An independent insurance agent can prove to be an invaluable resource when it comes to purchasing insurance, as outlined in our recent blog post. Not only are they dedicated to finding you the best coverage at the best price, they can shop around multiple insurance carriers to ensure that you are fully protected. To help make this process smoother, we have outlined a list of things that you should take with you when visiting your independent insurance agent.
- A brief explanation of the extent of your business operations. For example: “XYZ Plumbing Corporation is engaged in approximately 25% light commercial and 75% residential plumbing. We operate in the greater Anytown metro area, but will occasionally serve clients farther away. We don’t have any operations outside our state.”
- Your current insurance policy if you are an existing business. Commercial insurance coverage is not identical between companies. It is important for your agent to understand how you are currently insured so that when they make a new proposal they don’t leave any gaps in coverage.
- Specifics about the size of your business including:
- Annual sales
- Annual payroll
- Number of full time and part time employees.
This information is used for calculating premiums as well as evaluating different types of coverages that will best suit your business.
- A list of all buildings that you wish to insure, including the year built, square footage and the nature of their construction (i.e. wood frame, steel frame, concrete block, pole barn, etc.). Also a description of how each building is occupied (i.e. as an office, warehouse, or retail store). This information will allow your agent to calculate a reasonable value to which the buildings should be insured so as to provide you the appropriate protection.
- A total dollar estimate of the contents of each of your buildings or rented space. This should also include a description of those contents. For example: “The building at 123 Main St. is our office and contains about $50,000 worth of fixtures and furnishings. The building at 456 South Street is our manufacturing facility and contains $80,000 worth of raw materials, $20,000 worth of fixtures and furnishings and a $500,000 CNC machine.”
- A list of all vehicles you wish to insure, including their VINs. Also a list of any specific “mobile equipment” you may have like a backhoe, skid steer loader or something like that.
- A list of all people who will drive either your vehicles or their vehicles on behalf of your business. This list should include their full name, driver’s license number and state, and dates of birth. Your insurance company will use this information to review driving records.
- An explanation of any other businesses in which you have an ownership interest, including the extent of that interest and the operations of the other businesses. It is possible for the insurance policies on different businesses to become unintentionally confused depending on the commonality of ownership between businesses. If your agent understands these relationships ahead of time they can properly configure your coverage.
Purchasing insurance may not be the most enjoyable part of owning or managing a business, but it certainly is a necessary part. Working with an independent agent will only help to take the stress of buying insurance. Take advantage of their local knowledge and complete understanding of how insurance works to make sure that your business is protected from all associated risks. Don’t have an independent agent? Use our agent finder to find a reputable independent agent in your area.
Acadia is pleased to share this material with its customers. Please note, however, that nothing in this document should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness. Distribution of this information does not constitute an assumption by us of your obligations to provide a safe workplace. Maintaining a safe workplace in accordance with all laws is your responsibility. We make no representation or warranty that our activities or recommendations will place you in compliance with law, relieve you of potential liability or ensure your premises or operations are safe. We exercise no control over your premises or operations and have no responsibility or authority to implement loss prevention practices or procedures.