Depending on your industry, your business insurance needs may include a number of different types of policies: from general liability and commercial property policies, to insurance covering your vehicle fleet, products, services, and special events. Acquiring complete insurance coverage requires a significant financial investment—but the potential costs of being under-insured can far exceed the price of your premiums. If your business finances, property, or size has recently changed, you need to audit your insurance to ensure comprehensive coverage.
Your cash flow has changed
Typically, your insurance requires two types of payments: your regular monthly premium, and the deductible you pay on damage or an injury before the insurance provider begins covering the cost. The former you can plan for within your business finances; the latter is infrequent, and must be absorbed by your available funds in each occurrence.
- If you have more cash available: consider increasing your insurance deductible. By signing up for a higher deductible, you can decrease the cost of your monthly premiums and save more money each month. Make sure your deductible is within the limits of what you can afford in the event of a claim.
- If you have less cash available: lower your deductible to an amount you can afford to pay as needed. Look for discounts on your insurance premiums through business associations and group memberships. Don’t hesitate to shop around to other insurance providers in order to find a combination of deductible and premium that works better for you.
Your business has grown
How many employees do you have compared to this time last year? How many vehicles are in your fleet? How have your products or services changed? Unless your business has failed to change in any way, chances are your insurance needs have also shifted.
- Check your workers compensation policy, as well as any disability insurance policy required by your specific state, to make sure that your employees are full protected.
- Your commercial auto insurance needs will change with the size, age, and vehicle type of your fleet. All of your vehicles are now one year older—even that fact alone may change your insurance needs.
- If you have a product liability insurance policy on the items you sell, make sure that your inventory has not significantly changed in a way that will affect your coverage should a customer be injured by your product.
You have moved or modified your premises
A significant portion of your overall insurance needs are comprised of your commercial property. Naturally, if you have moved to a new location, you need to re-assess your property insurance. However, any changes you have made can also affect your coverage as well as your monthly premium. For example, you can decrease your premium by adding safety features such as:
- A security or alarm system
- A modern sprinkler system
- Hand rails on stairs
- Other modifications that decrease the likelihood of accidents or ensure minimal damage in the event of an incident.
Make sure that your business is fully covered by the right types of insurance, that your premiums and deductibles are at acceptable levels, and that you have taken every effort to find discounts on your business insurance. Make sure your business is prepared not just with the proper insurance, but with the right kind of marketing message.
Megan Webb-Morgan is an editor and business blogger for Resource Nation, a B2B online lead generation company. She writes about technologies and issues pertaining to small businesses and startups. You can find Resource Nation on Twitter and Facebook!