Its that time of year again – time to prepare for the renewal of the commercial insurance policies. Every year, the details of a business changes, so too should the insurance program. Has the business grown or has it been forced to pull back? Have assets been acquired or liquidated? Here is a short checklist of items to think about while a business owner is preparing to get renewal quotes for their commercial insurance.

Basic Business Information:

  • Has the name of the business changed or are there any new dba’s?
  • Is the mailing address and contact phone number the same?
  • Has the legal entity changed? ( for example, has the business incorporated or been formed into a LLC?)
  • Is the nature of the business basically the same? Are there new operations, profit centers, or has any divisions been discontinued?

Commercial Property Insurance

  • When was the last time the building was evaluated for replacement cost? Replacement costs on commercial buildings have skyrocketed beyond the rate of inflation.
  • How recent are the inventory reports for the business’s personal property? A business owner must ensure that values represent replacement cost and not depreciated values for equipment, office furnishings and supplies, computer hardware and software.

Commercial Liability Insurance

  • Are the business’s quarterly reports complete? Current payrolls and sales figures will be of great help in projecting sales and payrolls for the coming year. The more accurate the data on the commercial insurance application, the more accurate the quotes will be.
  • Are the sales and payrolls separated by business class, if the business has more than one class of revenue or operation?
  • Has the business’s net worth changed significantly? Commercial liability insurance limits should be set with the intention of protecting the company’s assets from being seized in a lawsuit.

Commercial Auto Insurance

  • Do you have current drivers license information for all the drivers of company vehicles? Checking driving records routinely is a wise risk management practice, The insurance company is sure to check, so if there is a red flag, it is good to know about it before the insurance applications are sent.
  • Were any new vehicles purchased, or sold during the year. If a company has a large commercial fleet to insure, keeping track of the cars and trucks on the insurance can be a chore. By getting a current list of vehicles can avoid insurance problems or overpayment in the future.

Workers’ Compensation

  • Are the class codes for employees accurate? Making sure that the payrolls for all employees are divided into the correct class codes will ensure proper rating.
  • Is the company eligible for safety or drug free workplace discounts? Has all the paperwork been completed to apply for the discounts?

Professional Liability/ Errors and Omissions

  • Do you have the professional liability supporting documents ready? Often professional liability policies will require lists of largest clients or jobs. Average receipts. Copies of contracts and legal documents. Scrambling to prepare an Errors and Omissions renewal is a headache that can be avoided with some preparation.

A dependable and reputable insurance broker will be able to help a business prepare for their commercial insurance renewal. However, if the company representatives have the information ready to go when the time comes will ensure that the renewal quotes will come in well in advance of the policy expiration’s, which is beneficial to all parties involved in the business insurance.