Don’t get stuck at claims stage, get your policies reviewed, updated and renewed annually!

Most short term policies normally run for a year and needs to be renewed when the policy period ends, however a number of times we take cover and our policy documents gather dust somewhere in our homes until something happens and we need to use them.

As a policyholder you need to make a note of when your policies are due for renewal so that you get in touch with your insurer or broker to re assess your needs. The renewal date for your insurance policy is based on the date of policy inception and Insurers normally send a renewal notice 14 days prior to the expiry date, however some policies auto-renew so if you have not updated your insurer or Broker on any changes they will maintain the current policy as is. Knowing your policy renewal dates also helps policyholder to shop around on time if you are considering moving your policies elsewhere.

If ever you decide to shop around, do not only compare prices, but make sure the cover meets your needs and will not have a huge financial impact on you at claims stage for example paying low premiums for a high excess. When you are renewing your policy it is important to ensure that all the information provided at policy inception is correct and make changes where there is need, for example if the use of vehicle has changed from personal to business or otherwise.

Our homes are constantly being improved, we renovate, buy new contents and get rid of items we no longer use or need and it is for this reason that we need to update our policies not only at renewal stage. Renovations may mean an increase in value of the house therefore an insurer should be notified of such changes. It wouldn’t make sense to have an old fridge or tv set that you gave to your grandmother on the insured contents list whilst your new contents aren’t insured. Remove items you no longer own or replace them with new ones.

Keeping policies up to date is even more critical for businesses as their insurance needs can change with market demands. The end of a financial year presents an opportunity for small business owners to re-evaluate their needs. The first assessment of possible risks the business may face gives insurers an indication of the best solutions they could offer to fully cover your business. However it is up to the client to decide on the covers they believe will work best for their needs. Re-evaluating your needs before policy renewal can help business owners identify emerging risks and address them accordingly; it could also help reduce premiums if policyholder has made significant improvements in their business e.g. better security systems in place, fire extinguisher being regularly serviced, and a quick response alarm system.

Last but not least maintain your assets in good condition. Imagine an employee getting injured whilst at work due to a faulty machine that was up for service and never got serviced on time. The costs may fall on you as employer due to negligence.