Finding the right business insurance means having to compare small business insurance quotes from agents, brokers and even online providers. This is an important process for the small business owner. There are a lot of options, much to understand and it’s about much more than the premiums you’ll pay.
When shopping for small business insurance, there are a number of factors you should always consider. For instance, what is your biggest business risk? When you finally do buy a policy, what are the exclusion, the limits, and your responsibilities when a claim occurs.
To help you navigate the shopping process, here are eight useful tips to help compare small business insurance quotes. Using these tips will help you find the best policies for your unique business – and budget.
The insurance company you ultimately select can make a big difference in your overall claims and service experience. To help make sure you have the coverage you need, when you need it, get quotes from dependable insurance carriers. The last thing you need is to discover your policy doesn’t cover the claims you file. Even worse, you don’t want to discover they don’t even have the financial strength to pay your claims.
The first thing you should do is check the financial strength and overall outlook of the insurance carriers you’re considering. There are tools to help you do this. In fact, you can check the financial strength and rating of any insurance company at AMBest. Avoid companies that aren’t A rated or higher.
Additionally, if you’re business is in a high-risk sector. You may discover that the most familiar insurance carriers don’t offer coverage. This will mean shopping through a Managing General Agent. If this is the case, you will also want to check the reputation of the General Agent and the third-party administrator used to handle claims.
Another consideration is who you shop with. You should only shop with reputable outlets or insurance agencies. If you elect to shop with with a local or online insurance agency, you should understand their experience and if they have direct access to the insurance carriers they quote. For instance, IronPoint has direct appointments with several A and A+ rated insurance carriers, like Travelers, The Hartford, Nationwide, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD and AmTrust. However, other insurance agents utilize third-party brokers, aggregators, or general agents to quote you with the various carriers.
Small business owners are always working to improve their bottom line and manage the budget. We get it. However, insurance is one of those things that you can’t simply buy because it’s cheap. It’s equally important to choose the right protection — at the right premium of course.
When shopping for business insurance, remember you’re purchasing protection to reduce the risk of financial loss. Getting the right policy to transfer certain financial risk is an important choice. So, before you simply select the lowest premium, ask yourself why is that premium lower? There are two reasons a policy is lower. First, between comparable insurance carriers one of them simply has better loss experience and can offer a lower premium for your class of business. The second, is that the insurance carrier is offering less coverage in the body of the policy, and therefore is accepting less risk – this allows them to lower the premium.
You want to select a quality carrier who simply has better history. This allows you to have quality coverage at a good premium. You don’t want to fall into the second category. You may find yourself without coverage when you need it most.
Keeping your premium costs under control is a smart idea, however. There are way to help reduce your small business insurance costs without compromising coverage. Consider options like:
Not all business insurance carriers offer the same coverage. In fact, business insurance coverage can vary significantly between insurance companies. Don’t assume that coverage you had with one carrier will automatically be included in a new policy. Before you purchase a replacement policy, review the coverage options carefully.
Generally speaking, insurance policies make a broad insuring agreements, then narrow that protection with exclusions, definitions, and policy language. These are all spelled out in the policy. You should understand what is covered and any relevant exclusions. Note: the good companies do this to remove ambiguity, others do it to reduce costs.
For example, if you’re buying commercial auto insurance , you’ll need to understand the liability limits for bodily injuries, property damage and uninsured motorist coverage. Moreover, you should know your collision and comprehensive coverage deductibles. Does the policy have uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments or personal injury protection? But you also need to understand if the policy allows permissive users, personal use of the vehicles, and if can driver other vehicles.
Regardless of the coverage you’re quoting, don’t assume that the coverage provided for every quote is the same. Sometimes you trade coverage or protection for premium. The last think you need is to buy a policy, only to find out later that it doesn’t have the protection you require.
The policy limits you select as well as your deductibles are extremely important. The represent the maximum amounts your insurance provider will pay for a specific occurrences or claims. You select the limits and deductibles, so pay special care. The limits you select should represent an amount that is adequate to protect your business from financial catastrophe should it be presented with claims or lawsuits for liability.
Depending on the policy, there are generally two components to your liability limits, the per-occurrence and aggregate values:
Frequently, small businesses will enter into client contracts, sign property leases, or secure a mortgage. Each of these transactions will require the business to carry liability coverage. For a lease you could be required to carrier a general liability insurance policy. For those who enter into client contracts, they are frequently required to have a professional liability insurance policy. And mortgages typically required commercial property insurance.
When the business enters into any of these agreements, they will likely specify the minimum required level of coverage. Make sure that the policies you buy meet these requirements.
Your deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance benefits kick in on a claim. Usually, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium.
However, when reviewing your options, don’t pick a deductible amount that’s more than you can afford to pay if you need to file a claim.
For example, say you purchased a cyber liability insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible. If you suffer a data breach but don’t have that money on hand, then your benefits won’t kick in. Remember, your insurance policy won’t do you any good if you can’t raise the cash to cover the deductible.
When start to shop for business insurance, and you begin to compare small business insurance quotes, plan for the future. What will your business look like in one to five years? Will you be growing, expanding, or adding new service? Get quotes for policies that not only reflect what your business is doing right now, but what it will be in the short term. Therefore, get quotes and select coverage, limits and deductibles that provide room for your vision. The policy should allow you to take your business in the direction of your vision and goals.
If you already have business insurance, then use those policies as a benchmark when comparing new quotes. You have experience now, so consider what you like and dislike about your existing policy. What’s missing?
When you select new coverage, make sure it fills the coverage gaps created by your previous coverage? Your current insurance policy can be a useful measuring stick to determine whether you’re getting the right coverage for a fair price.
If you’re just getting started, consult someone in your business segment you trust, and ask them about their experience and recommendations before you begin the process.
Sometimes you need to move quickly. This makes where you shop even more important. Where you elect to shop for business insurance can impact how quickly you’ll get coverage. For instance, if you select a broker or insurance agent who doesn’t have a direct appointment with the right insurance carriers, you may suffer delays. These types of agents need to submit your request to a third-party, who then submits it to the insurance carrier. This can take time to process. You may need to secure coverage as soon as possible to sign a lease or land a big client contract.
If you require coverage right away, confirm with your agent or your carrier that there will be no delay in purchasing the quoted policies. In some cases, like with IronPoint, you can take the initiative and complete your request online and help the process move more quickly.
Some lines of business are easier to do online. For instance, personal auto insurance is a very automated coverage and lends itself to online quote and bind. However, business insurance has many more variables and risks. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you seek out the assistance of a business insurance agent. They can help you identify your biggest insurance needs, make sound decisions, and guide you through the comparison process.
In fact, an independent insurance agent can represent several insurance carriers, and are the original source of comparison insurance shopping. Working with an independent insurance agent is a great place to start.
Online quotes are a giant leap in shopping tools, and provide useful information to the consumer to compare relative pricing. However, in most cases quotes provided online aren’t final. They are based on consumer input information and may require underwriting review prior to policy issuance. This is why working with an agent is optimal, if you misunderstood a question or made a mistake when entering information, your agent helps you understand the questions or refine your answers.
Here are just a few things the agent helps with:
When you shop for insurance, and you want to compare small business insurance quote, it’s going to be a process. Seek out an agent who you can trust. In most cases a good independent insurance agent with relevant business insurance will be the best way shop the market for the best option. If you’re not sure who to select, please feel free to call us at (877) 334-7646 or start a quote online and we can help do the rest.
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IronPoint Insurance Services, LLC is an independent insurance agency licensed (#0G87821) with the California Department of Insurance. We are authorized agents for many A+ rated Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Utah insurance companies. We provide consumers with online, phone, and in-person insurance services through our insurance company relationships.
IronPoint Insurance Services, LLC offers multiple insurance quotes through ComparisonQuote.com to provide consumers several options for their insurance products. We offer auto insurance through Travelers Insurance Companies, Nationwide Insurance, Safeco Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, and Progressive. We are authorized insurance agents for these companies and do not charge any fees for our services. If an IronPoint insurance agent tries to charge you broker or agency service fees for representing these companies, please contact us immediately.
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