The new year is almost here! Between profits & losses, employee reviews and all of the client gift baskets you have to send out, we know that this time of year can be hectic for businesses. We also know that for many businesses, this is the time of year when you’re dealing with business insurance renewals. Here at Gilbert, our goal is to make this process easier for you, which is why we’ve put together a few year-end business insurance tips to think about when renewing your coverage. If your policy is up for renewal or you just want to make a year-end review, here are a few things to consider:
Nothing can affect moral, in a positive way, like an office makeover, however, did you know it can also affect your insurance coverage? If your business underwent any structural changes, like an expansion or any major updates, you should definitely check in with your insurance agent. If you added any safety features like sprinklers or burglar protection, don’t forget to tell your insurance agent about these because they can lead to cost savings on your policy in the form of credits. This should go without saying, but if you moved to a new location, this is another event you should talk to your insurance agent about, preferably before you move.
Changes To Your Name, Product or Service
If your business makes any changes to the company name, product or services you offer, make certain you inform your insurance agent before making these changes. If there is any increase in risk, your agent will need to adjust your insurance policy accordingly. Here is an example: if you’re a bakery who only makes cupcakes and you decide to branch out and make cookies too, you probably don’t need to contact your agent. But if you’re a bakery and decide to expand into a cafe with hot drinks, you need to let your agent know. If you are not sure what constitutes a call? Then remember, it’s better for us to be over informed than under informed any day.
Different Employee Count
When it comes to new hires, make sure you update your Workers Comp policy. Whenever you hire (or fire) employees, it’s to your benefit to let your insurance agent know. As your business grows or downsizes, so does your liability — if you let your agent know immediately your insurance agent can adjust your policy if necessary, and you can begin paying your new premium. If you don’t inform your insurance agent right away and let them find out during your yearly audit (you do have one of those, right?) that your employee count has changed, you could end up having to make a lump sum back-payment for the extra monthly premium owed at the end of the year.
And don’t forget, if you have an employee who works out of state you should definitely inform your insurance agent of this. If this employee were to get injured on the job and sought treatment in their home state, there could be different state requirements that you may leave you with a gap in coverage.
Commercial Vehicle or Driver Changes
Make sure to inform your insurance agent of any new vehicles or drivers that your business acquires throughout the course of the year. With new drivers, you should contact your insurance agent before making the hire so that they can run an insurance report and check their motor vehicle driving record for you. As your insurance partner, your agent wants to protect you from any unnecessary claims due to some drivers previous, maybe not-so-positive, experiences.
Does your business have a cyber liability policy and protocol in place? While most business owners packages include a small limit for cyber liability, this is often not nearly enough for most businesses. You should definitely speak to your agent to discuss the limits you need. Think of it this way: if you are a restaurant who takes credit card information daily or a mortgage broker with a range of personal data on your clients, you have a higher exposure to cyber liability than a small landscaping business that gets paid primarily by cash or check. Or if you’re a small business that has recently switched from cash only to accepting credit cards, this change would be sufficient enough to warrant a call to your insurance agent.
At Gilbert, we understand how many things you have to worry about as a business owner, which is why we strive to make the insurance renewal process as easy as possible. Our easy to use renewal checklist streamlines the process for our clients and our agents are always ready to help with any questions. Give us a call at 781-942-2225 or visit our website to learn more.