So, you’re in business.
The T’s are crossed, the I’s are dotted.
Even with the speed of business, you’ve even managed to schedule that mildly intimidating but painfully necessary meeting with your insurance broker.
Hang on now….you have done that, right?
Okay, let’s not panic….first things first.
We know it’s no easy task to tell the difference between a policy that protects and a policy that leaves you exposed – at first glance all policies look all the same – a lot of words, a lot of pages and a lot of small print.
Here are the top 3 biggest no-no’s when it comes to your business insurance:
Mistake # 1: The “GET IT & FORGET IT”
What might happen when you forget to regularly review and tweak your insurance policy as needed: bad things.
As your business grows, your potential for risk grows and your policy needs to keep up with your growth.
Maybe your business has downsized – in that case, you might up paying for more insurance than you need.
In both cases, it’s really smart to keep track of changes to your business and stay close with your broker.
What kind of things should be tracked?
- new buildings or real estate
- number of company vehicles
- adding or deleting drivers
- business relocation
- entry into a new line of business – which isn’t included in your description of operations on your policy
- purchasing new equipment, and so on
Businesses change faster than a newborn becomes a teen – every little squirm and squeak is worth noting. Share it with your insurance broker. These are not the times to be secretive.
Some quick tips to keep in mind:
- Review your policy at a minimum of every three months, including coverage types and limits.
- Continue to track business changes, especially those involving employees and/or equipment.
An example always helps in these cases.
Let’s say you own a bakery and you invested in that super-fancy, state-of-the-art pie maker and that purchase isn’t communicated to your insurance broker. Suddenly the fancy machine breaks down – well, you could be on the hook as your policy wasn’t updated. And you could be left with a half-baked policy.
Bottom-Line: Every 90 days, take 90 seconds to communicate the changes – big or small – to your broker and understand the impact.
Fail #2: “Two Birds. Two Stones”.
Do you run your business out of your home? Well, let’s get one thing straight, unless your home insurance plan explicitly states that it’s a business hybrid, it ain’t.
This means that your home insurance will not rush to your businesses rescue when it comes to lost or damaged business structures, equipment, or work-related accidents that hold you or your business liable. In a nutshell, home insurance is almost always just for home.
Got a home? Get home insurance.
Got a business? Get business insurance.
Two birds. Two stones.
Fail #3: “The Lost Income Loop”
Imagine your business suffers a loss (think fire or water) and you’re forced to shut down temporarily for the damages to be repaired. Your property coverage kicks in to cover cost of the repairs and you start to feel relieved. But wait a minute… what about all the income and potential customers you’ve lost out on while you were closed?
Are you sure you’re fully covered?
A solid insurance plan accounts for a potential loss of revenue – and allows you to claim for lost income while your business in being repaired or repurposed to earn back your customers.
This isn’t the time to assume that your business policy automatically includes this type of coverage – and even if it does – the dollar amount it covers could be peanuts compared to what you’ve lost in customer revenue.
Always be sure to check whether or not “Business Interruption” coverage is on your policy (and check the details) before signing any dotted lines.
There you have it – the Top 3 mistakes we’ve seen that even super-smart business people make when getting insurance. You’re definitely wiser than you were 3 minutes ago, and your business will grateful for you taking some time to double-check.
So, what’s next?
Oh yeah – that mildly intimidating but painfully necessary meeting with your insurance broker. Now’s a good time. Especially since now you know you’ll be walking away with business insurance and assurance.
If you look at your policy and are still unsure if any of these mistakes apply to your business and you’d like a fresh voice to chat with, we’d be happy to take a peek at your policy and even explain all those confusing terms and words (like co-insurance, aggregate and indemnity).
All we expect in return is a ‘thank you’ and maybe an invite to your next company party as we haven’t go out much the past 18 months (just kidding!).
P.S. One of advisors once said a really profound sentence at the beginning of a meeting that really rings true to how business people view insurance. He said “insurance is that piece of paper that NOBODY wants to talk about, until something bad happens then suddenly it’s the ONLY THING they want to talk about.”