- One of the best ways to increase profits is by cutting costs. One of the best ways to cut costs is reducing the cost of your business insurance.
- Shop around. Check with multiple providers and see if different variables, such as bundling your property and/or liability insurance policies with a business owner's policy, or increasing your deductible, decrease your insurance costs.
- Some other ways to reduce the costs of your business insurance include being proactive and focusing on the quality of the policy over the costs.
You're in business to make money. One way to increase profit, of course, is to cut expenses. The savvy small business owner can wring substantial savings from his or her commercial insurance.
The key, of course, is to reduce costs without gutting your coverage. Saving is great, but you cannot put your venture at risk just to save a few dollars.
Here are 11 tips for reducing your commercial insurance premiums without hurting your business.
1. Shop your coverage with several providers.
Commercial insurance providers evaluate risk according to algorithms that can spit out very different quotes from the same information. That means you could find substantially lower rates than what you're paying without changing your coverage simply by shopping around.
How often should you shop for your business policy? Most financial experts recommend you do it annually. One thing to consider: Some carriers offer loyalty bonuses. See if yours does before you make a decision.
2. Bundle with a business owner's policy.
A business owner's policy (BOP) combines several common types of protection (e.g., property, business interruption and some liability) into a single plan, often at a lower price than an owner could get by shopping for the coverages separately.
However, read the policy carefully before you sign. Many BOPs don't include auto insurance or professional liability insurance. Most don't cover workers' compensation. You could need separate policies for these.
3. Consider a different kind of bundle.
Some commercial insurance providers also sell home and car insurance. Why does that matter? Carriers often provide price breaks when you buy multiple lines of coverage. If yours does, you could save big without touching your coverage.
4. Evaluate your protection and your risks.
Take a thorough look at your policy and make sure you don't have coverage you don't need. If you don't use a vehicle for your business, for example, you likely don't need commercial auto insurance. If you don't have employees, you don't need employment practices liability coverage. Bottom line: Make sure you're not insuring yourself for a risk you don't face.
5. Increase your deductible.
Many policyholders of all types don't realize the relationship between their deductible and their premiums. In a nutshell, all other factors being equal, the lower your deductible, the higher your premium.
So a good way to lower your premiums is to raise your deductible. However, remember that you'll have to pay that deductible before you receive any help on a claim, so make sure you set it at an amount that you can come up with in a hurry.
One other benefit: The higher deductible will discourage you from filing smaller claims. Keep reading to see how this can help.
6. Is there a claims-free discount?
Providers love policyholders who don't file claims. If your business has been claims-free for years, you could be eligible for a discount. This is why it's a good idea to avoid filing smaller claims. Be sure to ask about this as you're evaluating carriers.
7. Ask about loss-prevention programs.
Talk with your provider about ways you can reduce risk in your business. These could include starting a workplace safety program, instituting disaster preparations and initiating a theft-prevention plan. All of these will reduce the risk of a claim, which is why you might get a price break.
8. Look for group rates.
Many providers offer group rates for businesses that fill the same niche. Ask if your provider does; if not, explore purchasing commercial insurance through a professional organization. You might have to pay a fee to join the organization, but you can recoup that quickly through reduced premiums. Plus, membership in the professional group could give your business a higher profile and could lead to important contacts with peers.
9. Change your payment method.
This varies by provider, but you can reap substantial savings by paying your premium in full upfront. Commercial auto insurance providers, for example, can discount a year's premium by up to 15% if they get paid in a lump sum. Another avenue to explore: Authorize an electronic funds transfer.
By treating your commercial insurance as a planned expense instead of as an afterthought, you might be able to reduce the amount you spend while maintaining full coverage. It takes a strategic approach to accomplish this mission, but it could well be worth it to your bottom line.
10. Be proactive.
According to Work Comp One, another great method of saving money on business insurance is by being proactive. This means you need to go above and beyond to make sure you are protecting all elements of your business. This will eliminate risks, which, can prevent accidents and also help reduce your insurance costs.
11. Don't focus solely on cost.
According to Pogo, although it may seem counterintuitive, the cost of the policy is not always the most important part of an insurance policy. Rather, you should make sure that you have all the coverage you need. If not, you may be saving some money about your monthly premium. However, if and when you have some sort of accident, you may end up paying much more in the long run.