Purchasing business insurance involves some research and shopping around to ensure you get the policies that provide you with the right protection for your business at the right price. As you research insurance policies, keep the following points in mind:
Balance risks and costs
Insurance premiums and deductibles vary, depending on the risk as determined by the insurance underwriters. How much you pay for insurance depends on where your business operates, the type of business you run, and other factors. Most policies also require you to pay a deductible before benefits are paid out. Higher deductibles might result in lower premiums, but they also can raise your financial risk and put your business in jeopardy if they are too high for you to handle. Think about business insurance investments over the long-term, as well as what you can afford right now.
Choose an insurance agent you are comfortable with
Ideally, you will build a relationship with a broker or agent that is based on trust and communication. He or she will help you find the insurance that fits your needs both now and as your business grows, and advise you on the types of policies and coverage you need.
Questions to ask when shopping around:
- What kinds of coverage do you recommend for my type of business?
- What special risks should I be aware of that could affect my business?
- What are my options for premium and coverage amounts?
- Should I consider a BOP?
- Do I need any additional coverage (such as coverage for goods in transit, stored stock, or special equipment)?
- As my business grows, will you be able to handle the changes in my insurance needs?
Note: You can help reduce your business insurance premiums in many cases by taking precautionary measures, such as installing a sprinkler system, investing in antitheft devices, and passing building inspections. Find out what security measures are mandated by law in your area, and which voluntary steps can help you further reduce your premium amounts.
When it comes to business insurance, you can't simply purchase a policy and forget about it. Just as your business changes from year to year, so do your insurance needs. Revisit your policies with your agent or broker annually to assess whether changes in your business have created a need to modify your insurance coverage.
Insurance needs change
First Commonwealth Bank and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.