If you are a large or more complex professional business, the calculation of your professional indemnity premium by an insurance underwriter is not an exact science.
Giving a good impression of your business can vastly influence the premium you pay and the cover you receive. Read our expert advice on the best ways of achieving this....
- Ensure your proposal form gives the right impression. The proposal form is a presentation of your business to the insurance market. Spelling mistakes, questions not answered or illegible handwriting makes a firm appear lacking attention to detail, unprofessional and a less attractive insurance risk. Investing the time to give a good impression of your business is important. Some larger firms even have their PII proposal professionally bound and labelled to help create the right impression.
- Explain any claims. If you have a claim/s, your current insurer may already have full details, but that won’t help any other insurers being asked to quote. Don't rely on underwriters coming back and asking for more information. Give full details about the claim/s and on any actions taken to avoid a recurrence. Giving full details will also avoid potential disclosure issues.
- Make sure insurers know about all the good stuff. If you spend time and money on risk management and improving quality, make sure your insurer knows about it. This could be overlooked if presented wrongly and not fully reflected in your premium.
- Plan your renewal strategy early. Ask your broker for their assessment of the current PI market and their plan for how they intend handling your renewal and minimising premium spend.
- Don't over-market your information. It’s important an insurer doesn’t feel they’re being asked to quote or 'used' merely as part of a broker’s market sweep. If they are to put forward their very best premium, they must feel confident they have at least a reasonable chance of winning the business and that they are not wasting their time.
- Clearly instruct your broker. Aim to have your renewal terms and alternative quotations available at least one month before your renewal date. Within reason, ensure that timings for the renewal process are pre-agreed, clearly understood and adhered to.
- Include a director statement. A positive introduction and short overview of the business, written and signed by a partner or director can be an excellent way of setting the tone for your business and for the risk information an underwriter will review. Just as you might do something similar for your own clients and prospective clients.
- Review the adequacy or the necessity of your level of cover. Insurance rates rise and fall and so a flexible approach to the level of cover purchased is sometimes needed. Instruct your broker to obtain a range of limits so that cost and risk can be fully considered by the partners or directors and you have the option to adjust the level of cover as necessary.
- Meet your Insurer. If your premium is significant enough, this can be set up by your broker and can help you establish a stronger long-term beneficial relationship with your Underwriter.
- Your website. A PI underwriter used to look at the corporate brochures and other marketing materials, but now they will more than likely take a thorough look through your website to find out more about you and the services you offer. That can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the look, feel and accuracy of your website.