You need insurance for your small business. But before you pick the first company in your Google search, know that business insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. Getting the right coverage for your small business starts by finding the right agent to partner with. Yes, I said “partner.” You want someone hands-on who has your business’s best interest at heart.
We asked Cam Besse, a professional insurance consultant, the criteria to look for in a business insurance agent. Here’s what he said:
Independent insurance agents represent multiple carriers and can offer a diverse range of coverage options. They’ll be able to provide options and may be able to save you the hassle of shopping around. Captive insurance agents work with a specific insurance carrier, which can be more efficient and cost-effective, but it may restrict choice and the types of coverage available.
Questions to ask: How many insurance carriers do you work with? What benefit do I receive by working with you as my agent?
Local insurance agents know your community. While this may not matter to a solopreneur conducting business virtually, it can be game-changing for businesses with a local, physical presence. It can also allow you to vet the agent with your peer group
Questions to ask: What businesses like mine do you work with? Can I get a list of referrals?
No one likes waiting for a call back. Whether you’re filing a claim or making changes to your business insurance policy, you want a small business insurance agent who’s responsive. Ask other business owners how their response time has been. Realize that an agent who answers your call for a quote on the first ring may not be quite as receptive when you’re reducing coverage or filing a claim.
Questions to ask: How do I file a claim? Who do I contact if I have a problem outside of business hours? Do I work with you or a call center?
You want an agent who reviews your policy and business needs frequently to ensure you’re getting Goldilocks coverage — not too much, not too little. Everything from replacement costs to the technology you use can change your needs. This IS important.
Question to ask: When and how often will you review my policy?
If you're not familiar with the different types of business insurance available, Cam also covered these in the presentation (just click "play" on the video). Having basic knowledge before you start shopping around can speed up the process and make you an even savvier consumer.
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