Small businesses make up an essential part of Canada’s economy. In fact, as of 2018, 97.9% of all employer businesses were small businesses. If you happen to be one of these small business owners, then you have a keen appreciation for how important your business is to you, your household, and your customers.You also probably already know that commercial insurance is one of the best ways to make sure that if something happens to your business, you’ll be able to pick up and keep going.
However, it’s important to remember that not all insurance policies are created equal. Before you commit to one, here’s what you should ask your insurance broker about the policy.
1. If I own a small business, what are my commercial insurance options?
There are plenty of options and incentives for small business owners, but if you don’t ask, you might never know to take advantage of them. Ask if there are any policies specifically geared toward businesses of your size or industry. If the policy provider does have a plan like this, you’ll be able to benefit from better coverage and more appropriate rates.
2. What are the limits of this specific policy?
Policies have different coverage limits that can be based on your businesses’ location, the kind of work you do, and the equipment you use for the business. Make sure that you ask up-front what a policy’s coverage limits are, so that way you’ll be able to know if your business will be adequately protected if and when you have to make a claim.
3. Is there anything this policy won’t cover?
Let’s say that your business is located right next to a river that is prone to seasonal flooding. You’ll absolutely want to make certain that your policy covers damage caused by flooding – otherwise, you’ll be stranded when you need the help most. Similarly, if your equipment is expensive and essential to the business, you’ll want to make sure that coverage extends to cover items inside the business. The policy includes many exclusions as some exposure cannot be insured, be sure to discuss with your broker common exclusions and statutory conditions.
4. If there’s a gap in my coverage, can I get more?
Following through on the example in the previous section, let’s say that flood damage isn’t covered by your commercial insurance. This is when you should ask if you can add on flood coverage to your policy. If the insurance company has no way to supply the coverage that you need, it may be time to start looking at other insurance providers. This is where your insurance broker can come in handy; they have plenty of experience creating custom bundles, which means you’ll be more likely to get the coverage you want.
5. When and how should I submit a claim if I need to?
Once you know which kind of insurance policy you want, it’s time to make sure that the claims process is straightforward enough that you’ll be able to quickly and easily submit a claim if you need to. Is there a number you’ll need to call? Or is the process completely digital? What if you don’t have a chance to make the claim right away? If you have questions about the claim, will there be someone you can speak with? Getting this information now will significantly reduce the difficulty of making a claim later, which means you’ll be able to get your business back up and running more quickly.
At Will Marshall Insurance Brokers, we’ve been helping entrepreneurs like you for over 35 years. Our brokers have firsthand experience with the types of coverage that will benefit you best, and will work one-on-one with you to find the commercial insurance that’s the right fit for your business.
If you’d like more information about residential or commercial insurance, give us a call at (705) 726-2551. You can also send us a message online.