Our auto body shop in Santa Barbara, California, after several years of patronage to a well-known business insurance provider, recently changed our business liability insurance carrier to another major player.
The results were a saving of about 33% from the previous year with similar coverage. Like most of us, I am guilty of getting too busy during the day-to-day operation of our business to review our insurance policies and their costs on a regular basis.
What motivated me to review my policy and getting new insurance quotes was an act of “overeagerness” from my insurance company to roll over my policy.
A few weeks before our policy expiration date, a large brown envelope arrived via special delivery at our office. On opening the envelope I discovered a binder containing our business insurance policy documents pertaining to the next policy term.
My first thoughts after opening the envelope were skeptical. In years past we never received a renewal policy before discussing our renewal intentions with the assigned insurance agent.
I came to the conclusion that someone from our insurance company appears to have placed us on an “Automatic Renewal Mode.”
A few days later I initiated shopping for other insurance quotes. My preference was to speak to an auto body shop liability specialist instead of shopping for quotes online, without really understanding what is covered.
Soon afterwards, I scheduled an appointment at our shop with a business insurance liability specialist. Within 24 hours I was presented an insurance quote which was approximately 33% less than my long time insurance company.
When I realized the annual savings I felt some bitterness as a result of accepting the rates from my long-time insurer for so many years.
Based on my business insurance shopping experience I highly recommend reviewing your insurance policy at least 60 days before the renewal date. With some preplanning and research you should have sufficient time to choose the best value for your specific insurance coverage needs. All it takes is allowing some time to acquire comparative insurance quotes instead of proceeding with the habitual “automatic renewal”.
The following policy options can be used as a preliminary aide to help you understand your business liability insurance. At a minimum, your business should have the following protection;
● Business property insurance: Protects your business by funding repair or replacement of damaged physical assets.
● Building coverage: Protects your business against financial losses resulting from claims of injury or property damage caused by you or your employees from your products and services.
● Workers Comp Insurance: Protects you and your employees to satisfy medical needs in the event of an accident or injury.
● Business Auto Liability Insurance: Protects you from liability created as a result of damaged incurred to another party’s vehicle and bodily injury.
● Business Crime Insurance: Protects your business from fraud, theft, forgery or robbery.
● Business interruption coverage: Allows you to continue to receive income while your Auto Body shop contents are being repaired or replaced.
● Employment Practices Liability: Protects you from employment related offenses against you.
● Umbrella liability: Adds additional coverage over and above your primary policy.
● Machinery and equipment breakdown: Covers loss of Business income resulting from equipment damage.
Remember, there is no such thing as a one-size fits all business insurance coverage.
I highly recommend you steer away from the “automatic renewal” mode and discuss your shop’s insurance repair needs with an experienced insurance specialist who is knowledgeable in understanding and explaining the variety of available auto body shop insurance coverages.
Remember, your business has specific needs which may change over time. As a result of reviewing your policy with an auto body shop insurance liability specialist annually, it will provide you peace of mind about your insurance coverage and will continue to fully protect your and your family’s assets.
The choice is yours, either preplan your shopping several weeks in advance of your renewal date or go with the status quo and see where your business liability insurance journey takes you!