Shopping for the best deal is human nature – whether it is for that extra discount on your vacation rental or a big sale on the new pair of shoes, but once you find a good deal and fall in love with the brand, you forget about looking for future deals. The same holds true for insurance. In good economic times, many risk managers and business officials were happy with their insurance purchases, so much so that many of organizations have had the same insurance carrier or JPA for 10+ years. While this is perfectly acceptable, it may not make the best financial sense and now that the economic crisis is lasting longer than anyone expected doing your due diligence is more important than ever.
So You Want to Shop
Great, you have made the decision to go to market. What could go wrong? Well, for public schools which are in JPA’s there are notice dates which must be met. These are dates typically 90 days prior to the renewal date in which you must make your intention to shop known. Miss that date and all the shopping in the world won’t make a bit of difference if you can’t actually leave your JPA. Most schools understand the notice dates for their primary layer of insurance, but many forget that excess carriers have notice dates also. This simple error can actually destroy your chance of saving big bucks on insurance premiums. While you may be able to move one layer, you might not be able to move excess layers. Giving notice by the deadline is paramount to your financial success.
Know Your Dates
The best thing that you can do to ensure financial success is start the shopping process early. Call all of your existing carriers or JPA’s and ask for the notice dates in writing. I would recommend starting this process at least 6 months prior to your renewal date. Once you have your dates listed, you can proceed with the fun part – obtaining your loss histories….