Choosing A Commercial Insurance Policy

June 14th, 2022 by dayat No comments »

Choosing the correct commercial insurance for your business needs can be daunting enough even for a seasoned businessman or negotiator. For a start-up enterprise ensuring that the business has full and proper protection against all risks, it is an even larger minefield.

There are however some basic rules of insurance, which if born in mind while looking for the right commercial policy, will ensure that the enterprise is neither under or over insured and has the necessary cover in force.

For a commercial insurance contract to be valid the proposer must have what is known in the industry as ‘an insurable interest’ in the object of the cover. This immediately helps define the type of property insurance policy that a businessman might require.

The business risks to be insured under the policy are not the physical object themselves but the financial value of such, which is defined as the interest that a policyholder has in the objects should they suffer loss if the insured risks occur.

Clearly then the type of policy that a business will require depends upon whether the proposer is the owner of the commercial property, or a leaseholder or tenant.

An owner of a commercial premises who lets or leases a building, no matter the type of business activities that may be pursued there, would only have an interest in the buildings fixtures and fittings of the property concerned and any liabilities to the public that may arise from these.

A lease-holders interest in the buildings may be dependent upon contract of lease and should be checked thoroughly with the agreement. Often a contract will make it the responsibility of the lessee to provide cover for the lease term.

Owner occupiers of commercial premises will have a financial interest in both the buildings and contents of the property and will require insurance for both.

Rented commercial property buildings cover is not usually the concern of the tenant who will only have an insurable interest in any contents of the building and in any improvements that they may have made to the property in order to carry out business.

Before getting any commercial property insurance quotes it is necessary for the businessman to calculate the values of all the buildings, contents and stock. Buildings value should be based upon the rebuilding costs following a total loss and allowing for inflation. Accurate annual turnover figures will be required for contents insurance. If high value stock items are kept at the property, then the value of these should be determined individually.

Applying for commercial insurance quotes online might only take a minute or two to complete, however the preparation needed to obtain accurate data to supply to the insurance company could take a lot longer. It is unlikely that even the small businessman has calculated the value of his office contents for replacement purposes.

Ensuring that the information you supply on a commercial insurance proposal form is correct, is not only legally required, but is essential if you wish to avoid problems if a claim has to made at a future date. Problems can quickly arise with disagreements over the value of stock or office equipment values following a major loss, especially where the declared values are not sufficient and an average or proportional reduction to a claim is imposed.

Having established any property risks that a commercial enterprise may be exposed to it is then necessary to look at all the potentialities and risks that the business might be liable for, in the course of carrying out its commercial activities.

Liability insurance is essential for all enterprises, large or small.

Public liability insurance protects the business against any claims from the public for loss or damage suffered, for which the business could be held liable. Employers liability, a type of workers compensation insurance, protects a business against being sued by its employees and is a legal requirement.

Most commercial liability insurance is sold by trade or professional type with risks and covers that are specific to that business type. Additional liability insurance such as professional indemnity insurance which covers professionals against negligent advice or product liability for shops providing goods, are examples of such.

Buying a combined tradesman or professional service stand-alone liability product is today a simple process using one of the many liability insurance comparison websites that exist online.

It is possible to buy commercial insurance for both liability and property combined for any type of business, under what is called a ‘combined commercial insurance policy’. This type of flexible contract allows specific risks to be added and limits of indemnity chosen and is often known as ‘all risks’ cover.

For specific types of commercial insurance risks such as shops and offices, where property values and liability cover can be easily assessed, it is now possible to compare many covers and buy online what are known as packaged policies.

The Internet offers many full ‘all risks’ commercial insurance policies covering every eventuality and consequential loss, which are available from online insurance brokers, comparison sites and direct from commercial insurance companies themselves. If you have any doubts about the necessary cover for your particular business it is advisable to consult a commercial insurance broker

Online Commercial Insurance Brokers Offer More Than Simply Business Insurance Price Comparisons

April 14th, 2022 by dayat No comments »

Consider a commercial insurance broker the next time you buy insurance online, until a recent resurgence of interest due to new online commercial products, they have not had a good Internet experience.

Brokers provide service, knowledge, quality products, claims help and advice as well as comparing insurance quotes, qualities that are rare or missing in the alternative self-service world of the online price comparison websites.

When direct personal lines cover became an acceptable method of selling and delivering insurance via the Internet, the soothsayers of business doom were crying the tolling of the death knell for the insurance broker as a profession. Even more so for the business insurance specialist intermediaries.

Commercial insurance was notoriously difficult to provide auto-quoting underwriting systems for and it was believed by the mandarins that commercial policies could not be sold online to an ignorant public.

It was imagined that all insurance business would be dealt with direct either by phone or online and the broker trade would decline.

What these people failed to realise at the time though, was that the broker business model, one based on comparing covers and tailoring policies to suit individual needs, was a time tried and trusted method that would re-emerge online as the peoples favourite method of buying insurance, albeit in a new bigger form of the price comparison site.

Commercial insurance price comparison websites were then predicted to replace the broker, as in effect they are providing the same comparative quotation service as the brokers but on a much larger scale.

Commercial Insurance Brokers realised that they were missing out unless they embraced the comparison site competition. Many of the larger and more Internet savvy brokers decided to take on the comparison sites and offer comparison websites of their own, often with great success.

They took their back office comparison systems and web-enabled them to provide a user-friendly interface. The larger commercial insurance sites now rival the big four price aggregators and many offer a wider range of covers.

With the ability to offer specialist products a broker has an advantage over a price comparison site, however many Specialist schemes from commercial insurance brokers can now be found on price comparison sites. You will often need to look deep and really research the market of quotes offered, to find them though.

Although many smaller brokers have signed up to the large price comparison websites, when you search for their products you are rarely shown these offerings. This is because many brokers have put tight underwriting criteria to the type of business they want from the comparisons site.

Often these restrictions mean that the price aggregator cannot quote their policy because of the restrictive terms imposed.

All online commercial comparison websites suffer from rigid acceptance rules defined by the underwriting company.

The fact that if for example, an office does not reach strict security requirements, then the office package comparison system is algorithmically instructed to decline the business.

Computer says No!

Consequently when the comparison sites quotes compared are returned to a prospective buyer, they are usually displayed in the order of cheapest first, showing those without any endorsements or cover restrictions.

Those smaller but maybe more relevant schemes that are maybe slightly more expensive or need some adjustments to the information entered to quote, are not getting a look in against the large insurers who can compete on price.

Many people, especially small businessmen on a tight fixed budget, mistakenly believe that the cheapest insurance is sufficient for their business needs.

This is particularly true of the sole-trader or self-employed tradesman who resents being told he must have public liability insurance to work on a building site for example.

His likely first port of call will be a search engine followed by a big brand price comparison site looking for the best deals.

Most commercial insurance brokers do not want this type of cheap liability business anyway, which is more trouble than it is worth if there is a claim.

They do want good bona-fide small business and registered companies for which they have the advantage over the price aggregators of offering not just specialist packed policies for shops,office, restaurants, pubs and commercial property but also a human face.

Today, more and more trade specific packaged policies are appearing on commercial insurance websites each month as bringing the product to market becomes easier.

Online brokers can offer telephone help, callback services, claims services, market knowledge and advice over price, human versus computer or simply just service. All things that are missing from the price comparison sites.

The new online commercial broker is taking back the initiative and levelling the playing field for the distribution of Insurance on the Internet.

On the whole the future looks rosy for the forward-looking broker who is willing to adapt and change from his Main Street outdated business practices and embrace the Web for all its potentiality.

On a cautionary note, many a local broker with traditional product offerings who does not adapt, will not be found by the general public and his market reach will always be local.

The Internet has allowed online commercial insurance brokers to introduce specialist risks and cover to the business market that would probably not previously been aware of the policies.

It has also spawned new risks itself such as cyber risks cover, professional indemnity and liability for consultants in every IT and online profession, and even commercial property insurance for web server farms.