Managing business insurance renewals

4 min read | Published 09/07/2024

Find out how often you need to renew your business insurance policy and how to ensure you have the right protection in place.

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It’s best to start the business insurance renewal process two to three months before your existing policy expires.

Renewing your business insurance policy might feel like a hassle, but it’s important your business has adequate protection for the coming year. 

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How often should I renew my business insurance policy?

You need to renew your business insurance policy every 12 months. It’s sensible to start thinking about the renewal process two to three months before your existing policy ends. Don’t leave it until the last minute – otherwise, you may end up without cover for a while.

If you’re not sure when your policy expires, check your policy documents. The expiration date should be listed there. 

If you can’t see the expiry date, ask your insurance provider directly.

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Why is it important to renew my business insurance policy?

One of the main benefits of renewing your business insurance on time is that it provides continuous coverage. If you don’t renew your cover before the policy ends, you could be left out of pocket if you need to claim.

Renewing your policy also means you remain legally compliant. For example, if your business hires staff, you must have employer's liability insurance by law. In fact, you can be fined £2,500 every day you don’t have this cover in place.  

Another benefit of the renewal process is that it gives you the chance to reassess whether you still have the right level of coverage. You can also weigh up whether your policy offers the best value and whether you need to make any adjustments. 

What should I consider when renewing my business insurance policy?

Keep the following points in mind when renewing your business insurance policy:

  • Cover level: If your business has grown or changed in the past year, you may need to increase the cover on your existing policies. See our how much cover do I need? guide for more information about this.

  • Policy costs: Think about how much you’re currently paying for your insurance. Could you save money by switching to a different provider? Remember the cheapest policy is unlikely to offer the most comprehensive cover. It's important you check to ensure your chosen policy is appropriate.

  • Business requirements: If you’ve launched new products or expanded your activity, you may need a different type of business insurance policy.

  • Small print: Check whether your current policy has any exclusions that could impact your business. There might be a more suitable policy you could switch to.

  • Current provider: Are you happy with your current insurer, or have you had problems dealing with their customer service team? If so, the renewal period can be an excellent time to move to a new provider.

What is automatic business insurance renewal?

If you’ve opted in for automatic renewal, your policy renews without you doing anything when it reaches the renewal date. Your insurer should email you before then to tell you how much your new policy costs. 

Choosing automatic renewal can make your life easier, as it ensures you’re not left without cover at any point. It can also save time, allowing you to focus on other business areas.

But this convenience can come at a cost. Automatically renewing your cover means you could end up paying more than you should. Plus, if your business has changed in the past year, you might not have sufficient cover.

What is manual renewal?

Manual renewal means you have to manually accept or decline your insurer’s renewal quote. You receive your renewal quote around 30 to 60 days before your policy expires. If you don’t respond to this quote, your policy may lapse. 

Although manual renewal involves more work, it gives you time to shop around and compare quotes. This can help you find the right level of cover at the best price, so you can be confident you’ve got the best deal.

You can decline your existing provider's quote if you find a better quote with a new insurance provider. But if you’d prefer to stick with your existing provider, simply accept your renewal quote.

If you’re not sure which policy is best for your business, you could consult an insurance broker who can advise you. 

Why has my policy price increased? 

The price of your business insurance policy might have gone up for several reasons, such as:

  • If you’ve claimed on your policy in the past year. As a result, your insurer now sees you as a greater risk and has pushed up your premiums accordingly

  • Your business has grown, which means it’s more expensive to insure

  • You’ve increased the level of cover on your policy

  • Inflation is higher 

  • Your introductory rate has expired

Read more: What affects my business insurance policy price?

When should I notify my provider of business changes? 

You need to tell your insurer about some changes immediately rather than waiting until it’s time to renew your policy. Get in touch with your provider in the event of changes to:

  • Premises’ location: You should let your insurance provider know if you move to new premises. It might not affect your policy, but you still need to let your insurer know.

  • Employee headcount: If you hire more staff or make redundancies, let your provider know, as it may need to adjust your cover.

  • Business activities: Your insurer needs to know if you are moving into other markets or launching new products.

  • Company structure: If you switch from being a sole trader to a limited company, you effectively become a new business. As a result, you may need a new insurance policy.

Note that your premium could rise because of these changes. However, failing to inform your provider of any changes could leave you underinsured. You could even invalidate your cover.

About Alex Ryde

Alex joined in 2019, bringing his expertise to a range of roles working in both the Analytics and Commercial teams. More recently he has stepped across to focus on Product, where he’s been focusing on scaling up the teams’ SME offering.

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