1. The person you select does not need an intimate knowledge of insurance. The person you do need is a detail-oriented, buttoned down manager type - often your office manager can take this responsibility when he or she deals with an independent, professional insurance agency such as ours.
2. Prepare all your insurance policies and costs for review. An "audit" of your present coverage's (including Employee Benefits, Workers Comp and Property/Casualty Coverage's) is an important first step. Our review can often reveal costly "overlaps" or dangerous "gaps" in coverage.
3. Ask for a no obligation, free survey of your exposures. Checking out the physical layout of your business, as well as your safety equipment and procedures, may reveal steps that can be taken to reduce risk which will thereby reduce premium.
4. Ask for comparative costs, and other coverage provided by other insurance companies. Only by "shopping" is it possible to learn if broader coverage at more competitive rates may be available. You shouldn't have to do it by yourself; that's the job of a agent who represents more than one company. Try to get at least three quotes compare.
5. Determine if your best buy is with one company or with multiple insurers. We represent many fine companies, but because we work on your behalf, we can recommend more than one insurance company when it make sense - or perhaps consolidate for a more favorable bottom line.
6. Make certain your insurance coverage keeps pace with your business growth. Sometimes a busy business owner is growing so fast that proper coverage for expansion or new equipment is overlooked. That's why it is important your agency check at least once a year to keep your coverage up to date.
7. You can't afford to overlook supplemental insurance such as business interruption. Often a business owner thinks he or she is properly covered when sufficient property, liability and crime coverage are in effect. But how about protecting your profits while you are rebuilding after an insured loss, such as a fire. Did you know some companies automatically include this coverage for free?
8. How about Group benefits? Is your premium constantly increasing? The truth of the matter is that many insurance carriers are becoming more competitive with the kind of organizations they want to insure. And there are plans and approaches that might save you money. It pays to check from time to time.
9. Sometimes the first claim settlement offer is not the best the can do! Can you believe an insurance man is telling you this? Well, its true, especially if you aren't fully aware of the replacement value of the damage or stolen property. It pays to take your time and determine the extent of your losses, and then your agent should work hard on you're behalf for a fast, fair settlement.
10. Don't let your insurance agent take your important business for granted. Sometimes - especially if you've been doing business together for a long time - complacency will set in. Most business owners have discovered that when it comes to an important overhead item such as insurance, it pays to "ask for a second opinion."
If you are interested in assistance in "buying insurance like a professional," or would like to have that second opinion, feel free to e-mail us. We'll be happy to explore the options with you.
Buy Business Insurance Like a Pro
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If you keep one or more vehicles strictly for business use, you should have a separate business automobile policy. Such a policy covers any motor vehicles used in your business, including cars, vans, trucks, and trailers pulled by trucks, and offers coverage if they're damaged or stolen. It also covers liability if the business vehicle is in an accident and the driver is at fault.
This policy is not for truckers or commercial garages. They have special liabilities and must secure special policies that deal with their different needs. Businesses that have a fleet of vehicles will, of course, have different needs than a business with one or two, and their policies will reflect these differences.
Employee benefits generally include health insurance (sometimes including dental and vision benefits), term life insurance, and possibly a retirement program. Group disability insurance is also available, although employers and employees opt for this benefit less frequently.
Employers can provide coverage for their employees alone or for employees and their families. Cost is usually the determining factor. With the high cost of health insurance in the United States today, employers are more likely to ask employees to pay some or all of the costs of health insurance for their families and sometimes for the employees themselves.
Depending on the size of the group to be insured, the business may serve as the policyholder for the group's insurance. However, sometimes the insurer will pool together many small businesses in a multiple-employer trust. The trust itself, rather than any single employer, is the policyholder. This enables smaller businesses to benefit from the lower premiums and other services enjoyed by large groups. Small businesses can also sometimes obtain employee benefit insurance through their trade or professional association. It's often most advantageous for a small business owner to find a way to join a larger pool.