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Business insurance renewal: 5 key questions to ask

By Maria Hickey on October 27th, 2021

The world of business is one that’s constantly changing and evolving, not least when it comes to retail insurance. Consequently, you could be missing out on a great deal. Often overlooked, business insurance renewal is a vital opportunity as a business owner to take stock and evaluate not only the current protection you have, but how much it’s costing you.

But, with so many factors involved and so many offers on the table, insurance renewal can be a daunting process, which is why we’ve compiled the key questions to consider before renewing your business insurance policy.

1. When does your policy expire?

Finding the right insurance policy for your business is a great feeling, but unfortunately all good things have to come to an end. When taking out your business insurance policy, you’ll have been informed of an expiration date – usually a year from the date the policy was purchased. After this date, you won’t be able to submit any more claims, leaving your business unprotected.

So, how do you find out when your expiration date is? The expiration date for your insurance policy will usually be listed on the declarations page, as well as on your insurance renewal notices. However, if for whatever reason you don’t have access to this paperwork, you can always contact your insurance provider and request the information.

Job done then. You’ve got your expiration date, so you can wait until your policy’s expired and then look into taking out a new one, right? Wrong. It’s important to remember that your expiration date is when your insurance policy lapses, not the last day you have coverage. Therefore, you’ll need to renew your policy in advance to ensure that you don’t have any gaps in your coverage.

But how far in advance should you renew? Well, by giving yourself as much time as possible to look into a range of options, you’ll be able to find the policy that best suits your business. Therefore, you should consider starting to look into the renewal process around three months before your expiration date. This will give you adequate time to assess your options and work through the renewal process, with plenty of time to ensure that there are no gaps in your coverage.

2. Have my business requirements changed?

Your business is constantly changing and as such, your business insurance will need to update to match it. Remember, your insurance policy reflects your business at the time the policy was taken out, with covers for things like premises, staff and stock all being based on the situation at the time of application. Therefore, even minor changes to your business could invalidate your insurance policy, or mean that additional cover needs to be taken out.

For example, if you run a pop-up catering company now looking to open a restaurant, your current insurance policy wouldn’t cover the new premises. Instead, you’d need to look into restaurant insurance to be sure that every aspect of the new premises, its contents and your new staff are covered.

Or perhaps you’re a florist who until now has been running out of your home, and you’re now looking to open a physical store. You’d need to make sure that you had a solid shop insurance policy in place, so that your new premises and everything within it are covered.

The point is, as your business grows, there’ll be more variables in play which will need to be covered by your business insurance policy. So, you’ll need to make sure that as and when these changes happen, you renew your policy to reflect that adjustment.

3. Do I have enough cover?

Renewing your business insurance policy is a great chance to look at what your current policy covers and what else could be added to it. There’s an expansive range of different covers out there, but which ones are actually relevant to your business? This is the time to sit down and figure that out. But, whatever your business, there are some key covers that you should make sure are included in your insurance policy.

Public liability insurance is a must for every business. No matter how much you prepare, accidents can and do happen, and if they lead to a customer or other member of the public getting injured while on your business’ premises, you’re accountable. This is where public liability insurance comes into play, ensuring that you’re financially protected against any compensation claims that come your way.

But what if things escalate further? That’s where you’ll need to make sure you have legal expenses insurance. Whether it’s a contract dispute with a third party, issues with an employee, or a claim from a member of the public, legal expenses insurance keeps you financially protected against often outrageous legal costs.

Speaking of high costs, the contents of your business premises can add up to thousands of pounds. Therefore, any damage caused, whether it’s by fire, flood or extreme weather could be incredibly expensive to repair. And that’s without considering the cost should a complete replacement be needed after your contents are damaged, lost or stolen. So, save yourself the stress. With a comprehensive contents insurance cover, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that any repairs or replacements will cost you nothing.

But how much cover do you need overall? Well, that really depends on the size of your business.

Consider the contracts you have in place, and the scope of the work being undertaken by your business. How much could you face in compensation costs if something goes wrong?

How many employees do you have? Legally, most businesses are required to have at least £5 million in employer’s liability insurance, but this could increase based on how many people you employ.

Do you own your commercial premises? If so, consider how much it would cost to rebuild from scratch.

What’s the value of your business’ contents and stock? Think about how much it would cost to replace should everything be lost.

By considering these factors, you’ll be able to come to an overall figure, giving you a good idea of how much cover you need. Be generous, though. It’s much better to have invested in too much cover and not need it, rather than being caught short and having to pay out of pocket if something out of your control goes wrong.

4. Have I made a claim under my current policy?

It’s an unfortunate fact, but it’s true that if you’ve made a claim under your current business insurance policy, that could affect what you’re entitled to at renewal. This all depends on how many times you’ve claimed, how big the claims were and why they were made, but generally claiming on your insurance will mean having to pay more upon renewal.

However, this may not always be the case and by looking at what else is on offer from different insurance providers, you might be able to find a policy that fits, despite your previous claim history.

5. Does my insurance provider offer me the best deal?

The process of renewing business insurance can be a pain. There are so many insurance providers and all of them say that they offer the best price, the best service, the best coverage. It can be laborious. It can be exhausting.

So much so, that you may just give in and stick with your current insurance provider. You’ve been happy with them so far, right? Well, giving in to that temptation could mean missing out on a great deal elsewhere that could potentially save you a lot of money.

That’s where we come in. At Brisco, we do that hard work for you by scouting the best deals from the leading business insurance providers, to find a policy tailored to your business’ needs, at the best available price. All you need to do is request a quote.

So, give our comprehensive insurance comparison service a go, and you can get a quote from a leading insurance provider in minutes which covers everything you need at the best price possible.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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