7 things to consider before buying insurance
Buying insurance is a significant investment, and you’ll want to invest wisely. How do you find the business insurance that’s best suited to your operation? Here are some tips to consider and some questions you’ll want to ask before you make your decision.
7 tips to find the right insurance coverage
- Shop around. There are many insurance companies and a wide variety of coverages out there. If you’re looking for clarification, you may want to consider working with an agent (who sells insurance for just one company) or through an insurance broker (who represents multiple insurance companies) instead of buying online directly.
- Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living. You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, professional liability). You can always add coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that suit your needs today.
- Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover. Every insurance policy lists perils that are not covered, known as “exclusions”. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy at the outset, which will save you the stress and frustration of discovering them after you incur damage or a loss.
- Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. There may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (like liability, property, and cyber risk), then you may want to find a single insurance provider who carries multiple products — they may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.
- Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis. As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since you got auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or perhaps you began to operate a small business out of your home. When you’ve made a change, it’s important to consider whether your policy needs to adapt to new risk exposures. Keep in touch with your insurance provider or broker to stay on top of your insurance needs.
- Don’t defer payments. Default of payment is considered a “bad risk”, which can lead to a higher rate. If you decide you don’t want to renew your policy, you should immediately notify the insurer in writing. Keep in mind that switching your insurance provider before your policy is up for renewal may result in a penalty fee for premature cancellation.
- Take measures to minimize risk and prevent loss. Risk management can go a long way in helping you stay protected. If you own a home, consider performing seasonal maintenance checks. If you have a home-based business, consider improving your digital defences to better protect against cybercrime. Good planning and the right protection can help you stay ahead of risk in your day-to-day operations.
Team up with the experts
Buying insurance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Sure, there’s a good deal to consider, but remember, you don’t have to go it alone.
Your insurance provider can provide much more than a policy document. Risk management experts, knowledgeable brokers with a good handle on your industry, and responsive claims professionals can mean the difference between basic coverage and a comprehensive support system. Take time to get to know your insurance team now so you can rest assured that your investment is a sound one.