The beginning of the New Year is always a time of renewed outlook on where you want your business to grow and how you get there. We often spend a lot of time thinking where we want to be, but much less time thinking how we are going there. For some of us, before we know what hits us, it is the end of the first quarter and we are knee deep in working in the business instead of working on the business.
A Detailed Insurance Review in an Important First Step
An important first step in starting to grow your business, for any type of business owner, would be a detailed insurance review. This can help in two ways.
1. It will put you at ease knowing your business is protected by the right policies.
2. It can help you understand what types of insurance hurdles you may encounter on your way to growing your business. As your business grows, your insurance might not stay the same. Your insurance needs five years from now will not be the same as they are today with regards to your business.
Five Questions To Ask Your Agent
Here is a list of five important questions that any business owner should ask their insurance agent when reviewing their policies or planning for future growth of your business. This is not all meant to be exhaustive
1) What experience do you have with my type of business?
Some insurance companies specialize or offer specialized insurance packages for particular industries. Ask your agent how many client that he or she has in your specific industry. Does your agent have a package that is tailored for your type of business? How familiar is the agent with this type of service?
2) What exactly does my insurance cover?
Your agent should fully explain what you your policy is covering. For example, general liability is one of the most important policies you will have and with good reason. It provides coverage including lawsuits from injuries, property damage, and protection against libel and slander. Don't be afraid to ask your agent exactly what general liability covers. Don't assume that you are covered for anything. Asking these questions allows you to have the peace of mind that you have the protection you need.
3) Do I have enough coverage?
That's a great question. You may need a supplemental policy like a commercial umbrella policy that allows you to get coverage beyond your general liability policy. Other things to consider: if you added more employees, you may want to make sure your workers' compensation covers everybody or maybe add health coverage. If you have started using your car for business purposes, you will want to add commercial auto. The idea with this question is that you disclose all sources of liability to your agent.
4) Do I need higher limits of insurance?
Depending on the size of your business and the amount of risk, you may need higher limits than you previously had. Asking this allows you and your agent to think into the future on what limits you will need if your business grows considerably in the next few years.
5) How do I make a claim?
Accidents happen all the time. In these stressful situations, you don't want to be unprepared. Contact your agent directly in order to start the claims process. You also have the option to contact the insurance directly, but your agent should be able to offer tips on expediting the process.
Ways to get in touch with Anthony Pepe to discuss insuring your business.
Written by Anthony Pepe