Questions to Ask Your Agent about Business Insurance
What is your level of experience? Generally, more experienced agents will be able to get you a much better deal than those just starting out. It is also a good idea to find an agent who has had experience with your field of business. Such an agent will know what business insurance coverage you require and how to get the best deals.
Do you have a specialty in my field of business? Not every insurance agent is familiar with your field of business or the insurance coverage required in it. It pays to seek out an agent or broker that specializes in providing insurance for other businesses in your industry. Such agents can often get you better rates. In some cases, they may be able to provide special coverage for a particular field of business. A good way to locate more-experienced agents is to get referrals from other professionals in your industry.
What is your customer complaint rate? It is never a good idea to do business with an insurance professional who has had a lot of complaints from customers. Such complaints can indicate poor customer service, unethical behavior, and other problems. Unfortunately it can be difficult to get such information. Some business insurance agents will provide it freely, while others might be unwilling to divulge it. To uncover complaints, you should ask in your community or industry about an agents reputation, as well as doing research with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, state authorities that regulate the insurance industry sometimes keep files on individual agents that are accessible to the public.
How are claims processed? Of all the questions you can ask an insurance professional, this is undoubtedly the most important. Find out exactly how claims are processed before signing a policy. Make sure you know where to file claims, how to file claims, which paperwork is required, and what deadlines are involved. Having a written document with this information among your important papers is always a good idea. A good way to learn how claims are processed is to have the agent walk you through the claims process when you take out the policy. That way youll know how to file a claim in an emergency.
What is not covered by the policy? This is the second most important question that you can ask when purchasing a business insurance policy. Many business insurance policies will not cover a wide variety of claims. For example, most property insurance policies will not cover flood or earthquake damage. If you think that losses not covered by the policy are possible, you should definitely purchase additional peril-specific riders or policies to cover those risks. It is also a good idea to ask what liabilities are not covered. Some liability insurance policies may not cover certain risks, so additional liability coverage could be necessary. Asking this question could also reveal whether an insurance policy is worth purchasing or not. In some cases, agents may not reveal what is excluded from the policy until you ask.
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