Are you looking to save money and get the right insurance coverage for your business? Look through these 15 tips and please leave a comment below about the one you found most valuable for your business’s needs.
SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE TIPS FOR TAXES
1. Insurance premiums for fire, casualty, and burglary insurance on business property are all tax-deductible as business expenses. However, if your business has a self-insurance plan, then payments into the self-insurance plan are NOT tax-deductible; only the actual losses incurred by your business would qualify as deductions.
2. Life insurance premiums on officers, employees, or other key business people may also be tax-deductible, unless the business is a direct or indirect beneficiary of the life insurance policy since proceeds from the life insurance would not be included in the company’s taxable income.
SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE TIPS FOR PURCHASING INSURANCE
3. Before speaking with an insurance representative, pull together the declarations pages from any current insurance, and write down a clear statement about your business practices, your insurance needs, and your expectations.
4. Don’t keep any important information from your insurance representative regarding your business and its exposure to liability and loss. Find an agent that you can trust to be a professional counselor for your business’s insurance needs, and then trust them to do their job.
5. Get at least three competitive bids from different insurance companies. An independent agency can be a valuable resource in this regard, saving you a lot of time and effort, since an independent agency like Mountain Lakes Insurance represents multiple companies and can compare different plans and premiums from lots of business insurance carriers.
6. Consider consolidating all of your business insurance with one agency. Often this can save you time and money. It prevents overlap and duplication of policies and coverages, so you’re not paying for extra insurance that you don’t need.
7. Look into the credit-worthiness of the company providing your insurance. Are they an “admitted insurance company” with a solvency fund in the event of a catastrophe? A non-admitted carrier may have cheaper insurance, but you are at risk if the company experiences a huge amount of claims at one time.
8. We mentioned self-insurance earlier. A small business should avoid self-insurance, even if there are plenty of cash reserves. Insurance is an inexpensive way to protect cash reserves so that you can hold onto accumulated wealth.
9. Keep thorough and accurate records of all your insurance policies, premiums paid, itemized losses, and loss recoveries. This information will help you make informed decisions in the future that may save you time and money will arranging for the right coverage for your small business’s needs.
SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE TIPS IN THE EVENT OF A LOSS
10. Most business insurance policies require notification of an accident within 24, 48, or 72 hours of the incident. The claim itself can often be filed a little later, but notification of the incident should occur very quickly. Failure to report your business loss within the window may nullify your right to recovery.
11. Some proof of loss will be necessary. Often, this is not difficult. It just needs to be documented thoroughly at the time. Take pictures. Save notes. Get a copy of the police report, if applicable. You will have a reasonable amount of time to submit the documentation, but make sure you capture good evidence at the time of the loss.
12. Depending on your policy, there are often three options when it comes to fulfilling the terms of a replacement of a loss: (a) paying cash, (b) repairing the insured item, or (c) replacing the insured item with one of similar quality. Your policy will stipulate your options and how the decision may get made. But feel free to let your insurer know, early in the claims process, if you would prefer one of these reimbursement methods.
13. If there is some disagreement regarding the settlement of your claim, then it will be put into arbitration. An independent appraiser will act as the judge in the conflict and try to negotiate a fair and reasonable outcome. You don’t have to be concerned about entering this process, as long as you don’t surrender your rights to pursue the matter in court if the arbitration process fails. If a compromise cannot be reached, then a regular lawsuit can still be initiated.
SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE TIPS FOR REVIEWING YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS
14. Set an annual appointment in your calendar to review and reassess your insurance needs. Consider making two appointments: one with yourself to review your insurance and write down any questions, changes, or goals you have for your business insurance, and the second, with your insurance agent to go over your notes together and get her or his review of your business situation – Are there new insurance products available that might be a better fit for my business than what I have currently?
15. If your question about business insurance has not been addressed in these tips, a professional and experienced business insurance agent at Mountain Lakes Insurance is looking forward to hearing from you! Please call us today at 770-926-9444 or contact us online.