|Renewal of a Business-lines Insurance Policy||Renewal of a Business-lines Insurance Policy||http://chad.ca/en/consumers/insuring-yourself-properly/commercial-lines-insurance/224/renewal-of-a-business-lines-insurance-policy|
Last year, Line, a young entrepreneur, opened a recycled-fabric fashion design studio in her apartment. After weighing the pros and cons, she decided to purchase insurance coverage for her small business. Recently, Line received a call from her damage insurance professional to let her know that it was time to renew her insurance policy. This call raised a number of questions in her mind: Did she have to take any particular steps? What should she take into consideration? What does her insurance professional need to know?
Time to Take Stock
Business-lines renewals should be taken very seriously. Renewal time is an opportunity to verify whether the client’s current insurance coverage continues to meet the business’s needs. It is also a perfect time for the client to take stock of her business and think about the future: A change in sales? New business on the horizon? Replacing or purchasing new equipment?
As an entrepreneur, you should not hesitate to call your damage insurance agent or broker, who will look at the specifics of your business and help you to ask yourself the right questions. These certified professionals—who are supervised by the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages (ChAD)—must comply with a number of obligations, including the obligation to inform and advise you regarding the products that will best suit your needs, the obligation to avoid conflicts of interest, and the obligation to put your needs first.
What Should Be Taken into Consideration?
Like Line, you are perhaps unsure of what you need to take into consideration when renewing your insurance. A number of things may have an impact on a business’s insurance needs; some are easier to identify than others.
For instance, during the year, Line bought an overlocker machine for garment finishing, as well as a computer to create her clothing designs. Acquiring machinery or equipment (including computers) can affect the value of the property to be insured. The amount of coverage will perhaps have to be reviewed to account for these changes.
During the year, Line also worked on market development and she now ships some of her creations to Europe. Since this type of expansion affects her business’s risk profile, she must notify her damage insurance professional so that her insurance can be adjusted to properly cover her new export business.
When renewing a business-lines automobile insurance policy, the insured should mention such things as:
- changes in vehicle use (for instance, use for commercial deliveries),
- hiring new delivery drivers,
- installing an anti-theft system.
A List of Key Questions to Help You
The ChAD has drawn up a list of key questions that clients should ask themselves when renewing their
business-lines insurance and their
business-lines automobile insurance.
These questions are available in the form of a downloadable checklist:
These checklists will help you to review your business-lines insurance needs by focusing on changes within your business, such as the value of your property, business development, preventive measures that have been implemented, etc.
Going a Step Further
Depending on your company, it might be advisable for the damage insurance professional to visit your place of business. This visit will allow him to do such things as:
- assess the premises and the surrounding environment;
- familiarize himself with on-site fire prevention measures (for instance, the location of extinguishers, sprinklers);
- look at on-site theft-prevention measures (alarm connected to a monitoring station, bars on the windows);
- note any issues that could have an impact on the coverage required.
Where applicable, the agent or broker can provide advice on preventive measures the company could take to protect its business and property.
Having Property Assessed
Depending on the circumstances, businesses can also have their property appraised by a certified professional. This specialist is able to accurately appraise the value of the business’s property, as well as the building and the cost of rebuilding. This analysis will allow the client to choose the appropriate amount of coverage to protect the business in the event of a loss.
No matter what the business, renewing a business-lines insurance contract or a business-lines automobile insurance contract is an important step in protecting the company. It must be done with great care.
|2/5/2018 5:00:07 PM|