What Are the Steps in the Commercial General Liability Policy Renewal Process?

Collecting all pertinent information, performing a risk assessment, assessing previous renewals, and comparing rates and policies are important steps in the commercial general liability policy renewal process.

Professionals Discussing Commercial General Liability Policy

Published July 29, 2020   •   2 minute read

Your commercial general liability (CGL) policy is your shield. It safeguards your business from costly claims of bodily injury, property damage, and other risks.

Ensuring you’re covered by the most effective and extensive CGL insurance is therefore critical. So is understanding the renewal process.


Here’s how to renew your
CGL policy.

The following steps can help you obtain affordable, comprehensive coverage that protects your company from financial harm.

Start this roughly two to three months before your current policy expires. If you wait too long, you could be forced to accept expensive and inadequate coverage just to prevent gaps.

 

Gather all pertinent information, noting any updates.

Share this with your insurance agent. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to renew.

Be sure to collect the following:

  • Payroll Costs, Including Any Contracting Work
  • Certificates of Insurance (COIs) From Contractors & Subcontractors
  • Any Claims You or Any of Your Contractors/Subcontractors Made During the Past Year
  • Buildings Covered Under Your Policy
  • Buildings or Other Structures Added to Your Business Within the Past Year
  • Any Changes of Address


Perform a risk assessment.

What risk exposure do you have? What claims have you made in the past year? These are the two core questions that will drive your risk assessment. You’ll need to pull any claims and related incident reports, and either use risk assessment software or bring in a risk analyst. This is the cornerstone of your policy renewal process, so it's important to reflect that in your risk assessment budget and leave any stone unturned.

 

Assess previous renewals.

You want to make sure you’re not seeing huge year-over-year increases in your premium or deductible and that your coverage either improves or remains largely the same.

For Example: Say your premium has risen year-over-year for the past six years, despite the fact you’ve made no claims in the past three years, and only one small claim four years ago. That’s a sign that something is wrong, and you should look for a new agent or a new policy.

 

Compare rates and policies provided by your agent and others.

Even if you’re satisfied with your current agent, it doesn’t hurt to talk to other agents and companies and shop around for the best policy. You may be missing out on significant savings if you don’t. At the very least, if you find a better deal elsewhere, ask your current agent to match it.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Ask what exclusions each CGL has and whether or not you need to purchase extra coverage. If so, what’s recommended, and how much does it cost?
  • Make sure any policy you’re considering covers non-employee liability.
  • If you don’t already have it, ensure your CGL policy includes cyber liability coverage.

 

Renew your current CGL policy or purchase a new policy.

Once you’ve chosen an agent you trust and a policy that covers everything you need, it’s time to seal the deal. This includes paying your premium on time so you don’t have any gaps in coverage. Once you’ve chosen your policy, carefully document everything, so you’re prepared for the next time you need to renew your CGL policy.

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