September 25, 2020 Last updated October 6th, 2020 115 Reads share

7 Questions You Should Ask Your Insurance Provider Before You Buy

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All businesses need commercial insurance. Insurance for small business protects you from loss and liability.   In most states, there are minimal policies that you must have. For example, all businesses, regardless of the size and number of people employed there must have Workmen’s Compensation insurance. This assures the employee that they will have medical treatment and a salary while they are recovering from an injury they received on the job.

Where Do You Begin?

It is wise to sit down with your insurance representative and discuss what type and amount of insurance coverage are right for your company. This is how you build the perfect policy. If you are a small business owner or a new business owner, you may be uncertain of what the insurance you need, and the minimum coverage required by your state. The terms used in the insurance world may sound strange to you. These things must be cleared up for you before you commit to a policy.

We are going to help you understand where to begin the insurance conversation. Below, you will find six questions you should ask your provider before you sign anything and well before you pay for your policy.

1. What Coverage Does My Company Need and Why?

Insurance coverage is anything but a one-stop-shop for small businesses. A company that builds home additions or does home repair featuring electric wiring will need a much different policy than a small business that sells products on the internet via direct ship companies. An insurance provider that gives all small businesses the same coverage and quote is either uninformed or is taking advantage of their potential customers. Do your homework. Look online and/or ask your business associates what and who they recommend. Do not walk in blind. Insurance premiums are necessary, but the money that is never used is never recovered. Just like auto liability, health, and life insurance. You hope you never need it, but when you do it needs to be the right coverage.

2. How Much Experience Do They Have Writing Commercial Small Business Insurance?

It is a good idea to know how much your agent knows his field. While you may not mind if he is new, you might want to request someone above him reviews the policy with you. While you are getting to know your agent, ask him if he selected the policy for you and if he did, why does he think it is a good fit.

3. What Are the Limits of the Policy?

Your agent is going to get you the best policy possible. All policies have limits. Inquire about the limits before you accept the policy. You may want some limits expanded on. You may want to pay a bit more to get more coverage in certain areas.

4. What Does My Policy Not Cover?

Insurance companies are professionals at drafting policies that fit well with the client’s needs. But, maybe there is something that you want to be covered which was omitted. The time to find that out is now. Not when you go to use the policy and discover omissions.

5. Can I Get More Coverage?

After you have gotten the answers to the top three answers, you may want more coverage. This is not usually a problem. You may be surprised to find out how inexpensive it is to add additional coverage to the policy.

6. How Do I File a Claim?

You hope you never have to file a claim, but when it happens you want it to be easy and efficient. Now is a good time to get that information.

Do you have to go through your agent?

Is there a claim center that is open 24/7 or just during business hours?

What steps are taken to verify the claim?

What is the normal timeframe from the filing of the claim to the payment being made?

7. How Are the Payments Made?

Finally, you will need to know how the payments are made. Of course, automatic bank payment is a popular way to pay bills. But your business may not be set-up to process payments that way. You may have an accounts payable/receivable manager who pays company bills by check and only when a paper invoice arrives. You may opt to make one payment for the year or pay your invoices quarterly or monthly. By asking this question, you can explain your process to the agent. This will save everybody a headache when it is time to pay.

Your top priority is getting the coverage you need for your business. Your agent’s priority is creating a policy that gives you the right coverage and building a firm relationship with you, With communication, you will both be able to meet your goals. You can rest easy knowing that your hard work and the livelihood of your employees are protected. Now you are free to get back to the business of growing your company.

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Jeffrey Corolla

Jeffrey Corolla

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