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Pest control insurance expired? You could lose thousands

Renew your pest control insurance like this man

Does your paperwork take up more time than you want it to? We hear you (that’s why we created our Rapid Inspect app). But letting one key piece of paperwork in particular – your pest control insurance – fall by the wayside can put your business at tremendous risk.

And by that, we mean both your professional indemnity insurance AND your general liability insurance. This is why you should never let them lapse…

When it comes to running a business, booking and servicing customers is the main priority. The busier your calendar, the better! But that can mean the aspects of your business that don’t involve making customers happy take a backseat. We are looking at you, paperwork…

Staying on top of paperwork might feel like a chore, and something you would rather not think about. But if somewhere in that mountain of unopened emails lies your professional indemnity and liability insurance renewal, open it. You risk losing hundreds of thousands of dollars if you don’t.

I paid my professional indemnity/liability insurance a few weeks late. Now what?

Sometimes life gets busy and we overlook important due dates, like pest control insurance renewal. But what happens if you renew yours late?

Know that if you have a claims-made policy (such as that offered by Rapid Solutions), it is not an automatically renewable policy each year.

It is a new contract that involves completing a proposal each year with your current relevant information. This information is used to set the terms and conditions of your new contract of insurance period. Before cover commences you need to accept these new terms, including retroactive cover if applicable.

I paid two weeks late, am I covered for that period?

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee. If you conduct work during the period of time between when your pest control insurance renewal was due and when you actually accepted and paid, you are at risk of creating a gap in your cover.

Even once you have paid you may not be insured for any work you did during that ‘gap’ period. It is crucial to pay your professional indemnity and general liability insurance on time, every time.

CASE STUDY:

Simon runs a small property maintenance business, and accidently overlooked his insurance renewal notice for professional indemnity and general liability. He continued working on site for three weeks before he realised he had not paid his renewal. He then quickly accepted the terms and made the payment. At the time, his insurer would have advised there would be no cover available for this period.

A month later, a client whose home Simon had provided services at after his renewal was due but before he remembered to pay, made a complaint about damage to their property. Simon would need to make an insurance claim to rectify the situation. He called his insurance company but was told his policy did not cover any work he did during the period of time in which his insurance had expired.

Simon had to pay in excess of $25,000 to repair the damage and was not able to claim anything on his insurance.

Do you know what to do when a customer makes a complaint? Read our guide here.

Have you extended your business activities beyond what you are insured for? If so, it is crucial to update your pest control insurance – see our article on insurance endorsements here.

How does late payment impact my retroactive insurance cover?

While Simon’s situation is terrible, the biggest danger of letting your pest control insurance expire is that it will nullify your retroactive insurance cover.

Simply put, that means you will no longer be covered for work you conducted before your insurance policy expired. Allowing your policy to lapse, even for a few days, resets the clock on your retroactive date to the day you eventually renewed.

If you have been with your insurer for years, all the work you did throughout those years is no longer covered by retroactive insurance if you allow your pest control insurance policy to expire.

CASE STUDY:

Amy has been with her professional indemnity and liability insurance provider since she started her pest control business eight years ago. With a lot of work on her plate, she forgot to renew her pest control insurance before it expired. She accepted and paid five days after the expiry date.

Six months later, Amy was contacted by a homeowner who discovered an infestation of termites during a kitchen renovation. Three years earlier, Amy’s business had deemed the property termite-free during a pre-purchase inspection. There was serious and irreparable structural damage to the home, requiring a complete knock-down and rebuild. This would cost in excess of $350,000.

Amy contacted her insurer, but it was not good news. She was told she was not retroactively covered for this job because her retroactive date had a gap in coverage between expiry and acceptance of her new contract. In fact, Amy would not be retroactively covered for any of the work her business conducted in the eight years prior to the lapsed policy date.

Amy was therefore personally responsible for the payment of damages.

Does your business conduct pre-purchase inspection reports? This is one of the highest business risk categories for pest controllers and building inspectors. Get the information you need here.

Cashflow preventing your pest control insurance renewal? You have options.

If your pest control insurance renewal is due soon but your cashflow situation means you can’t pay it, help is available. It is vital you reach out to find a solution before your policy expires, to avoid the scenarios like those mentioned above.

If you are a Rapid Solutions customer, please call us before the policy expires. We can run you through your options.

Alternative pest control insurance payment options

You may have alternative pest control insurance payment opportunities available to you. These include:

  • Premium funding

This is where you engage a third party to pay your premium, and then you pay them on a month-by-month basis over 10 instalments. You will pay a bit more overall, but don’t have to make a lump sum annual payment.

  • Pay by instalments

Rapid Solutions may be able to help by allowing you to pay your pest control insurance by instalments over a three-month period. Call us to discuss whether this option would be suitable for your business.

Rapid Solutions is here to support your business

Here at Rapid Solutions, we are passionate about helping you grow your business. That is why we are committed to helping you avoid the risks of letting your professional indemnity and liability insurance lapse.

We will contact you 4-6 weeks prior to the renewal due date for your policy, giving you plenty of time to provide us with your business information, offer you terms and make the payment. We will then contact you again when your policy is about to expire.

Looking for greater support for your business? Make the switch to Rapid Solutions today. Start your online quote here.

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