The 2021 public entity market presented unique challenges that made for some difficult renewal conversations. Although it does not look like conditions have drastically changed, the industry is becoming more proficient in how they address some of those challenges. While healthy competition for desirable and historically profitable accounts remains, opportunities to put new business on the books at preferred terms continue to surface.
The challenges over the last 12-24 months were not in vain, or to take advantage of an uncertain market. Insurance carriers’ long-term motivation is to remain viable by providing increased stability and a brighter outlook for the future. As public entities approach their next renewal, many are optimistic that the market strain is beginning to diminish and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“It is important to think of your renewal submission as an opportunity, rather than just checking a box,” said Kevin Thommes, Director of Public Entity Underwriting at Safety National. “Take this opportunity to sell your organization and tell your underwriter exactly why they want to underwrite your account.”
This can be accomplished by adding three key steps to the renewal preparation process:
1. Get in Front of Your Renewals Early
There are several advantages to submitting your renewal at least 90 days prior to the effective date. With plenty of moving parts, early submissions allow time for the necessary ongoing dialogue between underwriter, broker and insured to produce a viable solution that works for all parties. For instance, is your renewal goal to meet a certain premium amount, attachment point or something else? Your underwriter wants to know. Are there red flags in your submission that might affect the quote? Your underwriter wants to discuss. This extra time is the only way the right conversations can occur to examine the needs and wishes of your insurance program comprehensively.
2. Provide a Clear and Comprehensive Submission
Your goal should always be to ensure the submission makes sense from an underwriter’s perspective. Does it provide enough information to make the underwriter confident in the data quality? Does the loss history make sense and is that information easily navigable? If you do not take the opportunity to thoroughly explain the successes and shortfalls of your program, the underwriter will likely turn to an internet search, which is probably not going to offer as flattering of an explanation as the one you can provide about your organization. Finally, are applications submitted by the same person each year? This best practice is important so that exposures are accounted for consistently. You do not want your underwriter unnecessarily assuming there were major changes due to receiving dramatically different data from the prior year.
3. Highlight Risk Control Initiatives
Underwriters are looking for an evolving risk management program that adjusts with time to address things like emerging risks and technological training advances in addition to business and operational changes. Provide details of what has been done to enhance your program this year and what you plan to add or improve next year. It is important to emphasize tactics aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of claims.
When it comes to renewals, no one likes surprises – especially not public entities with financial constraints and budgets that need to be met. Communication and collaboration are key to maintaining partnerships and providing the best possible solutions to your insurance program.