Last spring, as the pandemic raged and it seemed that no one knew how to regain control, many businesses closed, and many people lost their jobs.
Now, with a sufficient supply of approved vaccines, we have hope that a return to normal is just over the horizon.
Sadly, there is no way to bring back the loved ones that we’ve lost, and many of those lost jobs are not coming back. So now, with necessity being the mother of invention, more and more people have decided to monetize their unique talents and open their own businesses.
Running a successful small business is hard work, and the list of details you have to tend to is never-ending. Of those, one of the most important is making sure that your insurance coverage is sufficient to protect your business both now and as you grow.
Here are the six most important steps to take when shopping for small business insurance:
Talk to a trustworthy insurance pro
Since every business situation is different, every business owner’s needs are too. Ensure that you’re working with someone who can provide a program that is customized to your needs.
Assess your risks
Your insurance partner needs to understand your business. Be sure to share what you do, how you do it, and any relevant industry trends that will help them understand the exposure you might have.
It’s not only about the price
As with any other necessary purchase, the least expensive option isn’t necessarily the best value. It is important to understand the coverage you’ll get in return for the premiums you pay.
Understand how the company will calculate your premiums
Is your business classified correctly? Will you be subjected to sales or payroll audits? What happens in case of a security breach or a natural disaster?
The answers to those questions are different for someone running a home daycare business and someone running a freelance graphic design agency.
Read reviews to be sure of service you can count on
Clients don’t leave their insurance agency because of prices; they leave because of sub-par service.
Expect regular reviews of your business coverage
Your relationship with your business insurance agent should never be one and done. A good agent will encourage regular reviews of your coverage and make recommendations as your business grows and changes.
P/L/R Insurance can help
Bill Lawrence is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and President of P/L/R Insurance. He agrees with those recommendations.
“Integrity and trustworthiness are by far the most important traits to look for in an insurance agency,” Lawrence says. “P/L/R is an independent insurance agency, which means we represent several different companies. Since we don’t have to choose from just one product suite from one provider, we can almost always find the right combination of products and services to suit a client’s specific needs. That flexibility offers a huge advantage to our clients when they are comparison shopping because we can help them find exactly the coverage they need.”
“It is also essential to make sure that your agent is accessible and committed to keeping in touch to provide at least an annual review of your coverage.”
By way of example, Lawrence shares the story of a long-time client’s annual review from several years ago.
“I was watching the local news one night,” he says, “and they were covering a story about a devastating fire when I realized that the business belonged to one of my clients. I logged in to our system immediately and looked him up. Fortunately, he was covered, but only because we’d recently made some changes to his policy at our annual review.”
“Before our review, this client was insured for the “fair market value” of his business. If he had a claim, he could collect an amount equal to what he could sell the business for on the open market.”
“At our review, I encouraged him to upgrade to “replacement value” coverage. With that change in the policy, if he had a claim, he’d be reimbursed for what it would cost to rebuild the business completely.”
“In the end, he agreed to the upgrade, so he was able to rebuild the business without taking a loss.”
“That’s why we’re here. That’s why we do what we do. Our focus is always on doing right by our customers.”
If you’re shopping for your small business insurance, talk to the trusted insurance pros at P/L/R Insurance. They’ll help you think of everything, fill in the gaps, and make sure that you have the coverage that suits your business today and sets you up for success as you grow.