The small business is becoming a greater force in the U.S. market. Thousands of small business owners have opened their doors in the last year, all hoping to find success in their communities. Unfortunately, thousands have also been forced to close, a phenomenon contributed to by underinsurance or lack of insurance. Commercial auto insurance is among the most frequently lacked insurances, an essential for many small businesses providing delivery services, on site services, and vehicle based services.
The risk that businesses take by not purchasing commercial auto insurance for their drivers is substantial. It was recently estimated that 13.8 percent of all U.S. drivers are uninsured, a staggeringly high number, given that car accidents leave 37,000 Americans dead and 2.35 million injured every year. Even in nonfatal accidents, the cost of remaining uninsured is staggeringly high:
- The cost of the average car has risen from $14,371 to #$30,804.
- The average sedan costs 60.8 cents per mile. That’s $9,122 a year!
- The average claim for injuries to cover all involved drivers is up to $23,450.
- In 2010, juries awarded a median award for vehicular liability cases of only $19,806.
Between the rising cost of vehicles and the rapidly rising cost of medical services, the possible costs related to an uninsured accident could quickly add up, leaving a small business reeling. Not just any insurance will do, though! Many companies feel unsatisfied with their small business insurance coverage for a variety of reasons. A few of the reasons cited for dissatisfaction include
- High premiums and deductibles
- Improperly handled claims
- Lack of communication with the agent
Choosing the right small business insurance coverage can eliminate those concerns. Here are some business insurance tips for small companies interested in commercial insurance.
- Get Personal
Look for a company whose agents are extremely accessible. While some small business insurance companies only provide assistance over the phone, there are others whose agents meet with clients personally. Since a large part of small business insurance coverage is prevention, you’ll want a company that sends a person instead of a pamphlet or a video for safety meetings. These companies are more likely to respond to your needs quickly and fairly, as they build a rapport and a relationship with your business.
- Top of the Class
There’s no point in working through a company whose agents aren’t knowledgeable. Ask about agent qualifications, including CFP, CPCU, CHFC, CLU, and LUTCF designations. Don’t be afraid to ask tricky questions about coverage, too. A good agent should be able to answer those questions with some level of certainty where possible.
- It’s All About the Benjamins
Cost is a little sticky, since it’s not just about finding the cheapest coverage. Exceedingly inexpensive insurance is likely to leave gaping holes in coverage, leaving small businesses liable in a number of situations. Try to strike a balance between great coverage and great cost, being realistic about what kinds of coverage your company needs.
- You Like Me, You Really Like Me!
Be sure to check out reviews before deciding on a company. High customer satisfaction indicates stellar service, and there are plenty of ways to find out how a company is perceived. Read reviews online, look for Better Business Bureau Ratings, and ask other small business owners about their insurance companies. You don’t want to go in blind, and another customer might have valuable information.
Small business insurance coverage is something to take seriously. Choose carriers and coverage wisely! After all, the right coverage can save the day, and the wrong coverage can ruin the year. To see more, read this: firstallegiant.com