What Makes A Business Hard to Insure
Some business owners may mistakenly believe that their business is too small to insure or that some other type of coverage already protects them. However, regardless of size, every company faces risks that should be addressed through insurance. It is essential to recognize that business insurance offers specialized coverage for the unique risks faced by your business. By obtaining commercial business insurance quotes, you can ensure you have the appropriate range to protect your business assets.
That said, getting coverage for your business venture isn’t always easy. A business insurance application differs significantly from other types of insurance you may have purchased, such as home or auto insurance. The risk is much bigger and affects more people than just the property owner. Insurance risk is a significant consideration concerning the potential exposure of financial damages to your business or the insurer. As a business owner, it is crucial to understand the factors that can make your business hard to ensure that you can avoid surprises when obtaining quotes or starting an application.
Factors That Impact Insurability
Insurers assess the risk of a business based on several factors. These factors can significantly affect your business’s insurability and the premiums you are quoted. It’s essential to be aware of these factors and take proactive measures to mitigate risks. Let’s explore key factors that can make a business hard to insure.
1. Claim History
One factor that can significantly impact insurance risk is the frequency and size of claims made by a business. If your company has a history of multiple claims or has filed large claims in the past, insurers may view it as a higher risk. Frequent or substantial claims indicate a higher likelihood of future claims, which can result in increased financial liabilities for the insurer. To improve your insurability, focus on implementing safety measures, training employees on risk management, and maintaining proper documentation to demonstrate your commitment to minimizing future claims. In addition, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an insurance company willing even to quote your business insurance if you have an open and pending claim.
2. Nonrenewed Policies
If your previous insurance policy was nonrenewed, it could raise red flags for insurers considering providing coverage for your business. Insurance companies may see this as a sign that your business presents too much risk or has not complied with policy terms and conditions. To address this issue, it is essential to understand why your policy was not renewed. Ask your insurer or advisor what the reason was given for the cancellation. Was it payment issues, did the policy lapse in coverage upon renewal without you signing a proper cancellation release, or is there some aspect of the business functions deemed not in the insurer’s best interest to keep?
Now, you may be wondering: Is it possible for an insurance company to cancel a policy? Yes, it is. If an insurer decides to stop servicing a specific region or offering a particular line of business, they have the right to “no-renew” your policy. In such cases, you will receive a notice from the insurer informing you that they will no longer provide the service in question. Insurance companies sometimes make changes to their portfolio to meet the needs of their customers better and fulfill their fiscal responsibilities to shareholders. The good news is that this type of cancellation does not reflect any negligence on your part. However, it must be declared with a new insurance application, which can sometimes lead to delays in placing coverage.
3. Unusual or Dangerous Operations
Certain businesses inherently carry more risk due to the nature of their operations. If your business engages in activities that are considered unusual or dangerous, insurers may perceive it as a greater risk. Examples of such industries include construction companies, chemical manufacturers, and adventure tourism operators, to name a few. To overcome this challenge, communicate the measures you have in place to minimize risks associated with your operations. Investing in safety protocols, employee training, and proper equipment can help give insurers the confidence they need to offer coverage.
4. Property Maintenance
The condition of your business property plays a significant role in insurance risk assessment. If your property is in disrepair or shows signs of neglect, it may raise concerns for insurers. Poorly maintained buildings, outdated electrical systems, or inadequate security measures present potential hazards that increase the likelihood of accidents or damage. To improve your insurability, invest in regular maintenance and upgrades to ensure your property meets safety standards. Committing to maintaining a safe environment can positively impact your insurance premiums.
5. Market Conditions
The insurance sector operates in hard and soft market cycles. In a hard market, insurance companies apply more stringent underwriting and charge higher premiums. There’s a reduced supply of insurance coverage and a subsequent increase in demand. Insurers are more likely not to take a new business application for an operation that presents a high risk. Francisco Saldias, Property and Casualty Specialist at Sovereign Insurance, says that
When the hard market hits, pricing becomes less relevant and there’s increased focus on risk selection. It can also lead to rate increases for clients and, in some cases, contracts aren’t being renewed, which is stressful.
If your business has one or more of the above factors, consult an insurance brokerage early, months before renewal, or the date stipulated that you need to have insurance in place. While these factors are not always a hard stop for getting insurance, it can take longer as an insurance company underwriter may need to review the application with their team members.
Understanding and addressing the factors that make a business hard to insure is crucial for small business owners in Saskatchewan. You can ensure your business is adequately protected by obtaining commercial business insurance quotes and working with insurance professionals. Don’t underestimate the importance of insurance coverage for your business. Take the necessary precautions and invest in the right insurance policies to safeguard your assets and mitigate potential risks.
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