Do You Hate Renewing Your Business Insurance Every Year?
There are about a dozen different reasons that business owners will give me a shot at earning their business insurance. Sometimes it’s due to a bad claims experience, poor service from their agent, or continuously increasing rates. However, out of all the reasons, there’s one thing that absolutely pisses business owners off the most: last-second renewals.
How Your Current Business Insurance Renewals Look
As a business owner, you have every right to be infuriated when your insurance agent brings you your business insurance renewals at the eleventh hour. It gives you zero control over the process. Tell me if I’m wrong, but here’s how this process typically looks:
- 30 days before renewal (maybe): Agent reaches out and says they are working on the renewal offer
- The next 2-3 weeks: Radio silence
- 7-10 days before renewal: Agent emails over a 30-page renewal proposal with no explanation & says, “give me a call if you’d like to discuss”.
Then, having no time to deal with it, you begrudgingly renew for another year and hope it doesn’t happen again. When the following year comes around…rinse and repeat. This is such an unfair situation for a business to find itself in. It doesn’t allow any time to consider the renewal offer, understand the changes, or get a second opinion and it just about forces your hand to renew for another year.
If you’re wondering why so many agents do this to their clients, it’s for the exact reasons you hate it so much. It doesn’t give you a chance to consider alternative options and it forces your hand to renew with them year after year. So, what can you do? How can you hold your agent accountable and avoid finding yourself in this situation every year? I’ll show you, step by step.
How Business Insurance Renewals Should Go
First, let me say this: when a business owner is fed up with last second renewals, I’d guess that it increases my chances of earning their business by at least 50%. Why? Because unlike most other things when it comes to insurance (i.e. claims-handling, rates, etc.), getting a timely renewal is one thing that an agent has 100% control over, and businesses have zero.
That said, there are a number of different benefits to getting ahead with your insurance renewal. To take advantage of those, here’s what your renewal process should look like in any given year:
- 90-120 days before renewal: Your agent should reach out to schedule a mid-year policy review. As a result of this meeting, you and your agent should both be on the same page with what your expectations are come renewal time. Make sure that you’re both clear on when you expect to have your renewal and whether or not your agent is going to send out submissions for alternative quotes.
- 45-60 days before renewal: This is when your agent should be receiving the renewal offer from your current carrier. Don’t let them tell you any differently. At this point, depending on the renewal offer, your agent should reach out and give you an idea of how the offer looks and whether or not they plan on presenting other options (i.e. there was a big increase and they want to see if there’s a better market for you).
- 30ish days before renewal: Your agent should be reaching out to schedule a meeting to review your renewal along with any additional offers they may be bringing to the table. This will allow both of you time to determine if moving forward together is the right decision or to make any necessary adjustments.
Taking advantage of a process like this should afford you the following benefits:
- Less stress every year at renewal
- A better insurance program
- More competitive rates
- An agent who no longer feels they can take advantage of you
The Bottom Line
The most important thing for you as a business owner to understand is that this will not happen on its own (most of the time). There’s a small percentage of agents out there who follow this process. If you have one that does, good for you. If not, this will not change overnight without you taking action. But, if you want to make sure that you have a (somewhat) stress-free renewal process, you have to lay the ground rules. Show your agent the timeline I just shared and tell them that’s what you expect moving forward. If they’re not willing to comply, show them the door. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they change their process once they realize that you caught on to their game.
Set a reminder on your calendar for 120 days before your renewal and good luck! If you’d like to learn more about how I approach renewals, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com or check out our website.