As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. It is of utmost importance to manage COVID while trying to make money and keep your business growing. In addition, there are making salaries, staying competitive, following state and local regulations, and so on. It is easy to overlook important changes that may have occurred in your business and that must be reported in your insurance. Your annual policy renewal is a good opportunity to consult with your independent agent and make sure you are properly protected. Exposure can change quickly in your business and it is easy to forget that your insurance needs to adapt to these changes. Let's look at some areas to think about:
- Have you added places during the year?
- Have you added buildings to your current location?
- Any new vehicles or drivers?
- New equipment that must be covered under a marine float?
- New products manufactured / sold? This is crucial as it can change the rating base of your overall responsibility.
- Vehicles sold
- Equipment sold
- Places sold
- Reduced inventory
- Reduced sales
As your business grows you should consider buying additional coverages to protect your business. Here are some to discuss with your agent:
- Breakdown of equipment – especially important if you are a manufacturing / processing operation
- Crime – this would include money and securities, theft of employees including employee pension pay (ERISA), Counterfeiting and computer fraud
- Work method
- Cyber coverage
- Blanket Personal property if you now have several places
- Reporting form on your personal property if the values fluctuate
Losing or reducing coverage Sometimes it is more financially meaningful or to reduce your insurance self-insure certain exposures. Here are some examples:
- Extensive release and collision on vehicles over 10 years.
- Reduce the value of scheduled contractor equipment that is covered at an actual cash value.
- If you own an older building and would probably not replace it with such a large building in the event of a total loss, consider insuring it at a functional replacement cost.
- Higher deductibles on your property and car. Add a property damage that is deductible on your general liability.
- If you are comfortable with your financial reserves and loss control measures, consider insuring some of your exposures yourself.
An annual review is also important to evaluate your operator and agent. Do you get personal and responsive service from both? Have your claims been handled quickly and fairly? Has your operator's loss control department been reasonable and helpful? Is your operator financially stable? Does your agent provide value for your risk management process?
This checklist is a good start when reviewing your insurance exposures, but make sure you also take into account your company's unique needs. If you decide to start each new year with an insurance review, it can lead to a productive and profitable year!
The information above is of a general nature and your insurance and coverage may differ from the examples mentioned. Read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage or talk to your independent agent.
Copyright © 2021 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.