When you buy insurance, you are buying a service. And when it comes to business insurance, it’s ever more important that you choose right. If something goes wrong with your business, it won’t be just your livelihood that’s at stake. Your clients, their customers and possibly even the public will be affected as well. You want your business insurance provider to be there for you when it counts the most.
Check The Customer Support
It’s very tempting and convenient to complete the entire transaction online and many business insurance providers offer smooth technology for that purpose. However, by doing so you won’t know how quickly the phone will be answered in the future when you need help.
Pick up the phone and have a chat with the customer support before you buy. How long did it take for them to answer? What if you call in as an existing customer (new business lines are always better staffed)? Are they asking the right questions about your business?
Can You DIY?
Nothing worse than having to hang on the phone trying to update or cancel your insurance cover, even if your call is answered reasonably fast. Plus telephone lines aren’t always open when it’s convenient to you. Check if your selected provider offers an online portal allowing you to manage your cover yourself when it suits you.
Watch Out For Extra Charges
Read the small print, especially if you’ve selected to pay monthly. Often you’ll end up paying around 20% more for the privilege. Paying for your premium in advance can save you money but why should you not be able to pay monthly without the extra expense? A lot of small businesses and freelancers like to spend incrementally to manage their cash flow better.
There’s now a handful of business insurance providers who sell insurance on a monthly basis without the addition of APR or policy fees. And then there are some, like Suited, that offer a monthly business insurance subscription which you can turn down to save money when work is scarce and turn it back up again at a moment’s notice for free.
What Happens If You Claim?
Insurance is only as good as the team behind it who will handle and pay your claims. When you’re buying your business insurance, do you know what the process would be if you’re faced with an unfortunate situation? Claiming on a business content or equipment insurance is fairly straightforward. You’ll provide some proof of ownership together with the damaged item purchase receipt and, provided the circumstances are covered, your insurer will pay your claim.
However, it’s a lot more complicated when it comes to legal covers such as professional indemnity and public legal liability insurance. Insurance providers aren’t legal experts. They have to rely on third parties to take over your defence. Sometimes your insurance provider will appoint a solicitor for you and sometimes they let you find your own. If the former, does the solicitor have the right experience and in the case of the latter, will all your costs be covered? The point is you shouldn’t need to ask all these questions. This information should be made easily accessible to you before you buy so that you can be confident your business is well protected.
Can You Cancel Easily?
From time to time all of us need to make changes. You might wish to change your insurance provider or decide to close your business down. Whatever your reasons, cancelling your business insurance cover shouldn’t be a hardship. Unfortunately the vast majority of insurance providers still insist that you call them if you want to cancel. And when you do, they usually charge you a fee plus another month of insurance cover.
The world of insurance is slowly changing and some providers like Suited recognise that this approach is unnecessary and obsolete. You should be able to walk away anytime without extra cost.