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Securing the best possible deal: Start early and utilize data

Securing the best possible insurance outcome across price, coverage, conditions, and service is critical for organizations.

Securing the best possible insurance outcome across price, coverage, conditions, and service is critical for organizations. Panelists, including buyers, brokers, and insurers, at Commercial Risk’s “Global Programmes – Europe 2023 Conference” in London on 13 September agreed that the sooner organizations start the renewal process, the more likely they are to secure a better outcome.

Simon Jenkins, Marsh’s Head of Property Placement, discussed the importance of concise data to help get the best deal. Despite the value of data, it was also noted that data is not a replacement for open dialogue between the insured, insurers, and brokers.

The importance of strong relationships

From natural catastrophes to political and economic uncertainty, multiple factors are altering the insurance landscape, requiring insurers to bring empathy to renewal process conversations. More creative solutions – involving data and voice notes, for instance – can help improve communication and encourage empathy. Empathy can also build trust, which is crucial in the process.

A strong relationship between insurers and brokers based on a deep understanding of the business and its risks is key to getting the best deal. Regular contact and clear communication can help ensure there are no surprises and conversations can be conducted candidly regarding other potential risks and challenges.

Aligning on value

One speaker noted three possible ways buyers can view insurance: as a means to mitigate business risk, to share risk with partners, or as a cost. Most organizations focus on value rather than cost, as although budgets may be challenged, reducing coverage may have a negative financial impact should a claim occur.

While value is an often-touted word, organizations often place value on different variables, including clarity of cover, strong relationships, and consistency of service. It was said that insurers “have to walk differently to generate value for clients.” To deliver value, all parties need to have open conversations to align on values.

Value is often driven by knowledge. For instance, global organizations and their insurers will benefit from having knowledge about the areas they are operating in, such as local regulations and customs, which is then reflected in the underwriting information. Similarly, value is placed on technological know-how and ability. Organizations need partners that can co-create solutions and wordings for new risks, including technology risks.

Using data to improve the renewal process

Much of the discussion focused on the benefits of starting the renewal process early. Simon Jenkins said starting early gives all parties more time to review data and conditions. Time allows alternative solutions to be found and new risks to be understood, which may require more information and data to be gathered.

According to Simon, data and analytics can help maximize insurance efficiency. Insurance underwriters are using new data technologies to assess risks and set premiums – helping organizations to be future ready.

Quality data can lead to better decisions. Therefore, maintaining and ensuring that data is correct is of vital importance. Organizations can work closely with their brokers on the type of data submitted and collected and with their local offices to analyze and interpret data. Establishing a viable data collection process will provide more time to focus on coverage solutions.

It is imperative to understand in detail what risks the business is facing while also factoring in that risks may change. Collecting the right data will help underwriters and carriers get approvals and ultimately help organizations get favorable renewal terms and conditions.

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