In meeting with carrier representatives frequently, I always get updates on the marketplace from a broad array of perspectives. Recently, one of the common themes in the current marketplace is that many renewal quotes are a similar price to what they were in the last year. However, carriers are often pricing quotes for new business to that carrier at very low rates in an attempt to win additional business in a flat market.
For example, as I was price checking my upcoming renewal accounts recently, I was able to save one client around 20% on their policy even though their renewal quote with their carrier had not changed from the prior year. By having their renewal policy price checked, this client saved 20%. It’s not to say you should move your business insurance every year as there are advantages to having continuity with one carrier in case claims or service issues arise. However, potential savings can exist even if your renewal pricing is the same as last year’s pricing.
The current marketplace has several carriers notably pricing aggressively to compete for new business opportunities. One of the carriers that comes to mind right away for workers’ compensation insurance is The Hartford. They are discounting their base rates up to 40% for certain business types and in certain states. It is a hard to beat combination when an A rated carrier with excellent customer service is pricing as low as any carrier in the marketplace for certain businesses.
Another carrier that comes to mind is GUARD Insurance. They are another A rated carrier that is affiliated with insurance giant, Berkshire Hathaway. GUARD has been rapidly expanding into the marketplace for small and mid-sized businesses. If you haven’t shopped your business insurance in a few years, GUARD may not have been an available option at the time you decided on a carrier. Now, they are the leading carrier for many industries (particularly certain artisan contractors) in the marketplace and also offer excellent customer service.
There are so many variables that it is hard to write generally about some of the best carriers in the marketplace for particular businesses. However, AmTrust, Employers, FirstComp and Travelers are all highly rated carriers which offer great customer service and are pricing certain industries very aggressively to attempt to grow their business.
There can be other reasons that it may make sense to price check your business insurance. For one, your claims history may be more favorable than it was several years ago. Other insurance carriers may offer more favorable payment plans than you currently have. An example in the workers compensation arena is that pay as you go insurance might be available. Over time, different carriers happen to prefer certain industries more or less than they do at other times. That can lead to better pricing in some cases than may have been available at different points in time.
Without checking prices, it’s hard to know whether or not there might be better options out there than your current carrier.