Risk managers in a furor over renewal tactics

Risk managers in a furor over renewal tactics – Up Front

Cyril Tuohy

The one hot topic that stirred passionate debate among risk managers gathered at the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.’s 41st Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago in April wasn’t on the “hot topic” agenda.

Risk managers were furious at their carriers for unyielding demands that risk managers renew policies within 24 or 48 hours of expiration. Back in the fall of 2001, risk managers were willing to give their carriers a break, given the horrific events of Sept. 11, and the administrative mayhem unleashed on the insurance industry.

By last fall, however, Sept. 11 and the quick rise of the hard market was old news. There was no excuse for carriers to insist that multimillion-dollar policies be renewed on 24 hours notice with barely an apology.

“It’s just not a good way to do business,” said one risk manager. “It makes insurers look like used-car salesmen.”

Risk managers were finding themselves going to their CFOs asking for more money to pay for double-digit increases m property/casualty premiums — and asking their bosses to sign on the bottom line by the end of the business day.

Behind the sniping, there’s a real issue here: Just whose side are the carriers on? The industry tradition of client service isn’t what it used to be, said one broker with more than 50 years in the business.

If risk managers have just 24 hours to renew a $10-million policy, what kind of service can they expect to get when they have a $1 million claim? For risk managers, the process of renewing premiums in 2002 was an experience to forget.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Axon Group

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group