As a business owner, not only is investing in insurance a legal requirement, but it can also reduce your exposure to risk no matter what industry you operate in.
Before hiring your first employee, having coverage in place can provide you with protection from expensive lawsuits that can quickly add up in terms of cost. If you don’t already have it, the best time to get insurance for your business is now.
In almost every state, workers’ compensation insurance is a legal requirement, while getting business owner’s policies can provide property insurance and liability coverage for small businesses. As your company expands or the end date of your policy draws near, this is also a good time to consider comparing rates or upgrading your premiums for the future.
How To Save Money On Business Insurance?
Because it can also be tricky to decide which types of coverage to get, looking at the risks unique to the industry in which you operate is crucial to provide protection on a larger scale. For instance, investing in general liability insurance can protect against a lot of situations, including property damage and bodily injury.
If you’re not sure where to start looking for insurance, the 50 largest business insurance companies can be a good place to compare and contrast rates to find the most affordable option. You may be able to obtain additional cost savings by bundling different insurance plans under one provider.
Other tips to keep in mind when shopping for affordable business insurance include:
- Evaluating your cash flow and premiums based on your current budget
- Choosing the ideal month for policy renewal on an annual basis
- Taking the time to review your policy limits, especially near the end of each contract date
- Finding a reputable company that provides the ideal balance of quality and service
- Double-checking the legal requirements for business insurance in your state and complying with these regulations
- Selecting an insurance plan that provides more business coverage than you think you need during a worst-case scenario
It’s also important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to buying insurance for your business. Finding an insurance company that is both diligent and responsive when it comes to processing claims while providing good customer service is key.
Factors to Consider When Updating Insurance Policies
If your company has expanded in size, changed locations, or purchased new equipment, reassessing your existing insurance policy is crucial. This is because as a business grows, so do liabilities. Getting in touch with your insurance agent can determine which changes in your business may make an impact on your coverage needs.
Some occasions where it might be wise to update your business insurance policy include:
Upgraded office building or workspace
As your company gets bigger, the damage your business has to cope with also grows in the event of a disaster. If you have renovated your office space, whether it is leased or owned, you’ll need to check whether your coverage is enough to replace the cost of these added upgrades.
Product line expansion or provision of new services
If your business has recently launched a new product line, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough product liability insurance to cover defective and stolen products. In addition, you may also need to invest in media liability coverage if you have expanded into content creation, advertising, or publishing.
Addition of company-owned vehicles
For some businesses, investing in auto insurance is crucial, especially if they are using company-owned vehicles for non-work-related purchases. Having the proper coverage can help cover the financial and legal costs of any accidents that can take place on road trips, deliveries, and more.
Contracts with third-party vendors and clients
As your company signs new deals with vendors and clients, you may face exposure to additional forms of risk. Professional liability insurance can help cover some of these risks in terms of negligence and malpractice. You may also have to add other parties to your existing party to help cover all your bases.
Changes in company structure
During expansion, it may be possible for your company to change its corporate structure to include directors where it may previously have been a sole proprietorship. Employees should be insured for the decisions that higher-ups make on behalf of the company, so revisiting your current insurance plan to accommodate changes in ownership is also crucial.
Benefits of Early Insurance Renewal
Ideally, it is best to purchase, update, or switch a business insurance plan well before your policy’s renewal date. Some key benefits include:
- Making a clean break from your existing insurance company and avoiding fees
- Potentially getting an extra discount from an insurance provider and getting competitive quotes
- Avoiding a lengthy refund process from your previous provider
- Portraying you as a responsible business owner which is appealing to insurance providers
- Giving you more time to conduct research on reputable insurance companies and compare several business insurance quotes to save you money
- Taking advantage of current rates that could potentially rise in the near future, resulting in pricey premiums
During the insurance shopping process, it also pays off to have a copy of your declarations page so you can have a clear picture of your current scope of business coverage and easily compare it to any quotes you receive.
With key information like your deductibles, coverage limits, premium, and exclusions, you’ll be able to make a more prudent choice when it comes to upgrading, keeping, or expanding your current level of business insurance coverage.
Changing Your Business Insurance Provider
You may be on the fence when it comes to switching to a new insurance provider, given the potential issues that you may face. However, there are several reasons why you may need to change providers, whether they are cost-related, provide you with poor service, or do not meet your current demands.
The good news is that changing plans can be a headache-free process as long as you read the fine print on your existing insurance contract and meet all the terms required.
Here are some clear warning signs that may indicate that it is time to find a new business insurance company to work with:
Insurance terms that aren’t regularly updated
At the beginning of your insurance contract, you may have been satisfied with the level of service provided by your insurance company. However, things may have changed over time and you may have plenty of other options to work with.
With the rise of cybersecurity threats, media allegations, and more, you may want to upgrade your existing policy. A modern thinking insurance company should be able to give you new terms that reflect these changes throughout your working relationship. If they are unable to offer new coverage limits, it may be worthwhile to shop around.
Comparing similar policies from other insurance providers and coming back to your current insurance provider can strengthen your position when it comes to negotiating if you’d still like to work with them. However, if they still remain unable to give you the terms you need, you have already done your research on other, more favorable options.
Business insurance plans that fail to provide value for money
With experts claiming that business insurance premiums are on the rise, finding insurance coverage that provides enough protection for your business while helping you stay competitive is crucial. Especially if you’re just a small business, paying expensive monthly premiums quickly adds up in the long run.
Before buying insurance for your business, you should consult other professionals in your field and do your own research. If their insurance plans cost significantly less than yours, perhaps it may be time to renegotiate your existing terms or even find a new provider. When it comes to insurance, knowledge is definitely power.
Unresponsiveness and poor customer service
If you have repeated instances of poor customer service with your chosen insurance provider, it may be time to bid them goodbye. For instance, if they are unresponsive to your questions and unhelpful when it comes to clarifying certain terms, you may have to take your business elsewhere.
Inefficient processing of claims and lack of clarity
One of the biggest signs that it might be time to get business insurance with a new provider is having difficulty processing claims. If you’ve upheld the end of your bargain as a business owner and paid for your insurance, you deserve to work with an insurance company that is helpful and efficient when it comes to processing claims.
You should receive approvals and payouts for business-related claims within the stated time frame. Otherwise, it may be time to move on and find an insurance provider that works with your business and not against it. To make your life easier, consider choosing an insurance company that allows you to file claims online.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, the best time to get insurance for business owners is as early as possible. Whether you’re renewing your plan, switching insurance providers, or updating your terms, taking the appropriate steps to pandemic-proof your business in the future can give you a valuable cushion to rely on if the worst happens.
For new businesses, the process of buying insurance can often be confusing, but taking it slow and doing research into your risks and obligations is a great starting point. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about business insurance!