Why And How To Choose Commercial Insurance Brokers For Your Business
Revised 02 Apr 2015
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Commercial insurance is purchased for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Most often it includes workers compensation liability and property coverage that protects the business owner, the employees and third parties. While all types of businesses need insurance to protect them, there are many differences from one business to the next that makes their specific needs unique. This is why many find the coverage they need through commercial insurance brokers. Unlike an insurance agency that sells products for a single insurance company, brokers offer a variety of insurance products from different companies so that you have a greater selection from which to choose the right coverage for your needs.
Another benefit that you can get from commercial insurance brokers is the option to use a free quote to find out the different companies who have the coverage you want and which one has the best price. Being able to compare prices from a number of providers helps you get a price that fits into your budget so you don’t have to settle for less coverage. To get started, make sure the company you choose is actually a broker and not an agent. Commercial insurance brokers will provide you with the customized services and the choices that are right for your business needs. Some things to consider are:
• Do they have an area of expertise? Some brokers focus on a single area of insurance such as commercial or health insurance while others offer a broad range of products. Depending on your circumstances and your personal preferences, either type of company might be the best choice for you. For home-based business, an insurance broker that offers a combination of personal, home and business insurance such as dfmurphy.com might be the best choice for filling in the gaps where one type of coverage ends and another begins.
• How far does your business expand? There are many differences between the demands for insurance you need for a business that operates internationally and those that are mostly local. If you have a physical store that has traffic coming and going daily, a local insurance company is the best choice for you. A local company can provide you with the needed services on a more personal level. You have the opportunity to get to know the team providing your coverage so that you can always ask when you have questions or need to file a claim. If your business operates with partners and/or consumers from around the globe, an agent with expertise in international insurance will be a necessity.
• What is the depth of the entire agency’s experience? Some commercial insurance brokers are owned and operated by an experienced insurance broker but have a big turnover of agents that have only minimal experience. Since every member of the team will likely play a role in handling your insurance account, the amount of time that each has been involved in the insurance business will really matter. Also, employees who have been with the company for an extended number of years vouch for the dependability of the insurance company as a whole.
• How many insurance carriers do they have access to? Some commercial insurance brokers are tied to specific insurance carriers, limiting their scope. An independent broker, on the other hand, is one who has the flexibility to work with a large number of carriers. This is important to your needs since they have greater access to different types of policies and the carriers that do business in the way that you prefer. A company that has access to fewer than 10 carriers is going to be limited in their offerings. One that has access to 25, 50 or even 100 carriers has the resources to provide you with what you really need.
• What is their claims submission process and how long does it take them to deliver? Your coverage will not be nearly as valuable to you if it requires you to jump through a dozen hoops to get your claim filed and then takes months before they pay. Learn the company’s process for filing and paying claims and the insurance delivery time period. When something goes wrong, having an insurance company to back you in a timely, efficient manner could make the difference in how long you have to wait to start operating your business again.
• Have other businesses been happy with their services? Client references can tell you a lot about commercial insurance brokers and the way they do business. You will find out if they provide a valuable service, how well they respond to their clients’ questions or concerns, and what the process has been like or those businesses that have had to file claims. It is important to realize that although the insurance agency can provide you with a wide range of insurance options, you will be doing business with them and not the insurance carriers directly. Be sure to evaluate the agency and compare two or three commercial insurance brokers based on the questions listed here to find the one that is most likely to provide you with the best experience.
Naturally, cost of insurance coverage is a primary consideration for any business that is looking for insurance coverage. However, you should never make your choice based on price alone. When you have the choice between two carriers that offer seemingly similar policies with a significant price discrepancy between the two, you may end up paying more by choosing the one that is cheapest. If it doesn’t have the specific terms and type of coverage that apply to your business, it could be no better than having no coverage at all.
Take advantage of the benefits offered by commercial insurance brokers and get the best possible coverage for the most affordable price. Customized insurance coverage can make the difference in whether you have protection for those events that are most likely to result from your operation. Experienced commercial insurance brokers have the flexibility and resources to create the perfect insurance solution for you, your business and your employees.
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