Back in the early days of television many of the shows signed off the air with the statement “Keep those cards and letters coming folks”. We don’t need your cards and letters so much, but before your policy expires we do need your completed update and pilot record forms. It makes our job as your agent much easier, and in some cases it does make a difference in the renewal premium. We mail the blank update and pilot record to you months before your policy expiration date. At the same time we send a copy of the forms that you completed the previous year to use as a starting point. When we receive your new update and pilot record(s) we send it to the various carriers with a request for their very best program.  

For aircraft policies, some of the companies will not offer a quote unless they have updated pilot information including the hours and training completed in the last 12 months. Without current information some companies quote the renewal based on the same info that they had in their file the previous year. In this situation, if you were a Student Pilot last year with about 35 hours and you earned your Private and flew an additional 200 hours, without the update and pilot record your insurance carrier would still treat you like a 35 hour Student. On the other hand if you are an old pro with 3 or 4 full logbooks and 1,000 hours in your airplane an additional 200 hours is not going to make any difference in your renewal premium. Even in this situation many carriers require the dates of your most recent medical, flight review and IPC before they will offer the renewal quote. For the bigger piston twins, turbo props and jets, all of the companies require annual recurrent training at an approved training facility. Many will not quote without the date and place of the most recent training for all pilots.
As far as the aircraft itself is concerned the update is the place to report any change of value, engine hours, or airport changes. Also, on the update be sure to report any change of address, phone number or email address. If there is a change in lienholder status, note it on the update.  
For your agent the ideal situation is to get these forms back about 2 months before the renewal date. This gives enough time to obtain quotes from the various markets and get the best proposal out to you well in advance of the renewal date. So remember, “Keep those Updates and Pilot Record forms coming folks”.