If you are a business owner and you have received your renewal notice from the insurer, I would strongly recommend you sketch some time in your diary to go through your insurance program with your broker. Take the time beforehand to write down a few questions because it could save you a lot of time and money in the future. Yes, insurance is boring, and it is not at the forefront of everyone’s mind but think, what would happen to my business if something went wrong? How would I continue to pay my staff, where would I store all my products, how would I find the money to defend a claim. Here are a few key points to get you going.
Are you getting the best bang for your buck?
When you go shopping for a car, there are multiple questions you ask about the vehicle like does it have Bluetooth, how big is the boot space, does it have android auto and apple car play. You should be asking the same questions of your insurance program. Spend time comparing your options and asking your broker questions about the different insurer’s products. It can be a small detail that one insurer is offering over another that could save your skin.
Can you reduce the premium by increasing your excess?
Yes, in some cases increasing the excess can make a difference to your premium. Insurance is designed to protect businesses from large losses rather than frequent small losses. Make sure as a business to set aside money to cover any losses below the selected excess. In the long run, this method could save you time and money.
When last was your policy re-marketed?
This is very important. As brokers we have access to platforms that allow us to generate up to 9 different quotes in one go. We also have access to insurers portals online that provide additional support if the risk falls outside the local markets risk appetite. Re-marketing your insurance program regularly will make sure you are getting the best cover at the best possible price.
Is the occupation accurate.
Make sure that the policy accurately displays the correct occupation and description of your business. Too many times I have come across businesses with the incorrect occupation listed on the policy. Insurers rely on a contract of good faith and policies are rated on a number of factors, but one factor is the occupation. You don’t want to find out at claim stage that you were not covered because the incorrect occupation was used when you took out the policy.
Is the insured name correct.
Oh boy. This is a doozy. I have taken on client’s policies where the insured name is incorrect. If you do not have the correct insured name, you are running the risk of being uninsured. Make sure that your business name is listed as it appears on the Australian Business Register. A trust is not a legal entity and should not be noted as the insured name. If insuring a trust you will need to insure the trustee of the trust.
Am I insured correctly.
I cannot emphasise this enough. Take the time to go through your policy documents and go through them with your broker. You would not buy a car without test driving it, asking questions about the service history, or its specifics so don’t neglect your insurance policy. Scrutinize your policy and ask a lot of “what if” questions.
Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.
I get it, we are all trying to get the best cover at the cheapest possible premium. Don’t fall into this trap. You should be thinking about cover over and above the cost. It will cost you more if you have not invested in the right cover. Skimming on costs here and there can leave your business exposed?. A good example of this is choosing not to have business interruption cover. Make sure you are asking questions about all the possible scenarios of how to pass the risk onto the insurer.