Avoiding close calls when your customer’s needs change

Rob had been with The Shepherd Group for five renewal cycles and his annual renewals were usually simple and straightforward: we would confirm the same rate, similar coverage and things would proceed much the same way until the next time.

But we realized we had to go further as we implemented our new renewal process that includes stages beginning as early as 120 days prior to renewal. Part of this was asking questions and gaining trust and access to our client’s world. We discovered that amazing things happen when people engage with each other.

Hence, at TSG, we aim to speak with all of our clients. Unlike some brokerages who rarely interact with their clients outside of the standard renewal phone call or email, we try to forge relationships with every interaction.

For his part, Rob informed us that his business revenue had skyrocketed over the previous year. We saw that this would impact his exposure and create more risks; ultimately, his premium increase was truly staggering when we sourced solutions for his renewal.

We were thrilled that Rob was succeeding in his business, but the premium increase on his commercial general liability policy appeared ludicrous and we approached our insurers once again to find an alternative. Fortunately, we connected with an insurer who truly understood Rob’s needs and provided appropriate coverage at a reasonable premium.

In the end, Rob’s new premium included a revamped policy suited to his vast new revenues and exposures. In addition, the upper limit to his coverage was now $5 million in commercial general liability versus $2 million for his previous plan.

On the other hand, sticking with the status quo and doing the same renewal once again would have put Rob at risk if he were to face a claim resulting from his increased exposure. TSG would have been on the hook for an errors and omissions fault and Rob’s policy may have been cancelled for misrepresentation.

The impact of that would have been huge and horrible, wrecking Rob’s thriving business, undermining TSG’s credibility and impeding our ability to serve our clients. In others words, the exact opposite of our everyone wins philosophy.

All of that may have come to pass if we hadn’t picked up the phone and made an effort to reach Rob. The next part of the puzzle was communicating to Rob the reason his premium had increased. What struck us is just how easy it is to prevent mishaps by being proactive and communicating.

In order to be proactive, our renewal process is quite unusual for our industry, starting 90-120 days before the actual renewal date. This way, we have enough time to reach busy clients who may not have time to chat. Apart from providing our clients with greater flexibility, engaging proactively can also create substantial benefits for clients, as was the case with Rob.
At the end, Rob opened up, stating that other providers had not explained why his premiums increased or the extra coverages this would provide. TSG’s thoughtful treatment of his business motivated him to suggest moving more of his assets to TSG which would enable us to serve him even more in the future.