Year End Insurance Policy Planning and ReviewPosted on Sep 27, 2022
Every business owner needs a comprehensive insurance plan for their business. When an unplanned incident happens, your insurance policies cover a variety of exposures, including property, liability, employer, and more. Without proper coverage, your finances could receive a heavy hit, and you may even lose your business.
You can think of each business insurance policy as a piece of armor, each of which comes together to protect you and your business. Any weaknesses in your armor mean increased risk, so it’s essential to review your policies yearly to ensure that you and your business remain well protected.
We recommend meeting with your insurance agent annually to review your policies and ensure that your insurance program protects all your business exposures. While preparing for the end-of-year insurance policy review does take some time and effort, it shouldn’t be overly complicated.
You’ll start by reviewing your current business situation and writing down any changes in the last year. During the review, you should discuss any findings or questions with your insurance agent to figure out if you should make any updates to your current coverage.
Preparing and carrying out your policy planning and review can be as simple as going back over the questions you were asked when you first opened an insurance policy. If your answers to these questions have changed, it usually indicates that you need to update your coverage.
Reasons to Update Your Insurance Policy
When conducting the year-end insurance policy planning and review, the things you want to look out for most are any changes to your business. If you’ve made any changes to your business, then your insurance policies should reflect that to ensure you are still completely covered.
Changes in operations
If your business has changed its operations, whether it’s the products you sell or the services you provide, it may be a good idea to update your insurance policies. Having different or more services or products means you may have new inventory and equipment that you need to cover. You may also need to change the limits associated with these changes if your risk has changed due to these operational changes.
Keep in mind that if you removed any products or services, you could eliminate them from your insurance policy.
If your company grows, additional employees usually need to be hired to accommodate the growth. Your insurance provider uses how many employees you have, along with different payroll levels, to decide your limits and insurance premium. If you’ve hired additional employees, your insurance agent should know so that they can ensure that your payroll reflects it.
Changes in revenues
Changes in revenues can change your insurance limits and premiums. So, if your business revenues change, so should your insurance policy.
Changes to the business’s ownership structure
Suppose you’ve changed your business’s ownership structure, for example, moving from a sole proprietorship to a new business structure or hiring new managers. In that case, you should speak with your agent about these changes. Changes to the ownership structure should be reflected in your new policies to ensure that you and your business are covered. In some cases, you may need a whole different insurance policy.
You have new risks if you’ve added new contractual obligations or partnerships. And if you have new risks, you may need additional coverage. Furthermore, new partners and vendors may require you to have specific insurance limits to cover themselves in case of an incident. Therefore, always make sure to update your insurance policy after new contracts and partnerships.
Business vehicles and drivers
If you have new business vehicles or new drivers, your policy must reflect this. This will cover your assets and protect you and your business in any liability claims, so always make sure that your policy is up to date regarding vehicles and drivers.
Similar to adding new company vehicles to your policy, you should add all new equipment to your policy to protect you in the future from any loss.
Territory changes almost always equate to new insurance needs. Whether your business is moving, expanding into new territories, adding locations, or offering services in new states, you will need to change your insurance policy accordingly. There are additional risks to expanding and entering new territories. Also, every state has different insurance requirements and laws, so your business must meet those requirements.
Changes in property
If you’ve recently bought or sold any properties, or made significant improvements to the workplace, then you have a change in property exposure. During your annual review, you should bring up any property changes to ensure that your updated policy accurately covers you.
Insurance is not something you buy once when you open your business and never have to worry about again. As your business fluctuates and changes, so should your insurance policies. In order for you to be adequately covered and protected from any unplanned incidents, you need to review your insurance policies every year. Your insurance agent will be able to help you make the necessary changes to your policy so that you are fully covered going into the new year.
In addition to reviewing your policies at the end of the year to accommodate changes, it’s always a good idea to look forward as well. Being proactive about changes to your company and planning for the future will allow you to be covered as soon as any changes are finalized.