- Researching and purchasing business insurance online
- Insurance resource options for savvy business people
- The value of good business insurance
If you’re even a casual TV viewer you have probably seen the commercials for Geico, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, etc. Messages from those ads include how easy it is to save money and how easy it is to buy insurance from them.
That may or may not be true but one thing is certain: The reality is that you will spend a lot of money over your lifetime just on auto insurance. In fact, Carinsurance.com recently published a study indicating that from the ages of 16 to 78 (a driving lifetime) the average person will spend about $94,000 on car insurance.
And that’s just car insurance—not life, home or health insurance products.
What About Business Insurance?
As complicated as understanding car, home and health insurance can be, and as much as you might pay for those insurances, it’s nothing compared to buying the right business insurance. It protects your livelihood. If you are not properly covered, and a tragedy strikes, you could lose your business. The example below shows you how important this is.
A Fire in a Laundromat
A 3am phone call informing a Laundromat owner of a fiery blaze in his shop changed his life. And not for the better.
When he purchased his insurance, the owner only obtained replacement cost for the washers and dryers. Many business owners only insure what they finance. They sometimes forget all the other exposure they have to losses in other areas of their operation. While his insurance dutifully replaced that equipment, there were losses elsewhere.
Eight customers demanded a total of more than $15,000 to replace clothes lost in the blaze including a customer who asked for $1,200 for a blouse and another who demanded a $2,500 reimbursement for jerseys belonging to a football team
In the Laundromat owner’s case, after reviewing the liability portion of his policy, he discovered that lost or damaged customer property wasn’t covered.
He also didn’t have business interruption insurance. If he had, his bills would have been paid including profit, until he got his store repaired and his business back into operation. The sting of that was felt when the owner had to keep making equipment, rent, and utility payments without corresponding income from customers who were slow to return or who too their business elsewhere.
Five Suggestions on Searching for Business Insurance
To prevent a situation like the one above, consider the following when purchasing business insurance:
- Use the internet to research and buy insurance. If you own a fitness center just type in: business insurance for fitness center, for example. That will get you started
Certain types of business owners will not be able to purchase the insurance online. That’s because it’s a little too complicated. You will have to call them to complete the quote. For other businesses (like a consulting, advertising or tutoring business), you may be able to receive an online quote.
The advantages of buying insurance online is that it’s easy and a conversation with an expert is just a phone call away.
- Research insurance sellers. Direct insurance agencies usually just deal with one company like Allstate or State Farm. Independent agencies represent several different insurance companies. Also, some agencies specialize in personal lines (auto, home, life health) only not commercial insurance. Make sure you select an agent who represents business insurance products.
- Select the right insurance professional. Find an insurance professional who has experience in obtaining good insurance coverage for others in the type of business you are in. He needs to know the insurance products represented backward and forward.
- Find Out What You Don’t Know. Going back to the example above, did you even know you could get business interruption insurance? What other coverages are available for your business? If you look at a site and see workers comp, business auto, business owners, professional liability, etc. coverages explained, that is a site of business insurance experts.
- A Trusted Advisor. The best situation you could find is to get a specialist in business insurance that can act as your trusted advisor and make sure you do not get into an unfortunate situation like the Laundromat owner above experienced.
The right insurance decision could prevent you from losing your business should a tragedy occur because he got you the right protection at the right time.
There is a lot of competition for your insurance business which gives you a lot of options. Use that to your advantage when getting the most complete coverage at the most affordable price.