How Often Should You Do Business Insurance Evaluation?
The thing about businesses is that they are dynamic. They either expand or shrink within one year. Nothing stays the same. It is precisely because of this reason you should have a business insurance evaluation every year.
If you cut back on some areas of your operation like closing a division, you would be overpaying your insurance company for a policy that no longer fits your needs. On the other hand, any changes you make to your business that expands it exposes it to more risk.
If you are like most business owners, you would have a business owners insurance policy in place. This type of policy offers general protection, however, there are areas in business where you will need additional protection.
1. A layered management structure
If you have directors on board when there were none before, it is always a good idea to get directors insurance or key management insurance. What this type of coverage does is protect the business from exposure should there be any claims the directors neglected their fiduciary duty.
2. More employees
In general, the more people you hire the greater your exposure to claims related to unfair labor practice, workplace discrimination, harassment and every other type of claim employees have been known to slap their employers with. As you hire more employees, make sure that you have business practice insurance protection. In this day and age when employee claims and lawsuits are at an all-time high, you can't afford not to have this type of protection. It pays for the claim and the legal fees.
3. Social media presence
As you increase your presence on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook, you are also increasing your exposure to customer claims related to slander, product misrepresentation, among others. Make sure you talk to your insurance consultant so that you are adequately protected.
4. Property and assets
A yearly evaluation of your business policy is a must because of the property and assets you have. Equipment and machines depreciate in value over time. You will want to make adjustments to the coverage amount and the premiums you pay based on changes to the value of your property. Also, if you sold some of your assets, you will want to make sure your insurance policy reflects this change.
5. Data management and protection
How you manage the data of your company is very important. But things can and do happen and you will want to prepare for any (God forbid) incidents involving data breach. Yes, there is an insurance policy for data and you will want to have it in place for your business.
As you can see from above, with the many technological changes, business owners are also increasing their exposure to a wide variety of claims. Thankfully, though, the insurance companies recognize this and are more than ready to insure businesses for different types of exposure. You as the business owner, it is up to you to schedule a meeting with your business insurance consultant.
We mentioned before that a meeting once a year is a must. However, if you're about to make any changes to your business, whether you are adding or subtracting, you should at least give your insurance consultant a call.
In order for him or her to make meaningful recommendations, you should provide as much information as you can. You can never give too much detail.
If you don't have an insurance consultant you should hire one. You might think you already know everything there is to know about insuring your business, however, the experts know more about the different Insurance products in the market that would be relevant to your business. They would know which insurers offer the best insurance policies.
Where can you find a business insurance consultant? You can easily find one online. But for your own sake, make sure you hire someone based locally. Consulting with someone over Skype will not give a consultant an adequate view of your business premises and the consultant may miss things that need insurance protection because of it. So, as we said, hire someone local.
To look for one, search Google for “business insurance consultant” plus the name of your local area. Don't just hire the first person you find. Make a short list of three consultants and then do an interview with each of them. Ask about their work experience.
There are consultants out there that only deal with businesses in a specific sector. You might want to work with this type of consultant if your business is in that sector.
How much do business insurance consultants charge? That's something we don't and it's something you need to find out. However, you can expect to be charged for every hour the consultant is working on your business.
Also, know about the Risk Management in your small business.