IN THE KNOW
How to make the most of insurance renewal – Get your story right
You might not think there's a lot you can do, when your insurance renews, to get the best deal, the most accurate price for the real-life risks your business faces. But take a leaf out of any good movie, book, play or stage musical and you can reduce your premiums, even improve your cover without paying more. If you don't create your own story, after all, the underwriter will need to make up a story of their own. You may as well take control and make the most of the opportunity.
Here's what you need to know.
THE UNDERWRITING PROCESS IS DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY VILLAINS
The first thing to understand is this: the underwriting process is naturally slanted towards identifying and pinning down the bad boys, the companies who don't look after their businesses properly, who leave their premises insecure, face cyber-risks because their IT security is so bad, or let dangerous employee practices become the norm in their company.
You want your underwriter to have an accurate picture of your business and the risks it faces. They need to know what makes your company stands out. When you control your business' message throughout the renewal process the underwriter gets an accurate picture of the company. When you build a strong, accurate, positive 'risk management story' you give them the information they want in the right way.
WHY ARE STORIES SO POWERFUL IN BUSINESS?
Roll back time a few thousand years and you'd find early humans sitting around camp fires telling stories. We still use verbal storytelling to pass on wisdom and essential facts through the generations, through families, societies and cultures. Every book you read, fiction or not, is a story. Every film, play and musical, every tale you weave at every dinner party, every blog post, article and web page, is part of mankind's ancient reliance on storytelling. It comes naturally to us.
Following a story pattern makes it a lot easier to manage risks simply because you've created a strong framework in which to identify, prioritise and handle them in the first place. Storytelling makes it so much easier to get all your key stakeholders to identify their exposure to risks, and easier to find innovative ways to talk about problems.
YOUR BUSINESS STORY
It's always good to see an example. Here's an example of a story that you might not want to tell your insurance underwriter:
“Once upon a time there was a successful business that made blue tools. One day there was a hurricane, and the premises blew down. The factory was so badly damaged that they couldn't make blue tools anymore.”
Here's another example. This one makes it much more likely that your underwriter will provide good renewal terms, perhaps even reducing your premiums if they find the story positive enough.
“Once upon a time there was a successful business that made blue tools. They realised hurricanes were common in their country so the owners and another local blue tool maker in the area agreed to help each other out. When a hurricane came along and blew the roof off, the first company transferred production to their fellow blue tool maker, and all was well.”
The second story delivers a happy ending. But it also reveals the business' ability to think about the future and have creative ideas about how to mitigate the risks they face. If you were an insurance underwriter, which business would you give the best renewal terms to?
Your insurer won't want to see an actual story, of course, but you can see how creating a strongly positive narrative at renewal might inspire an underwriter to realise you're risk aware, willing to do what you can to mitigate those risks yourself.
NEED HELP PINNING DOWN THE RISKS YOU FACE AND CREATING A POSITIVE STORY?
We are with you all the way, from inception to renewal, and we're experienced at telling the right kind of stories on your behalf. If you'd like some help identifying the risks you face and controlling them, we're experts at insurance risk management.
Posted on 3 December, 2018 Reading times 4:45 mins