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Insurance coverage for your business is a serious matter and it can make the difference between being able to operate after a loss related to fire, accidents, or theft and having to close your doors permanently.
The key to being properly insured is a good agent, who will work on your behalf. You must chose an agent with the same care you would choose any professional advisor, your Management Consultant can assist by providing recommendations.
The Right Agent
A good agent will want to learn as much as possible about you and your business to ensure that the right policy is put in place. They should contact you regularly to determine if any major changes in your operation could indicate a different type of policy is required. A good agent will inform you of new products or legislation that affects your coverage. Reviewing your policies before the annual renewal date will ensure that the correct levels of coverage are always in place.
A reliable agent is worth much so it is unwise to switch agents from year to year simply to take advantage of a small price advantage. Ask instead that your agent competitively price quotations from a variety of insurance companies if you suspect your rates are too high.
The most important types of plans are:
Do not over insure, acquire insurance for only the items and areas you will need. Your agent should be able to make recommendations based on your needs.
- full replacement value of buildings
- full replacement on value of contents
- business interruption insurance
- public liability insurance
Minor accidents can be accommodated by self insurance, or paying for damages yourself. Most agents would not recommend this approach as a minor claim can sometimes lead to a major situation over a period of time.
Legislation requires you to divulge all facts that could influence an insurance underwriter to accept or reject your policy or in setting a premium. It is in your best interests to have an honest approach when dealing with the agent or broker, if you ever need to make a claim your agent can be a very positive factor in a quick and equitable settlement.
Minimize claims in any way you can as a good claims record is an important plus if you are seeking premium reductions.
- After an insurance policy is in place maintain an up to date insurance summary that includes:
- policy numbers
- policy terms
- items insured
- Store Policies in a safe place like a fireproof box, cabinet, vault or in a safety deposit box. Use photo copies if you need to consult your policies frequently.
- Review your policy regularly. Be sure to attend regular meetings with your agent that will be set up to discuss the changing insurance needs of your business.
- Proper insurance coverage can be vital to the life of your business; never delegate responsibility to an untrained employee. Only someone very familiar with the operations of the business preferably you, the owner, should ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to protect all assets.