Buying insurance as an individual can be stressful and overwhelming, but if you own a business, this stress can increase exponentially. Corporate insurance can be confusing. You may not know what type or how much insurance to purchase, and if you don’t have a great broker, you are wasting your money paying for coverage that won’t protect you or your personal or corporate assets. Therefore, consider these things before you purchase insurance.
Choosing Between an Independent Broker and Insurance Company
Many corporate insurance companies work through an independent corporate insurance broker. These brokers are not loyal to a single insurance company, but they sell products from many organisations. Therefore, they understand the types of policies available and the best benefits at the lowest costs. Independent agents and brokers focus on finding you the best deal.
Some insurance agents and brokers work for specific insurance companies. They are only allowed to sell their organisation’s policies. However, they typically have more in-depth knowledge about what is offered and covered because they are heavily trained in these products.
Communicating With Your Broker and Insurance Company
Both your broker and the insurance company should be easy to work with. They should provide online services, such as bill pay and claims reporting, and 24/7 customer service. You should be able to contact them several ways and receive quick and complete answers to any of your billing, policy, and other questions. Today’s technology should make communication much easier than it was in the past. For example, you may receive digital quotes, documents, and endorsements. You should also immediately receive your certificate of insurance.
If you seek to change your policy, your broker and insurance company should be accommodating, but they should also immediately inform you of any changes on their end. If discounts or upgrades are available, these individuals should notify you immediately.
Evaluating Your Broker
Your broker should understand your industry. These individuals end up being somewhat like business partners. They offer risk management services that are invaluable when you encounter an issue. Because they are responsible for mitigating your risk, they need to understand the risks inherent in your field. Look for someone who specialises in your industry. Also, ask about their claims processes because expertise in this area is essential.
Then, research your prospects licensing and operations, including their continuing education. This is especially important if you conduct business in more than one state. You want a broker who is licensed in every state you work in. Also, find out about their ability to sell global coverage. Review each organisation’s leadership, community involvement, mission, vision, and values. Learn about all the products they sell and research their financial strength. You want a company that will be around for as long as you need insurance and one that can pay any claim you file.
Calculating the Costs
Cost is always a factor when you are in charge of a business, and although pricing will affect the broker you choose, it shouldn’t be the only factor you focus on. Each insurance company offers different policies at different prices. Sometimes these costs are associated with the place where your company is located or because the company is entering a new market. Your job is to balance your coverage. Choose a broker who offers the products you need at a price you can afford. Remember that if you choose a low-cost policy, you may have many out-of-pocket expenses in an emergency.
Searching for Discounts
Did you know that many insurance companies offer discounts? You may receive discounts if your property is newer or updated, based on your financial status, and if you have security. Ask your potential brokers about all the discounts available to you.
When you are looking for an insurance broker, find someone who does more than quote your prices. Look for a partner with a vested interest in your company.