Six ways to improve the way you buy
Be open and honest with your insurance provider
An insurer cannot possibly ask enough questions about your insurance needs, and relies on you to disclose any material facts. The question, of course, is: what is a material fact? So be as open as possible with your insurer – put yourself in their place and try to tell them about the risks that concern you and how you deal with them. If they are specialists, they should be equally open and offer you advice on how to reduce risk and premiums.
‘Sell’ your risk management
Make sure your broker or insurer understands how you minimise risk, as that will help them get you the best possible premium. If the insurer is convinced that you are managing a risk well, they will typically charge a lower premium or offer cover that they would otherwise withhold.
Specialist insurers are good
If you are one of a group of similar organisations, check to see if there is a group insurance scheme that will give you the cover you need, e.g. parent teacher associations (PTAs) should look at PTA UK (www.pta.org.uk). A scheme is often the best option in terms of both cover and price as it gives the benefits of bulk buying, and someone will have considered the relevant issues
Specialist charity solutions work well
Always look for a specialist charity policy. Typically, they will be a combined charity insurance policy, which gives the benefit of having everything in one place.
Try and work with a specialist charity broker who understands the requirements of the sector, or look for a specialist charity insurer or underwriting agency.
Some charities believe they are required to undertake annual tenders for their insurance and that they should get at least three quotes. In fact, there can be a benefit in having the continuity of the same insurance; reviewing your cover every three years is reasonable. Specialist brokers can advise on your cover and get alternative quotes from the insurance market.
Take action after a claim
If you have had a claim and are looking to avoid paying much more at each renewal for the next five years, make sure you take action to avoid the problem happening again. If there was a break-in that led to a major theft of computers for instance, insurers will be much more understanding if you tell them you have, for example, barred the outside of the window that was smashed, added a new centrally monitored alarm system to the building, added movement sensitive lighting, completely re-planned your data backup process etc.