Commercial Insurance

Everything You Need to Know About Your Insurance Audit

What Is An Insurance Audit?

Insurance audits are typically performed on commercial insurance policies providing auto, general liability, garage liability, umbrella, and workers compensation coverages. When these policies are issued, you are asked to pay an estimated premium. Estimated premiums are based on the nature of your business and your estimate of exposures (i.e. payroll, sales, etc.) for the policy period.

Once your policy expires, an audit is conducted by the insuring company to collect information on actual exposures and operations and then a final premium is determined. The difference in the estimate and the final premium will be either refunded or billed to you. This allows your insurance to accurately reflect your business’s fluctuations in payroll and business growth or downsizing.

When And How Will The Audit Be Done?

An audit will be performed shortly after your policy expires, usually within 30 days of the expiration date. Smaller, less complex businesses may only require that you assemble and send the necessary information to the insurer or have the information available when a telephone auditor calls. Larger and more complicated policies are handled by a field auditor, who will schedule an appointment and visit your business. If you must change or cancel a scheduled appointment, please advise the auditor as far in advance as possible.
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Insurance for Everything Else: Excess and Surplus

Insurance is one of the most readily available financial services in the market place.  Nearly everyone needs it in some form or fashion, but what if your insurance shopping has come up empty so far.  This may happen for several reasons; lack of prior coverage, the coverage you need is unique and hard to find, you have had several losses in the past and do not qualify for most insurance carriers, or any number of other reasons.  If you or your business falls into one of these categories, then fear not!  Specialty insurance companies offer what is called Excess & Surplus lines to cover everything that does not qualify under normal insurance guidelines.

Excess & Surplus Insurance can be divided into 3 major market segments; each with an issue that keeps the insurance from being written by a standard company: (more…)

Best Practices for Workers Compensation Insurance

Worker’s Compensation insurance is designed to provide for your employees in the event that they are injured on the job.  A clean injury claims record and safe business practices can lead to lowered premiums for this state-required coverage.  In order to minimize you and your employees’ exposure to workplace hazards there are several good practices that you should implement in your business as well as services that are provided by many insurance carriers.  Some of the things you can do on your own are:

  • Develop a set claim-reporting process for your office. Designate to whom they are reported and what the reporting process entails. Be sure that all incidents are properly documented with photographs, statements, and other supporting evidence.
  • Hold periodic safety meetings. These can be relatively infrequent, but should educate the employees about your claim reporting process, stance on fraudulent claims, and what they are covered for if an incident occurs. You should also go over locations or activities with increased risk in the workplace and the practices that can best avoid injury.
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Commercial Fleet Insurance: Coverage and Savings

fleet insurance

Most businesses with only a few company-owned vehicles will be sufficiently covered by a commercial auto policy.  However, when the number of vehicles exceeds 6 (depending on your state), a fleet insurance policy is the way to go.  A fleet policy is a packaged policy covering all of the vehicles used by your company and the drivers who operate them.  In general, a fleet policy will have these features: (more…)

5 Reasons to Contract with Insured Surveyors

Mistakes are part of life for everyone, including land surveyors.  In a profession where accuracy and precision are important, even the smallest mistake can be costly. Dealing with a surveying problem is never a good thing, but dealing with a surveying problem without professional liability insurance makes the situation even worse. Here are 5 reasons why contracting with insured surveyors makes good business sense: (more…)

10 Easy Insurance Discounts that You Should be Getting

Discount is a word all people love to hear, especially if it involves a required expense.  Insurance is no different; it is something that you either should have or are required to buy. But if you look into the different savings options that are available, you can save a huge amount on your policies.  Here is a list of our Top 10 ways to save money on your personal and business insurance.

  1. Home and Auto Multi-Policy: Most companies will provide a multitude of discounts on your personal insurance for bundling your home, auto, life, and umbrella insurance. Some companies are very vocal about offering these cost-saving options, but most companies will offer 3% to 5% off of your total premium for each additional policy you buy with their company, possibly saving you hundreds.
  2. Business & Life: Buying a life insurance policy can give you a discount on your home and auto insurance, as stated above, but it can also save you money on your business’s insurance. Company executives who buy a life policy through the same company that they use for business insurance can get a significant percent off of their business package policies. For large companies, or those with large coverage amounts, this could be a huge money-saving opportunity.
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General Liability Insurance: Back to the Basics

The aptly named General Liability Insurance Policy gives your business coverage for most company-related issues.  Knowing what is covered and, more importantly, what is not covered is must-know information for the business owner.  In general, these policies have a cover page, a list of premium amounts and rates, and a laundry list of exclusions and caveats written in the densest “legalese” that you have seen.  Here are the key portions of this policy type and some of the common coverages that they provide. (more…)

Hurricane Season is Here. Are You Covered?

tropical-storm-is-coming

July 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. If you live on or near the coast, be sure to check your homeowner’s policy to be sure you are covered for the full replacement cost of your house and its contents.  Storm surges can wipe out homes close to the shore, so take time to check that your jewelry, art, family heirlooms, and any other valuables are adequately covered by the policy limits or additional property riders (see our post on high value items for more information on insuring your valuables). (more…)