Every business owner knows they need to insure their business against financial losses and lawsuits, but it’s often difficult to know which insurance policies are best for your needs. What was a good fit for your business 5 years ago, maybe isn’t suitable now. That’s why some SME’s don’t have the right type of insurance or can be either over or underinsured.
The solution is to find a professional insurance adviser who understands your industry and can listen to you. An adviser can discuss with you the insurance options available, also help tailor the insurance cover to suit your business’ specific requirements. With the right type of insurance cover in place, you can pay the correct amount of premium to protect your business from the costs associated with public and products liability claims, or financial risks from accidents, fire, theft, storms, cyber-crime and so on.
So, if you are ready to renew or review your policies, here are five questions that you should ask your insurance adviser. The answers will help you select the best policies for your business so that you’ll have proper cover, if the worst does happen. They can also assist you in making sure you have the right insurance adviser for your business.
1. What insurance policies do I need?
This is a very simple question. It will give you a clear indication of how much the insurance adviser actually understands about your business and industry. This is important because only someone with detailed knowledge of both your business and the industry you operate in, can give you the advice you need. A professional adviser will help you identify your major risks, suggest appropriate insurance cover and show you potential gaps or exclusions in cover. Without this type of personal advice and expertise, you and your business can be left underinsured, over-insured or have no cover.
2. Can my policies be tailored to my exact needs?
No-one wants to pay for insurance cover they don’t need, so it’s essential that your adviser is able to negotiate with your insurer a set of policies that gives you the exact cover your business requires. Some less experienced advisers can’t do this very well, instead offering only blanket policies, also forgetting to point out gaps in your policy. At IA, however, we tailor your policies to your needs, giving you the exact cover and advice you require.
3. How much cover do I need?
The type of insurance program that you need and the amount of cover required depends on various factors, including your business operations, the industry you operate in, laws that impact you, as well as your assets. Key policies for most businesses include: Workers’ Compensation, Public and Product Liability, IT Liability and quite possibly Professional Indemnity. Then there’s other policies, such as Fire & Perils, Accidental Damage, Business Interruption, Contract Works, Commercial Motor Vehicle, Plant & Equipment and more. An adviser who fully understands your business and industry will know exactly what type of insurance program you require, whether you’re in IT, Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Medical & Allied Health or Agriculture.
4. What will my policies not cover?
This will depend on the nature of your policies and their exclusions. It’s only when you decide, along with your adviser, the policies you need, that exclusions can be discussed.
A professional adviser will raise important exclusions that impact your industry and your business specifically. In many cases, these exclusions can be removed from the insurance policy or the insurance can be placed with another insurer that can provide the exact cover that you need. There are some exclusions like war and nuclear radiation that cannot be removed.
5. How can I reduce my premiums?
An experienced adviser will always do their best to find the most competitive premium for you, but you can also help to reduce these premiums. This is where minimising or eliminating some of your business risks comes into the picture. Your adviser can highlight specific issues from the insurers’ point of view that will help to reduce your premiums. For example, if having certain types of alarm systems or physical security will reduce premiums or discussing possible locations for a new factory with your adviser, who can check to see if the address is located in a flood zone.
Answers to these five questions will help you find a knowledgeable and professional insurance adviser, who is highly experienced in creating insurance programs for similar businesses in your industry. A professional adviser will not only help to protect your business from large legal costs from lawsuits and financial losses, but they will also provide you with peace of mind, so you can focus on running and growing your business.
To decide what type of insurance policies are suitable for your business, talk to a professional insurance adviser today.
General Advice Warning
The information provided is to be regarded as general advice. Whilst we may have collected risk information, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. We recommend that you consider the suitability of this general advice, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. You should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase this financial product.