What to Do When Your Small Business in New York Outgrows Basic Business Insurance

There may come a time in your not too distant future when you stop and think to yourself “I think we may have outgrown our Basic Business Insurance”!  It may be following a claim that wasn’t entirely covered, it might have been after a poor customer service experience, or if may be when your insurance broker can’t get you a certificate of insurance that meets the requirements of a new customer.

Whatever the reason that has left you wondering about your business insurance protection, let’s take a step back and ask how or why did you end up with just basic business insurance?  And, when it comes to protecting your business, wouldn’t you want the best protection possible and not just the basics?

It may have happened because in rush of setting up a new business there were so many things to attend to.  Setting up your books, getting a tax ID number, hiring an accountant, getting all your banking set up, and all the endless items that need to be taken care of when establishing a business, especially in New York!  When it came to insurance you may have asked your accountant or a friend for a recommendation, or you may have even called the broker who handles your home and auto insurance.  When the broker asked what you needed when it came to “business insurance” you may have said something like – “I’m not sure what I need right now, just give me the basics and we’ll readdress it sometime down the road.”

Does that possibly sound familiar?  Did you just comply with the statutory things like New York Workers Compensation and DBL (Statutory Disability) and then maybe added a “basic business owner’s policy”?  Often a startup business will begin this way and never readdress their coverage needs until something happens, like mentioned earlier.  Hopefully that “something happens” doesn’t involve a disastrous claim that could wipe out your company’s assets.  SO what do you do when you recognize that you’ve outgrown your basic business insurance?

The first thing you do is speak to an insurance broker that is knowledgeable about business insurance.  Not life insurance or home or auto insurance – you want to speak to an expert in business insurance.  Like in all professions there are some people who claim to be an expert in everything and unfortunately are not expert in much.  Like the saying goes: “a jack of all trades and an expert in none!”  Insurance is no exception, so first rule – find an expert.

Step two; find an expert who is independent and doesn’t work for one insurance company.  If you go to a direct writer, or a captive agent that only represents one insurance company you’re not going to get choices.  If you go to an expert that represents several top insurers you’ll get options and choices.  Doesn’t that make sense?

Next, spill your guts.  Okay that’s a little dramatic, but the point is you need to have an in depth conversation with this new broker to explain what you do, how you do it, what you have, and what you want.  By telling your new found expert all of your concerns and details of your business operations they will be able to craft a protection plan that meets your need.  You’ll also want to tell this broker that you’re looking for really solid protection – but you want to compare prices, so please show me at least three proposals from different insurers.  Remember the part of options and choices, that’s where this comes in.  Tell the broker that you want to see options and a “good deal”.  You may have moved beyond the basics of business insurance, but that doesn’t mean you want to over pay for coverage!

Once you’ve made a decision to move up to better coverage and you’ve bound the protection you should be feeling more confident and secure about your decision.  But the story doesn’t end there.  When the policies come in you’re going to want to ask the broker to review them with you.  This is your opportunity to ask questions and make sure that everything is as you wanted it.  The final step is to make sure that a review is conducted every year before the renewal date; especially if your New York business is growing!  In fact, it’s important to keep in mind that should your operations expand; you purchase new furniture, fixtures or equipment; or your payrolls or sales increase dramatically to tell your agent about it.  This will give them the opportunity to adjust your policy mid-term so that your coverage stays current and potentially avoid a large additional audit premium.

Basic business insurance for your New York business may be what you started off with, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep it or wait for your renewal date to think about an upgrade.  If you’re not sure your coverage has kept pace with your growing company then maybe it’s time to think about an upgrade.  If you think you’ve outgrown your insurance broker or your business insurance policies and want a second opinion, give us a call!  You’ll be glad you did!  Use the contact form on this page or call us at 800-287-4115.