What do you know about business insurance? What you should know about business insurance are two things that are important when you are out to get business insurance for yourself. There are many factors that you will need to take into consideration. But the most important of them are:
1. Price: You need to know you are getting the best quote available. The only ways to ensure that is by getting quotes from at least five different insurance companies and compare them. When you do that, check all the pros and cons so you get the complete picture. Some insurance agencies charge a very small fee upfront but has a lot of other fees such as processing fees, inspection fees, documentation fees, etc which will take the price through the roof. Better still run a search through the Internet and get savvy about the running rate. Another good way to find a good quote is to ask around from friends and relatives. There is nothing better than a tried and trusted hand.
2. Stability: professional companies such as Standard & Poor’s Insurance Rating Services, AM Best, Weiss Research, etc rate all insurance companies’ performances. Make it a point to get sufficient information about the company you choose for your business. Be warned that there are millions of scams out there and unless you are very careful, you will end up in many more woes than without insurance. Be careful when you make the decision – a wrong decision can be the road to bankruptcy.
3. Service: Everyone in this world who buys something looks forward to have the best value for their money. When it comes to insurance the best value is synonymous with service. You can decide how good is your company through the way they answer to your queries and their patience in explaining the nitty-gritty of the insurance policy and its alternatives. You can also gauge the quality of their service from their references. You make it a point to ask for references and follow up on them. Make enquiries and decide only after you are thoroughly satisfied. Once you sign with the insurance company, you cannot do much if you find it giving you horrible service. Be sure before hand.
4. Be informed: All insurance companies need to be registered with the National Insurance Producer Registry. You should not look at insurance companies with a rating of less than B+ as they might be spelling trouble. You want to make sure there is no major black spot on your company; you need to check it out here whether the insurance company has any complaints against it. The Registry will also confirm the validity of the complaints and you can get a pretty accurate picture about the said insurance company from here.
Insurance agent: You can get your business insured through an insurance agent as well. They work on commission basis with the major insurance companies and if you get a good agent he will be able to guide you that can be the best policy and scheme for you. However, keep in mind that he works for commission and he will definitely be interested to earn the highest amount. Hence he will be more likely to promote the company that pays him the highest commission more aggressively. You accept his advice, and run your check on the company as well. When buying an insurance policy through an agent, you will have to ensure two things, i.e. (i) that the agent is a good worker and has a good reputation and (ii) that the company he is representing is above reproach. Ask references from the agent, ask for names of at 5-10 clients and check up on them. If the agent refuses to cooperate, change him/her immediately.
There is no denying the fact that success of a business depends on the hard work of the team but one disaster can wipe out your efforts and bring down the profits to dust. So, to avoid such an instance, you need to insure your business, whether it is a small enterprise or a large corporation.
There are insurance companies, which have policies that combine protection for all major property and liability risks in one package. You can also opt for separate coverage. Such a policy is called a business owners’ policy (BOP). Larger companies may purchase a commercial package policy.
BOPs include property insurance for buildings and equipments owned by the company. If there is any loss of income due to disruption of operation and business because of accidents like fire, it can be covered under the Business Interruption Insurance.
There are liabilities, which cover the company’s legal responsibility for the harm it may cause to others. It is the result of your company’s failure to do the business operations. It can also be the bodily injury or property damage caused due to defective products, faulty installations and errors in services provided.
However, BOPs don’t cover professional liability, auto insurance, worker’s compensation or health and disability insurance. Separate policies are needed for professional services, vehicles and employees. Generally, floods, earthquakes and terrorist attacks are not covered in the business insurance.
Protection Against Flood Damage
If your office is in the flood zone area, you must definitely go for a policy, which provide coverage against flood. Try to find out whether the place had been hit by flood in the past. Make sure you do something in advance to make up for the loss. Otherwise you may face trouble.
Protection Against Earthquake Damage
Earthquake is also not included in most property insurance policies such as homeowners and business owners’ package policies. Special Earthquake Insurance Policy or Commercial Property Earthquake Endorsement can cover you if you live in an earthquake-prone area. However, earthquake policies have different deductibles.
Business Interruption Insurance, which reimburses you for the lost income during a shutdown, applies only to the damage covered under your business property insurance policy. There won’t be reimbursement for the loss caused due to the closure of business because of the earthquake. For it, you must have an earthquake coverage policy.
Protection Against Terrorist Attack Losses
In the US, loss due to any terrorism is covered only for those businesses that have optional terrorism coverage. It comes under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act 2002. Still, there are exceptions in workers’ compensation, which include injuries and deaths due to acts of terrorism.
Who knows, you are going out for a long drive, and your car breaks down midway. Experts say that there is more than 10% chance of breaking down each year if your car is more than 3 years old. It is worse in the winter. You can avoid breakdowns by taking precautionary measures like re-servicing your vehicle each month. However, getting your breakdown insurance is a good option to protect you financially if your car vehicle breaks down when it is least expected to.
Types of Breakdown Cover
Roadside Rescue: If your vehicle breaks down outside a specific distance radius from your home, breakdown insurance would pay for the servicing amount except the charge for new parts. The company will provide you with other helps. However, the incident is at your home or within specified radius of your home, and then it won’t be covered.
Home Rescue: It covers the same as the roadside rescue; it extends the coverage to your house. It includes getting your vehicle checked at the local garage.
Recovery Plus: It covers both home and roadside breakdowns. It provides a hire car to either return home or continue your journey. And also it covers the cost of alternative transport to enable your journey or return home to be completed. If the breakdown happens a set of miles away (specified in the policy), accommodation in a local hotel while awaiting completion of repairs will also be provided.
In UK, European Rescue Breakdown covers roadside breakdown in continental driving. It covers the charge of repairing or bringing your car back to UK in case your car can’t be repaired. However, it doesn’t cover the charge of new parts. So, it is always wise to have this insurance, if you are driving across Europe as you can face fees for roadside assistance charge for every kilometer your car is being towed.
Partners and Family
Some policies also cover spouse or partner; however check it with the insurance company. Some companies look whether your spouse or partner is living with you at the same address. Family cover includes you, a partner and usually two children under 21 living at the same address as you. Check whether your policy covers all the persons traveling in the car.
You need to wait nearly 25 minutes to an hour for a roadside assistance. Some policies fix the number of calls to five or six each year. You may get more if you have a joint cover or family cover. If you exceed the limit you must pay for the assistance. Policies do not cover the cost of new parts. Some policies do not cover trailers and caravans. Animals are usually not covered.
Rating of Homeowners insurance depends on various factors. The most knowledgeable buyer usually finds the best home insurance rate. To get the best homeowners insurance rate, you should do a bit of research work. If you cannot time yourself for it you can of course seek professional help. This approach is timesaving but you have to be cautious about your advisor.
Here are some tips to get the best homeowners insurance rates.
1. First of all you should get the basic understanding about your home insurance rate and the different policies. You have to know who regulates the rate. It is the individuals of an insurance company who decide on the home insurance rates and these rates are regulated by the insurance department of the state. The state insurance department is the approving authority; it is only after their approval the rates can be passed on to the customers.
2. Before applying for homeowners insurance, you should shop around, so that you get the best homeowners insurance rates. To maximize your options you should make a search of your own. Enquire with your local bank, lenders and credit unions. Today, many banks have official websites; you can send your enquiry online. After completing your search, compare with those available in the advertisements. This will make it easier for you to get the best deal.
3. Some insurance companies provide more than one kind of insurance policy. For example, they will give you better rate if you buy auto policy along with home insurance. It also helps you get better home insurance rates.
4. Many insurance companies are associated with security companies like Brink’s or ADT, these companies offer you better rates if you install a home security system.
5. Not only better rates, you can even get discounts if you are ready to install motion sensors or video surveillance cameras in your home, provided by the associate companies of home insurance company.
While keeping these points in your mind, you can get the best homeowners insurance rates.
What is the best homeowners insurance for you? The answer is probably not that obvious to you because most of us have not taken the time to understand our homeowner’s insurance. We would much rather turn that responsibility over to the insurance professionals. There is nothing wrong with that approach but it still leaves you a little bit too uninvolved over a very important insurance purchase. People have a natural fear of the unknown. We like to steer clear of things that are unfamiliar to us. Our insurance is often one of those things that we would rather just avoid. That may come in part from the old days when insurance was purchased under pressure from the insurance agent. That method of sales has just about vanished in property and casualty insurance. People willingly contact agencies about policies and coverage. The agent is more like a consultant these days. The best homeowners insurance is usually purchased when we ourselves have a better understanding of our policy and how we want to be serviced. The insurance atmosphere is much more professional and there are more ways to purchase insurance. Purchasing online or by telephone is becoming as common as purchasing from the local agent.
The homeowner’s policy itself has a couple of integral features and benefits to consider. Buying replacement cost insurance verses actual cash value insurance is one of your most important decisions. Replacement cost homeowner’s policies settle any loss by replacing or repairing your dwelling and its contents with like kind and quality without depreciation. Actual cash value allows for depreciation and expects you to make up the difference as an out of pocket expense.
The most important cost savings decision that you will make is the size of the deductible. It makes sense to have as high a deductible as possible on your home policy because of the infrequency of claims.
The best homeowner’s insurance for you revolves around how you want to do business, whether to purchase replacement cost or actual cash value, and the size of your deductible. These three areas will lead you in the right direction.