Business Tips

Time to review your company insurance?

It’s not a glamorous job, and it may even give you the sweats when you consider the expense. Nevertheless, reviewing your business insurance is a necessity. Now—before your company experiences an “insurance incident”—is the ideal time for a review.

Regular insurance reviews keep you on track and help you avoid any nasty surprises, says Brent Thurman, founder of Keystone Insurance.

Why insurance reviews are vital

“With an insurance review, you may find that you’re under-insured, or you could find that you’re paying too much,” says Thurman. “With a few tweaks, you could end up paying less.”

Keeping an eye on your insurance will also help you avoid a large bill at the end of the term.

“You may find yourself in a situation where your company’s income is lower or, better yet, much higher than anticipated,” says Thurman. “These are key times to review your insurance so that you’re not charged too much or too little throughout that term.”

If you’re thinking you can save some money by being underinsured during a term and paying less, think again, warns Thurman. “Large differences in rates at the end of the term will be credited or charged to you, so it’s best to keep things relatively close to reality during the term.”

If you’re thinking you can save some money by being underinsured during a term and paying less, think again.

Construction companies tend to require regular insurance reviews. It all comes down to the changing nature of the business. Thurman suggests quarterly insurance reviews if your company has large fluctuations in income, employee count/payroll, scope of the business (you add and subtract services), and inventory.

Types of business insurance to regularly review

With a construction business, several types of insurance are a necessity. Thurman suggests reviewing the following regularly.

General liability
This insurance protects your business from liability claims against people or property. It can be useful, for instance, if a visitor to a job site slips and falls, or a member of your crew damages a customer’s property while working there. It’s important that you keep this coverage up-to-date to avoid being caught off-guard with insufficient insurance.

Workers’ compensation
This insurance provides benefits to employees injured on the job site. If an employee is fatally injured, this benefit also provides some compensation to family members. Keeping your policy updated in reference to new and terminated employees is obviously of the utmost importance.

Keeping your policy updated in reference to new and terminated employees is obviously of the utmost importance.

Commercial property insurance
As its name suggests, this insurance covers your business property, including furniture, inventory and equipment. If you’ve recently bought new items, it’s important to update the policy so you can protect your possessions properly.

Business interruption insurance
Disaster does strike. Business interruption insurance ensures that your business can keep running—including covering payroll—while your facility or equipment is repaired or rebuilt. If you’re based where disasters are common, such as hurricane country, this is a good insurance to keep tabs on.

Commercial auto
Updating your auto coverage is vital if you’ve got new employees driving company vehicles. Report any changes to your insurance immediately.

Cyber/data breach
Data breaches have become sadly common. Most construction companies have confidential information about customers on file. Regularly review the scope of the customer data you’re holding with your insurance agent so you can be certain of adequate insurance in this area.

Consider subcontractors
“One of the biggest hiccups with commercial insurance for construction companies is proof of insurance for their subcontractors,” says Thurman. “This is something that comes up each year during renewal. If your subcontractors aren’t able to provide proof of insurance, you must increase your overall coverage. That, unfortunately, causes a large rate increase.”

Avoid such increases by only hiring or working with subcontractors who can provide a certificate of insurance.

Still procrastinating?

If all of these really good reasons to review your insurance still have you avoiding the task, Thurman suggests this tactic.

“If you think about reviewing your company insurance as if you’ll be filing a claim next week, you’re likely to find your insurance options suddenly become important,” he says.