Given how quickly life moves these days, we all forget things here and there.


And while you shouldn’t sweat the times you forget to take out the trash or pick up the milk, there is at least one item we recommend adding to your “never forget” list: renewing your insurance policies on time!

Consider this… I recently spoke with a client who had allowed his coverage to lapse. He didn't get his application for renewal submitted on time, and his coverage was canceled.


About a month afterward, he realized that he didn't have coverage, and he submitted an application to start a policy again.


Problem solved, right? Not exactly. Approximately three weeks after getting his new coverage, he received notification that he was being sued for an incident that occurred almost two years ago.


I had to explain to him that he had no retroactive coverage protecting him back to the time when the alleged incident occurred.

What is Retroactive Coverage?

Retroactive coverage is a provision that can be traced back to a specific date (usually the date your professional liability coverage originally begins), and most individual claims-made insurance contracts include a retroactive date. 


To maintain the retroactive date, you must continually renew your policy (on time) to prevent a lapse in coverage. There may be NO gaps in coverage…NOT EVEN ONE DAY!!

In order for a claim to be covered, it must occur on or after the retroactive date.


See Example 1 below:

Any claim made prior to the retroactive date will NOT be covered. See Example 2 below:


To maintain the largest window of coverage – and your original retroactive date, renewing on time is critical!


Had the client followed up on reminders to renew his coverage, he would have been able to maintain his retroactive date – and he would have been covered for the lawsuit he was facing.

Let Us Be the String on Your Finger!

We understand that forgetfulness happens when life gets busy. We’re here to help!


At Rockwood Programs, we do everything we can to help our clients maintain their retroactive coverage.


We remind clients by sending notifications 60 days and 30 days prior to coverage expiration. And then, we follow up with a phone call and an email two weeks before expiration.


If we still haven't heard from the client, we make another attempt three days prior to the expiration date. We encourage our clients to keep an eye out for those reminders.

So, while we can’t help you remember to pick up the milk at the supermarket – or to find the secret hiding spot of your missing keys – we will do everything we can to ensure you stay on top of your policy renewals to maintain your retroactive coverage.


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Marie Ciliberto is an underwriter in the P&C Agent’s E&O unit.  She initially joined Rockwood Programs in February 2007 as an administrative assistant.  Ms. Ciliberto was first promoted to underwriter within the Life Agent’s E&O operation in 2011.  Ms. Ciliberto graduated from Delaware County Community College in 1997.  She possesses a P&C Agent’s license and is currently pursuing a Property & Liability Insurance Principles designation.