At the end of a year that has seen our business win a lot of new clients I am looking forward to 2013 with some enthusiasm.
Whilst the word recession appears to be a constant in our lives what has been noticeable is that businesses are waging a war on costs, with many excelling in what they do in order to retain their customers, and of course a good bottom line profit.
In years gone by a firm’s business insurance was one of those purchases that owners were less likely to challenge. This is now changing although my concern is that cost is the main, or on some occasions, the only consideration.
I am by no means naïve enough to believe that price is not important – I know it is. What is however true, is that insurers remain hungry for business and as such good coverage and advice does not necessarily have to be sacrificed for premium/quality of insurer.
Of the new business secured this year we have, on most occasions, provided a saving whilst improving on cover, offered a quality insurer and importantly the client has been made aware what is and what is not insured.
What is most surprising when meeting new customers is that a good percentage have had little advice on important issues and, as indicated above, the purchase has been based mainly on price.
Good examples following recent reviews have included: Policy schedules which are incorrect e.g. completely wrong title of the insured person(s) or business and sums insured which are incorrect and arguably long outdated
-Business Descriptions which are either incorrect or do not wholly explain the customer’s line
of work and as such exposures to risk.
-Strict Policy Conditions that have clearly not been explained to the policy holder including “statements of fact” which are incorrect or untrue.
All of the above suggests an annual review has not been undertaken or no time has been allocated to challenging important issues. Put simply, future claims are likely to be denied or reduced if your risk details are incorrect. It’s also highly unlikely that a saving in premium is going to compensate for a denied claim.
In 2013 many businesses will be challenging their insurance agent and costs will be important. A word to the wise though – the cost bit is easy and there remains a good appetite within the industry to write business. Combining good price with good cover and ensuring you are obtaining the best advice is the key - and it’s out there.