In its third increase in just two years, insurance premium tax (IPT) rose from 10 to 12 per cent in June; a growing burden since the tax was introduced in 1994 at just 2.5 per cent.
The impact on the public as car insurance premiums rise has attracted much of the attention. But it puts further pressure on UK businesses, particularly those already paying large premiums, at a time of growing uncertainty following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Yet there are things a business can try to reduce their premium and match or beat the increase, without reducing the cover provided by their policy:
The first option for those businesses who have used the same insurer for years is to challenge them to ensure they are offering the very best deal. Some insurers and brokers may just hope their clients are too busy to assess what’s on offer and accept the first renewal offer.
Businesses paying significant premiums, typically more than £10,000 per annum, with claims below an agreed level may be able to agree rebates with some insurers when agreeing to renew. Rebates will usually range from 5 to 15 per cent of the annual premium and a good broker will be able to guide a business through the options available.
For businesses with a history of making small or no claims, accepting a larger policy excess could help attract a premium discount that covers the IPT increase.
With experience over time, businesses typically improve their processes, improve security, consolidate services or reduce their overall risk. But many forget to explain the changes to their insurers, who might reduce the premium based on the likely reduction in risk. If in doubt, ask.
The same changes that can reduce risk may also make some additional cover obsolete, but still being paid for. Premiums might include cover for large amounts of cash on the premises, when the majority of transactions involve card payments. It makes sense to consult a broker and consider every aspect of cover to ensure the right cover is achieved, while only paying for what is strictly necessary.
Although it’s still best practice to review your cover annually, there are insurers that may guarantee premiums or offer discounts for policies that run beyond the usual one year, to perhaps two or three years (further IPT increases would still be applied).
This introduces some certainty when budgeting and can make additional benefits available, like interest-free instalments, or even a contribution to make improvements in the business that will reduce risk to the insurer – a genuine win-win.