Q&A with John Wiscaver
Now is time to review insurance
Q: Why is the new year a good time to review business insurance policies?
A: It's good to assess insurance coverage on an annual basis because as a business grows or equipment is purchased, liabilities increase. You don't want to be caught underinsured should disaster strike. Another tip to consider is to check all your insurance coverage. You may be underinsured or have a gap in coverage. Never wait until after a loss to learn what you have and don't have.
Q: What can be done to reduce claims and save money?
A: Take advantage of loss prevention. By being proactive on finding ways to reduce risk, you can lessen the chance of a loss and may save money on your insurance premiums. Inspect your property and evaluate your business activities to identify any exposure problems that could result in a claim. Also, taking on more risk can save money. Work with your agent to determine what deductibles best meet your needs and save you money by you taking on a manageable level of risk.
Q: With the insurance market so competitive, what advice can you give to get the best coverage?
A: Shop your business. If your current company is doing a great job, the price is competitive and it provides great service, stay with them. But it never hurts to check out what other options are out there. Also, keep complete records of your insurance policies, premiums paid, itemized losses and loss recoveries. This information will help you get better coverage at lower costs in the future.
Q: For what should consumers be on the lookout?
A: If you've remodeled or expanded your office building recently, there's a good chance your insurance needs have changed. Whether you run an agribusiness or a traditional small business company, you may have made large purchases, such as machinery, computers or other equipment that should be incorporated into your policy. Accurate values mean you are adequately covered and it ensures that you aren't paying an excessive amount. Also, it is always best if you can bundle insurance policies together, including business insurance and car insurance for company cars. Insurers will often offer discounts for bundling policies, and buying with one company will make it less likely that your coverage will overlap while saving you time and money.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER