Finding the right business insurance agent takes work, but the effort will pay off in the event of a loss
You can insure just about anything, even your dog. If you’re willing to pay, there’s an insurance company willing to play. When it comes to business insurance, however, the last thing you want to do is fool around.
Most small mom-and-pop business owners pay little attention to the issue of business insurance. They tend to go with the agent that sold them their homeowner insurance, and they buy the basic coverage for fire, storm, and liability in case someone slips and falls on the premises. You’d be surprised at how few actually buy business interruption insurance, even in hurricane, tornado, and wildfire zones.
As the business grows, the risks and liabilities increase dramatically. At that point, business insurance becomes far more complex. In previous blogs, I’ve argued strongly in favor of enlisting the help of a reputable independent insurance agent. That goes double when it comes to buying business insurance.
If you own a business, you owe it to yourself to engage an agent who specializes in business insurance specific to your industry. You don’t want a generalist. You want a professional with expertise in risk management, an individual whom you can trust to know what you don’t know.
While it may be obvious that you’d likely be liable if someone gets injured on your property, how about a case where an employee traveling on your behalf runs someone over in a rental car? What happens if you own a bike shop and you rent a bike to someone who then injures a pedestrian? What happens if a disgruntled employee steals big bucks from the company? Do you have crime insurance? What if you get hacked with ransomware? Do you have cyber insurance? How would you know if you even need it?
The risk list goes on and on. You can’t possibly be expected to identify these risks on your own, but an expert in risk analysis and insurance in your industry will have a complex checklist to compare against your policy. The agent will spend time with you going over your options. Business insurance isn’t something you buy after calling a few agents out of the Yellow Pages or off Internet ads.
If you already have business insurance, dust off your policy, and make your own checklist of covered risks. Ask yourself if your current agent possesses the level of expertise in your industry that you require. Has your agent periodically reviewed your policy to ensure that the coverage matches your present needs? Or has the agent moved on after selling you the initial policy, expecting you to blindly renew every year without a current risk assessment review? If so, it’s time for a new agent.
Make the effort to find the right agent for your business insurance. You’ll be glad you did if the worst happens.