The day-to-day operations and challenges of running a business can often overshadow the importance of reviewing your insurance coverage. Updating your insurance may not be at the top of your priority list, what with work, home, and personal obligations. Have you ever wondered when you should update your insurance policy? We recommend your take the time to review your business insurance program before each renewal.
The length of time it takes to renew your policy is determined by the size of your company, the complexity of your risk, and the insurance carriers you use. However, starting conversations two to four months ahead of time has a significant advantage. We have discovered that it allows you to communicate with your insurance broker about various difficulties and ideas. You can talk about potential company developments as well as the various insurance options.
A good market strategy can be condensed to five simple criteria regardless of an organization's size, complexity, or risk profile.
To begin with, how responsive is your insurance agent? Is it common for you to be left hanging or suffering in the dark for weeks while waiting for a response to your insurance details? Of course, top-tier brokers are also quite busy. A little common sense goes a long way. People who want your business, on the other hand, are more likely to work hard for it.
Consider the following items when selecting your agent
Some agent like to start 120 out from the renewal date, and other say 90 days is ok. We think the more time you have, the better. This gives you plenty of time to plan your strategy and goals, gather data, create attractive underwriting submissions, engage underwriters to consider your options, and get post-binding papers like ID cards, certificates of insurance, and invoices. The idea is never to give an insurer a reason to deny participation because "there isn't enough time.
Review Your Risks In Relations To Your Coverage
The process of risk and coverage review can be important to ensure your proposed coverage meets your goals. If you have an uncured loss due to a lack of understanding of your risk is never acceptable. This gives you and your agent an opportunity to thoroughly review your risks and design a program to meet your needs.
Recognize That Low Price May Not Be The Best Option
Often businesses will look to the lowest cost as the main factor in considering which program to select. This may not be in your best interest. Low-cost insurance can mean that there are coverages missing, restrictive terms, or exclusion you may not want to be included in the quote.
There are cost-saving options when purchasing or renewing company insurance coverage to help you save a large amount of money. If you can persuade your insurance that your risk exposure is modest, for example, your premium can be lowered.
Be Prepared To Negotiate
While a small business doesn't have the same bargaining power as a firm that pays a six-figure premium, there are a few things you can ask for, including:
Yes, the renewal procedure can be time-consuming and complicated, with many loose ends. That does not have to be the case. Not if you follow the correct procedures and have a well-defined strategy. A qualified insurance broker specializing in commercial insurance plans may make things a lot easier and more cost-effective.
Commercial business insurance is an important aspect of any business that cannot be ignored, especially if the business premises are leased or rented and even otherwise. Whatever your commercial insurance needs, we can design a protection program that’s right for you.
When it comes to protecting your financial assets like your home or auto, you can't trust just anyone with your investment. Finding a trustworthy and trained insurance agent/broker could mean the difference between having enough coverage for your property following a catastrophic loss and being stuck with a large repair bill. An insurance agent/broker is a specialist who works on behalf of clients to find the best policy or insurance provider for their needs.
Consider the overall fit not just the price, as price can be deceptive. Be careful of someone who sells on low cost, generally it means poor coverage. The same method you used to choose a doctor or dentist can be applied to choose an insurance broker. You want someone with a pleasant "bedside manner," as it were.
Understand the differences in agents
Direct Writers vs. Independent Agents: There are two ways to obtain insurance coverage from a company. Direct writers are insurance companies that hire their own salespeople to write exclusively for them; they work for the company that employs them. Independent agents work for the insured rather than the insurance company. They do, however, have contracts with multiple insurance companies and can usually provide you with more options.
Signs It Is Time To Find A New Agent
Testimonials: Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms can help you determine whether or not a business provides good service. These websites can be useful, but meeting with an agent or broker in person is one of the greatest methods to determine whether or not they will take good care of you.
Personal Recommendations: Consult with your coworkers, people you trust, and your circle of friends. Asking a complete stranger is preferable to relying on advertisements or the yellow pages. People are more likely to refer others with whom they have had a good encounter.
Consider this like an interview, where you are selecting a person and agency to represent you.
Contractors insurance policies range significantly in terms of what they offer. Most will have a business owner's policy (BPO) that will provide:
Why Do I Need Liability Insurance?
Good liability risk management can reduce the chances that your business will be sued, but it can never eliminate the risk entirely. You or a member of your organization can make a mistake that injures someone or damages property. Your mistake could harm the reputation or interfere with the privacy of a customer, client, competitor or member of the general public. When such injuries occur, you may be legally liable to pay damages to someone who suffers a loss due to your actions or inaction.
Everyone in society has a duty to take reasonable care that his or her actions do not injure others. The same rule applies to business entities. Not repairing a pothole in a parking lot, not lighting a dark stairway, failing to train workers how to do their jobs safely and legally or failing to provide directions for the safe use of a product can constitute negligence if a client, customer or member of the general public is injured as a result. The legal meaning of negligence is failure to exercise reasonable care.
The law of the state where the lawsuit is filed sets the rules for the determination of liability and damages. The amount of damages imposed in any particular case is, of course, in part a function of the economic losses the plaintiff can prove he or she has endured due to the defendant’s negligence. In some states plaintiffs may also be awarded damages for.
What Kind Of Liability Policy Should I Get?
For small businesses the most efficient and least expensive way to purchase liability insurance is usually as part of the Business owners Policy (BOP) which combines property and liability insurance in one contract.
Your liability insurer will pay damages that you are legally obligated to pay as a result of “bodily injury,” “property damage” or “personal and advertising injury,” up to the policy limits and subject to your deductible. Punitive damages are generally not covered, although there may be some exceptions.
Bodily injury means injury, sickness, disease or death; it may include injuries that are emotional or mental, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome or humiliation.
Personal and advertising injury includes libel, slander or any defamatory or disparaging material or a publication or utterance in violation of an individual's right of privacy; infringing the privacy or copyright rights of another in your advertisement; wrongful entry or eviction, or other invasion of the right of private occupancy; and false arrest or wrongful detention.
Who Is Insured?
BOP liability coverage insures a sole proprietor, partners or partners named in the policy "Declarations," but only with respect to their duties on behalf of the business. The spouses of sole proprietors or partners are also covered. If your organization has officers and directors, they are insured, as are your stockholders, but, once again, and this applies to all parties, only with respect to their duties or liabilities in connection with the business. Employees and volunteer workers are insured for acts committed within the scope of their employment in your business.
There are more remote workers in American today than at any time in our recent history. Many employers are embracing this trend, but there are new risks to consider. As a result of this distant work environment, a crucial problem arises in new security threats. In our digital age, businesses have had to improve their cybersecurity, yet cybersecurity dangers have increased significantly due to remote labor. Employees who work from home are at a significantly higher risk than those who work in offices.
Ransomware attacks are also a big concern for more than two-thirds (69%) of IT executives, who anticipate that the hybrid workplace will be a target for ransomware. Targeted organizations faced a threat to their business continuity as a result of these attacks.
Sharing a computer and using it for personal purposes are two different things. It may seem self-evident, but sharing a business computer with family or roommates can be a security concern. This should be avoided at all costs, especially if your work result contains sensitive customer information.
Cyber Tips For Remote Workers
For remote employees, cybersecurity necessitates ongoing monitoring. Give us a call if you're concerned about your present remote security practices. We'll examine and put safeguards in place that will allow your remote workers to work securely and productively.
Cyber Liability Risk
Every business is at risk for a cyber breach. Even the White House has experienced a cyber breach. Cyber breaches are now a fact of life, and every state now has mandatory requirements for data breach notification. Statistics show 41% of all cyber incidents affect businesses with fewer than 100 employees. If you store data, including private information on computers, use e-mail, generate revenue online, or use your computer to control production, manufacturing, or inventory, your company is at risk!
Best Practices For Cyber Risk
While cyber liability insurance should be considered by every business, in addition, we also recommend specific procedures and defensive programs to limit or reduce your risk.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Most business large and small now purchase cyber liability insurance which is designed to cover the costs of investigations, notification, and credit monitoring for affected individuals, regulatory compliance, defending lawsuits, and payment of any resulting judgments or settlements. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure.
Recent surveys by human resource managers have identified a number of workplace issues facing employers and employees. These problems affect the work being done, employee morale, and overall company performance. Take a look at the top five workplace issues and see if your company faces any of these.
Strive Insurance Group, Inc. is a full-service independent insurance agency that has been serving the insurance needs of the Dallas area since 1984 (formerly Gordon Lund Insurance). Don't worry, nothing has changed, but our name. In addition to having a presence in the Dallas and North Texas area, we have also expanded to Austin and Central Texas with agent representation and the same professional service.
There are several common mistakes some people make when it comes to purchasing commercial insurance. Insurance is the product you buy in case the unexpected happens. Unfortunately, by the time you need it, it's too late to make sure you have the right type and amount of insurance coverage. Make sure you don't make the following mistakes while buying insurance.
Having two agents is better because they keep each other competitive
Having two agents duplicates effort and can create coverage gaps. For example, there is certain coverage that can be included under a liability policy and auto policy. One agent is better able to manage your entire insurance program.
The lower the premium, the better
Premiums are determined by a combination of exposures and coverage. If you get a lower premium, you may be missing the needed coverage. For example, does the lower premium include replacement cost coverage on buildings and equipment?
Buying from a national company is always better.
Don't listen to the entertaining advertising on TV. Most national agents only represent one insurance company. They can't shop your account to determine the best combination of price and coverage.
The internet is a great place to get good insurance deals
Low-cost internet insurance usually allows you to select the coverage and limits you want. But in most cases, you end up with a limited and inadequate program. You find this out after you have an uninsured claim.
Umbrella insurance is only high net worth companies or individuals
A small electrical contractor was at fault for the total loss of a historic property, a loss that exceeded his general liability policy. The contractor's umbrella paid the loss in excess of $7,000,000. Umbrella or excess coverage is some of the least costly insurance you can buy. Don't risk a lost for a little expense.
I don't need employment liability insurance, I only have five employees, and they are like family.
This is the fastest-growing area of litigation for small businesses. The average claim cost in 2020 was $75,000.
Not knowing your policy
Consumers' biggest mistake is not knowing what's in the fine print of their policies. Take time to read the policy. Ask your agent to meet with you at least annually to review your coverage.
Flood insurance is only for business in high-risk areas
Big mistake; we recommend you ask for a flood quote to at least review the cost-benefit of the coverage.
I don't need disability insurance because I can get Social Security
Don't count on Social Security to take care of all your needs if you become disabled. The cost is not as much as you may think.
There isn't anything I can do to manage my insurance costs except shop price.
There are many things you can do to reduce your premiums; here are a few:
Every business must have COVID-19 safety procedures in place in 2021. Helping your employees return to work safely and confidently during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is no easy task.
Employers must ensure social distancing for employees and customers, frequent and adequate employee hand-washing, and that sick employees stay home. Employers must also provide basic workplace hazard education about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission in languages best understood by employees. Your workers’ compensation insurer can offer tools and advice in this area.
Here are tips for your business to consider
Sources: Cleveland Clinic, CDC, & OSHA
Part of your business planning for 2021 should include an annual business insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. After you review some of these items, call our office, and we will be happy to discuss these and more with you.
It’s never been more important to partner with a broker that specializes in your business, understanding your unique exposures, with risk services capabilities and strong carrier relationships.
Why Complete a Business Insurance Review?
Items to Consider When Completing a Business Insurance Review
Have you added any new partners? There might be a need for life insurance.
As a business owner, you can ensure that your company is protected by keeping your general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and commercial auto policies updated to reflect changes in your business.
According to insurance experts, here are the top five business risks. The Allianz Risk Barometer surveyed more than 500 managers and corporate insurance experts in 47 countries, to identify the primary challenges facing businesses this year.1
While these are responses from large corporations, we take away many applications for medium and small businesses. Here are some of the risk issues for 2020.
All of us value the long term relationship with our clients, and are proud to give families, individuals and businesses the personal attention required when it matters most. When claims arise, we realize that it can be very stressful and will do everything possible to assure timely and complete recovery.