You’ve put a lot of time and effort into growing your small business, don’t let a simple accident or catastrophic situation put you at risk of losing it all. Expenses associated with litigation or replacing expensive equipment, or other repercussions of an accident could be enough to jeopardize your livelihood if you don’t have the proper insurance protection.
Business owners need quality business insurance. Having the appropriate level of coverage lets you focus on what’s important, knowing that you’re protected against the risks of running a business.
So, how do you know you’re getting the right policy for your needs or selecting the right commercial insurance company? Below are five key things to think about when purchasing business insurance coverage.
1. Work with an Agency That Understands Your Industry
Before getting into the details of coverage, the first step is to find an insurance agent with commercial lines insurance experience, preferably in your specific industry. For example, suppose you own a construction company, and your agent has expertise with restaurant industry exposures. In that case, they may not have the knowledge to help you adequately insure your construction business. It’s important to find someone with experience that is relevant to your needs.
As you and your agent begin the process, you may also want to consider carriers with special knowledge of your industry. A good starting point is gathering recommendations with business associations or your local chamber of commerce.
You can also check with others that have similar businesses to yours in your local community. Many entrepreneurs will be happy to support other business owners by providing commercial insurance company recommendations.
2. Look for a Comprehensive Coverage Package
When purchasing business insurance, pay attention to what the policy covers. Have your agent help you find an appropriately comprehensive package or buy different types of policies to help ensure you have the coverage your business needs.
Each business has unique risks; take some time to think about the types of loss that your business is most likely to suffer and those that might have the most significant impact, and share the list with your agent. Do you have technicians who visit client homes and could unintentionally cause damage? Do customers come to your physical location, which may create a risk of liability for personal injury? Could an employee-run a red light in a company-owned vehicle, causing a significant auto accident resulting in injuries or damage to a third party? A fire that destroys your building and everything in it is a risk all businesses with physical premises face.
There are many different types of business insurance, but the foundational types include commercial auto, commercial property, commercial liability, and workers compensation. Depending on your industry, you might need other options like coverage for large equipment, cyber liability, errors and omissions, or management liability insurance.
3. Check Your Premium and Deductible
Before buying a business insurance policy, make sure your premium and the deductible fit your budget. You may want to ask your agent for quotes from different carriers so you can compare coverage versus cost.
A lower premium could often mean a higher deductible. Determine the amount of deductible your company can afford without causing significant financial strain.
Conversely, a higher premium could mean a lower deductible. While you may pay more in annual insurance costs, your out-of-pocket expense would be lower in the event of a loss.
The key is to look at both premium and deductible to find a happy medium. Let your business insurance agent assist you in identifying your needs and budget up front to set expectations and assist you in getting the insurance you need.
4. Choose a Carrier with Value-Added Services
The commercial insurance market can be competitive, and many insurance companies offer complementary risk mitigation services to increase the overall value of placing your business with them.
When buying insurance for your business, choose a carrier that offers different value-added services. Value-added services like safety management or abuse prevention training help make your workplace safer and give staff members the tools they need to help prevent incidents from happening.
If you’re considering two or three different options for business insurance, these extra services can help you narrow your choices.
5. Ease of Doing Business
Try to choose a commercial insurance company that makes it simple to do business with them. Look for one with self-service options like a highly-rated mobile app or online accounts for making payments, filing claims, or getting in touch with customer service. The more self-service options they provide, the better your experience is likely to be.
Wrap Up: What to Look for When Buying Business Insurance
These tips are just five of the many different things you should consider when buying business insurance. Choose an independent agent who knows your industry, leverage your agent’s expertise to ensure you have enough coverage for your needs, and pick a carrier that makes it easy to do business. By keeping all of this in mind, you can take comfort knowing that you’ve got the best insurance company for you by your side when it matters most.