Why it is Important to Review Business Insurance Annually
January 27, 2014
The majority of new business owners are mostly concerned about everything being favorable for the safety and success of their businesses, which means they must obtain the necessary business insurance. However, complacency can result from success and longevity. For example, if a person started a business 10 years ago with only a small workspace but has an office with multiple workers now, they may still have the same insurance policy they purchased when the business first started. If this is the case, it would be insufficient.
Business owners should review their policies every year to make sure there are no errors and that they are not under-insured. Circumstances can change, errors happen and policies may have still been obtained with caution and care. Substantial risks and expenses can occur without yearly analysis. It is common for smaller businesses to use basic insurance when they first get started. General liability policies and commercial property insurance are two common examples. As their businesses evolve, most people find that they need other forms of coverage. Some examples include the following:
- Workers' compensation insurance is necessary when a business grows to add a certain number of employees. In most states, this type of coverage is required. Employers must make payments to workers for medical expenses and lost wages following a workplace injury.
- Excess umbrella or liability coverage claims that exceed a policy's limit can help add an extra layer of protection.
- Professional liability insurance provides coverage for mistakes by service providers and often covers attorneys' fees.
- Auto, non-owned and hired coverage protects business owners if an employee has an accident while driving a rental or personal vehicle on the job.
- Employment practices liability insurance covers HR issues related to discrimination, harassment and termination.
- Commercial auto insurance coverage protects autos that are not under a personal policy.
- Directors and officers liability coverage protects officers and directors in the event they are sued for wrongful acts while on duty.
- Employee benefits liability coverage protects business owners from issues related to errors and omissions for employee benefits.
Depending on the business, some or most of these insurance options may be required for adequate protection. Annual reviews are ideal for discussing options with an agent. Make sure these elements are considered:
- If computers, equipment or other types of property have been added, this would be reason to increase policy limits.
- While revenue is an important consideration, it is also important to remember that it is a potential liability.
- A general liability or business owner's policy may be affected if the owner has moved, added or closed locations.
- Hired and non-hired auto insurance is necessary if workers are driving frequently in rented vehicles.
- For specific types of work and services, employers may need additional endorsements for their general liability policies.
- People who are serving new industries or clients may have problems with their professional liability coverage if they have large amounts of high-risk industries or clients.
- If employers experience an increase in the number of workers they have or there is a higher turnover rate, it is important to think about employment practices liability coverage for this. Workers' compensation coverage may also be required if new workers have recently been added.