If you’re buying insurance for the first time, or looking for competitive quotes on a renewal policy, we’d like you to consider the following issues to help you with your decision. Buying cheap business insurance can actually cost you more in the long run.
Now I’m not going to say “you get what you pay for” but there are several key thoughts that go into buying the right insurance for your business.
#1 – Use an agent or broker that knows what they’re doing.
Let’s start off with realizing that insurance is a contractual agreement between you and an insurance company. The language in a policy can be complex and confusing and the risks you face (even as a startup) can be significant. You want to work with someone who is experienced in business insurance and not someone who may only dabble in it.
#2 – Be Upfront About What Your Needs Are
Don’t be evasive, or try and hedge what you say to the agent you’re choosing to work with. When they ask you questions, be open and honest and have a frank discussion – including your desire to be as economical as possible. A good agent will take the time to explain what you will likely need and counsel you on your buying decision. Many agents love to educate clients and show them the options available to them so being upfront with them only helps you.
#3 – Shopping Around May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be
A lot of business owners think that if they want the best deal that they’ve got to get at least three quotes from different agents. They may think that it’s a “rigged system” and to keep the agents honest you need to pit one against the other. Well, there’s not a lot of truth in that at all. Most agents are ethical and to make sure you’re working with someone who is, it might make sense to ask your other advisors (CPA, Attorney, Banker) for a recommendation – or ask your business peers who they recommend.
The basic fact is that if you go to a “direct writer” agent like one that works for Allstate, or State Farm, you’re likely going to get one quote since that agent only represents one company. If you go to an Independent Agent, chances are good that they’ll represent multiple companies who can insure your business. The good news about working with an independent agent is that in one conversation you can get a good cross section of quotes from this one agent. Repeating yourself three or four times, or putting your information in a website is not only time consuming it’s prone to disaster. I’ll explain that next.
#4 – Trying to get a quote without talking to an Expert is a Recipe for Disaster
I mentioned in #2 that disclosing all the facts only helps you is true, and trying to get all that information communicated on a website quoting form isn’t going to work. The “easy or simple” quoting online cannot replicate the years of experience a good agent has, nor will that quoting engine give you feedback. I know a lot of people don’t like making calls or speaking with sales people but look – it’s important. And that leads us to #5.
#5 This is freakin’ important stuff
The function of business Insurance is not to just satisfy your landlord or the state, or your customers – it’s most important function is to provide you protection should an unexpected and undesired event happens. And undesired events like fires, liability lawsuits, auto accidents, employee injuries, cyber hackings, and a lot more do happen and they happen with great frequency. Creating the right insurance PROTECTION shouldn’t start with “I need the cheapest insurance I can get!’ it should start with the thought that i want the right protection i can get at the most economical price. Creating a protection program economically only happens when you plan it out properly and have solid discussions with an insurance professional who is there to help you make the right decisions.
#6 Now, If You Just Don’t Care, And Don’t Believe in The Value Conversation…..
Then please don’t call us. Hate to be that blunt about it, but we like working with business owners and decision makers who “get it” and appreciate value. Look, we’re going to work our hardest to get you the most competitive coverage plan, but we’re not going to put your company and your future at risk by sacrificing quality and taking shortcuts. If that’s how you really want to go on business insurance, then I would recommend calling around to agents and be honest about your feelings and start the conversation with your objectives. It will save you and the folks you call a lot of time!
The bottom line
Business Insurance is like any other product you buy, there are different levels of quality and effectiveness. Cheap products usually don’t last and break down well before their life expectancy is over – insurance is not different. Cheap insurance that’s not designed properly or updated regularly won’t perform when you need it most. In our opinion to get the most value from your insurance purchase you need to start with the right specialists to work with and here at The Coyle Group our only focus is business insurance. We don’t sell home or auto insurance, we don’t sell life or health insurance. Our singular focus on business insurance gives you the advantage of working with an expert to find you the best value for your premium dollar.