Pick up some tips that can help you improve the overall process
URMIA Members Offer Advice Regardless of Where You Are in the Process
While some URMIAns may be breathing a sigh of relief as their property renewal process is over, or nearly so, for 2023, others may still be in the thick of the annual task. URMIA President Julie Groves hosted a podcast recently with three members who gave advice not only for this year’s process, but suggestions for ways to make any renewal year go a little smoother. Here are some of the tips from Karen Kruppa at Suffolk University; Amy Daley of Fred C. Church Insurance; and Timothy McLees Jr, at Zurich in URMIA Matters.
What Is Creating This Year’s Hard Market
There are several factors that are converging to make today’s hard market in the property space.
- Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity and happening all over the country.
- We also have today’s inflation trends and what that means for replacement cost values and claims costs.
- The impact of what’s happening in the reinsurance market and what that means for property capacity on the front end for some of the programs is a third factor.
All of this is coming to the forefront in the hardening property market. It is defining what a risk manager needs to be paying attention to in relation to insurance.
Recommended Practices for Any Insurance Renewal Year
So what’s a risk manager to do now and for future renewal processes? Here are tips from the podcast guests.
- Do a “state of our insurance” yearly report to your board of trustees and your audit committee. Include insurance trends to watch and areas where it has hit other higher education institutions, but not you - yet.
- Educate on property hard markets and soft markets and encourage thinking on your property over a spread of seven to eight years to allow for fluctuations.
- Engage – or engage more - with your campus stakeholders. Get updated cost amounts of a new project from your facilities colleagues. Work with your EH&S professionals regularly.
- Shore up your statement of values as these are now under the spotlight. Be able to tell your carrier your process to establish, monitor, and update the values.
- Use your broker and carriers to help you analyze your exposures and try to mitigate that risk.
- Look at your deferred maintenance and really understand what the deferred maintenance is on your campus and try to put a priority on your biggest vulnerabilities to get those fixed in advance. Be transparent about your campus conversations around loss prevention with your underwriters, too.
- Consider any opportunity for subrogation, not only at the time of an incident, but also in contracts, in general.
- Negotiate a multiple year rate lock if you keep your losses below a certain percent. This helps builds a clear partnership with your carrier, too.
- Revisit your buildings’ appraisal statements. Do you need to reflect any of today’s factors that are constraining the construction market?
- Lean on your broker’s and carrier’s tools and resources such as inflation trend factors and how to do appraisals, even if it is one building at a time to get caught up.
- Build trust with your carrier which usually comes in the form of longevity. But even if you are with a new carrier, how you tell your institution’s story can build confidence from the beginning. Be proactive with your communication to build a comfort level in working with you.
Listen to the full episode of URMIA Matters, “Tips to Ease the Property Renewal Process in 2023”, for more tips and anecdotal information that can help you with your 2023 property renewal or getting a head start on 2024’s process.
Resources for Property Insurance Renewal
Use the URMIAnetwork. Post your question to an appropriate community’s discussion board. Talk to fellow URMIAns.
Identifying, Valuing, and Protecting Research at Universities, URMIA White Paper (available to URMIA members after login)
“What Goes Up, Must Come Down – Except Property Values and Premiums,” URMIA 2022 Annual Conference session recording (available to 2022 Annual Conference attendees after login)
“Disaster vs Distraction?” session slides from URMIA’s 2022 Annual Conference (available to 2022 Annual Conference attendees after login)
“Resilience Solutions Replacement Value Cost Trends,” Zurich
“Consigning Under-Insurance to History,” Zurich
Accurate Property Valuations Matter Now More Than Ever, white paper from Gallagher
By Julie Groves, URMIA President and Director, Risk Services, Wake Forest University
By Karen Kruppa, Chief Risk Officer, Suffolk University
By Amy Daley, Client Executive, Education Practice, Fred C. Church Insurance
By Timothy McLees Jr, New England Large Property Area Underwriter, Zurich