The hard market could affect your business
Posted on 27th January 2021 at 15:16
In a hard market, insurers have a loss of appetite for insuring certain risks due to the increased risk of claims. This impacts the market in that the options available become limited, increasing premiums.
This is currently affecting professional indemnity cover, specifically in the design and construction sectors. However, we are starting to see this creep in across the board, caused by a series of issues: insurance losses, increased cost of claims, low investment and of course, the pandemic.
Whether you are a client of HI Commercial or not, we want you to get the best possible service, to feel prepared for the future, with the correct cover for your entire business operations and the people involved.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered some tips to help you plan ahead to minimise the impact of a hard market:
Price focused insurance
We know that paying for insurance is not high on your list of favourite things do. Of course we always look for the best price for your individual requirements, however, paying less usually means reduced cover. We always look at the level of cover as when disaster strikes, you’ll be pleased when your insurer pays out, so you can get back to work as quickly as possible.
Time to shop around
This is important! Make a note of your renewal dates and request information from your broker at least 21 days before your renewal deadline.
Insurers may want to survey your business to be able to offer the best terms - all of this takes time so if your broker sends your renewal with only a couple of days notice, you could be forced to renew even if it’s not in your best interests.
Remember though, it can be counter-intuitive to ask for quotes from too many brokers. If insurers see you are spreading your business too thinly, they could refuse to insure you at all.
To quote for ‘actual’ policies, brokers need your claims experience. Without it, all we can provide is a cover indicator which cannot be guaranteed. If your claim experience is delayed, presenting the actual figures could significantly increase your costs and therefore what looked like a cheaper option will no longer be available to you. Again, you’ll be wise to request this information from your broker in advance of your renewal date.
Does your broker know who you are, understand your business and keep in touch during the year?
This is also important because, if you purchase new equipment, upsize or even downsize your business and forget to inform the broker, you may not have adequate cover following your renewal.
Many commercial insurance brokers have moved out of East Yorkshire to operate from a faraway call centre. You may never deal with the same person twice. The call-handler won’t know you and is unlikely to care about you and your business. In the event of an enquiry or a claim, you deserve to be top priority, your adviser should act in your best interests.
Accurate valuation of assets
What is the value of your assets at any one time? The worst thing would be to find that you’re underinsured. If you own a commercial property, for example and the sum insured is too low, the insurer will apply average which will result in any claim payment being discounted proportionately. We can recommend a RICS approved survey for the latest market figures.
Risk levels are changing all of the time and in addition to injury to persons, damage to buildings and accidents affecting equipment, intangible risks such as cyber crime and environment represent even greater risk, as well as public health.
Your broker will have access to information on emerging risks and they should be communicating this to you to apply to your own risk management strategies.
Finally… choosing a commercial insurance broker
It is more important than ever before to work with a broker that has experience in your sector. At HI Commercial we have broad experience in dealing with high-risk sectors; construction, engineering and manufacturing, agriculture and haulage firms, with premiums valued between £1,000 to £120,000.
We can put you in touch with clients who have used our services for many years* to give peace of mind that we are; at your side, at your service, commercial insurance with a personal touch.
The team at HI Commercial works with businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire so we can meet you in person (lockdown restrictions permitting), visit your premises and get to know your business.
Gather all information 21 days before you request quotes: claims experience, valuations and risk assessments.
Expect the best service from a broker who acts on your behalf, rather than the insurers.
*HI Commercial is a commercial insurance broker, a brand formed by the Directors of Hedon Insurance*, which in 2019, celebrates 50 years in business.
If you are not sure about your commercial insurance policies, please call HI Commercial on 01482 247477 for peace of mind that you will be protected at all costs. At your service, at your side – commercial insurance with a personal touch.
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