Business & commercial insurance tips
Commercial and business insurance represents a vast spectrum of insurance products within the industry. No matter how large or small your business, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your commercial insurance policy:
Depending on the complexity of your business operation, your broker may need a considerable amount of time to put together a detailed submission to send off to his or her underwriters. Underwriters are the people behind the scenes at the insurance companies. They help determine if your business insurance is approved and how much you pay. As busy underwriters typically have a mountain of proposals on their desk and inbox, allowing them ample amounts of time to review your submission without having to be rushed will usually work out better for everybody involved in the end.
Highly organized well run businesses that are financially stable with experienced staff are more attractive to underwriters than their polar opposites. If you’re a great operator with a strong track record, generally speaking you should be rewarded with a competitive rate. If you have an exceptionally organized and well run business the underwriter should be aware of this via photos, video, customer comment cards, your stellar safety record and anything else that might help illustrate this. Get creative and give your broker the ammunition they need to help you get a great rate.
Stay in touch with your broker! If you plan to purchase a new business or location, acquire new equipment, or are about to undertake significant changes in your operation, try to let your broker know beforehand. If that is not possible, make your broker aware of these changes as soon as possible after the fact to minimize gaps in coverage.
Some business owners are weary at any person other than their accountant looking at their financial statements. In most cases to properly write business interruption coverage these statements are necessary. If for whatever you’re uncomfortable with your current broker, it may be worth finding one you can trust. It should also be mentioned that as professionals, brokers and underwriters are legally bound to keep client information strictly confidential and generally speaking are never used for any purpose other than gather information for your policy.
If you sit on the Board of Directors or are an Officer of an organization, you may wish to consider Directors and Officers Liability Coverage. As a Director or Officer, you may be held liable for actions of the company or organization to perform or not perform certain legal obligations. Examples include failure to remit sales tax to Revenue Canada, failure to pay its bills, poor treatment of its employees, etc. Even if you are found to be not liable, the cost of your legal defense could be tens of thousands of dollars and take years to resolve. Even if you’re involved in a non-profit organization, if revenue is collected, you can still be personally liable for the organization failing to remit sales tax or not performing other legal obligations.
Regardless of how large or small your business, by following these simple steps you will be on the right track to maximize your commercial policy.
This column is intended for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to act as a substitute for seeking the advice of a licensed Insurance Broker.
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