In just a few short weeks, we will be celebrating the new year. As we count down the days of the calendar, business owners should remind themselves about upcoming renewals on insurance policies. Regardless of when your policies renew, here are several tips businesses need to consider.
- The sooner, the better. There are a lot of things business owners and managers must handle throughout the course of the year. It’s easy to overlook insurance coverage. But the earlier a business can take a look at its insurance policies, the better. We usually approach our clients 150 days ahead of renewal. The earlier we can start the process, the better job we can do when negotiating needed lines of coverage and cost.
- Site surveys work. At CBIZ, it’s very beneficial for a business to let us on the premises to conduct a site survey. Site surveys and visits let us get a firsthand look at a facility and its operations. We can see safety risks, as well as talk with employees and find out their concerns. These conversations and visits help us develop ideas to mitigate risks at any type of facility or building. That can help keep client claims – and insurance premiums – low. Allowing us to visit client sites to provide our feedback also makes clients more attractive in the insurance marketplace, which helps when shopping around for policies.
- Treat insurance brokers like business partners. Executives and business owners frequently meet with counsel and accountants. Insurance firms should be considered in the same way. Companies spend tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) on insurance costs per year. Accountants help with taxes, managing cash flow and similar activities. Attorneys help with any number of problems that can pop up – litigation or otherwise. Insurance companies can fill in the gaps between the two. We partner with clients and consider ourselves their business consultant.
- Keep us up-to-date on expansion and growth. The economy is booming, which has opened up many expansion and growth opportunities across industries far and wide. But if a company is expanding into a few new states at once, it may get into a bind. Insurance regulations differ from state to state, so it’s better for all parties to understand the new costs and risks before moving into a new market. There may also be additional risk associated with a greater number of employees. Keeping your broker informed of changes lets us anticipate and plan for potential issues.
- Emerging risks. There are any number of growing risks that companies may not know about or expect. For instance, many start-up companies don’t understand that they will need director’s and officer’s insurance to protect against a number of potential liabilities. Cyber threats are constantly in the news but many companies are just now realizing the scope and impact of computer-related crimes. Unfortunately, many companies now also need coverage in case of a workplace violence or active shooter event. There are many other emerging risks specific to certain industries as well. Keeping up-to-date with renewals and talking an insurance broker early helps businesses stay current with the latest protections they may need.
These are just some of the aspects companies need to consider before their policies elapse. Of course, the best way to know what to expect is to stay in touch with your broker, who can both help your company’s bottom line and help you have a happy new year.