Companies often face a dilemma when relocating, merging or closing:
After years in business, insurance records can amass and nobody seems to know what to keep and what to toss. Next thing you know everything's going in the shredder. But shredding an old policy may be a costly mistake, believe it or not, and it's best to err on the side of caution. Having a central repository for all your insurance policies is prudent, especially in today's litigious environment.
As you review your policies, keep the following in mind:
It is your responsibility to establish the existence of a policy if a claim is submitted. While insurance agents and brokers may retain copies of your policies, many only keep for a few years after you have ceased to be a client. If you don't want to keep all your policies, contemplate keeping all liability policies (i.e. general liability, auto liability, professional liability, workers' compensation and umbrella as well as others). On the other hand, property policies should be kept only if there is a pending claim, otherwise they may be discarded after the policy expires.
The good news is there are various electronic options for archiving and many record-retention systems can facilitate the storage, search and retrieval of these important documents.
At the end of the day, it's best to keep as many policies for as long as possible...as they could be a lifesaver for your business.