverage levels could help offset rate increases.
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