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CNA Blog — From the Experts

Published Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10 Questions Before You Renew Your Small Business Insurance

When you're getting ready to renew your business insurance policy, consider what's changed in the last year. Have you bought any new equipment? Added a new location? Added new employees? Taken on a new partnership? If so, your business owners policy (BOP) will need to be adjusted to account for the changes, either through increased limits or additional coverages. Otherwise, you could find yourself without coverage when hit by a fire, water damage, burglary or other unforeseen event.

Many small business owners concentrate on price, but they should be looking at how they would fare in an emergency that closes their business for two weeks. If there is a sewer drain backup that floods the space and destroys business property, do you have the right coverage, endorsement and limits to help you reopen and keep your customers? If there is a power surge, do you have business income insurance to get you through until you're able to open your doors again? Do you have computer interruption coverage until you can get your systems back up and running?

Take stock of your business insurance needs now to best position your small business for the year ahead.

10 Questions to Answer Before Renewing Your Business Insurance

Consider these questions 90 days prior to your policy renewal date:

  1. Have you expanded your business or added operations since your last renewal? If so, you may require additional or special coverages.
  2. Do you anticipate any upcoming joint ventures, partnerships or LLCs? Do you or your employees plan to travel outside the U.S. for business? As you grow your business, it is critical to discuss future plans with your insurance agent, so that coverage can be properly adjusted.
  3. Has your insurance carrier performed a risk control survey of your company's operations and issued formal safety or loss prevention recommendations? Be sure you have addressed these issues and documented your compliance.
  4. Do you have coverage to help carry you through the period following a fire or other loss, when you may not receive income from your customers? Business income insurance bridges that gap to help you pay bills and key employees until you are able to reopen.
  5. Have you reviewed "loss runs" with your agent to confirm your claim records are correct and up-to-date? Be sure that any conditions that caused claims have been addressed and solutions have been forwarded to the carrier for underwriting consideration.
  6. Do you rely on networks, computers, and electronic data to conduct business? Do you handle or store sensitive customer data? Traditional coverage forms, including Property, General Liability, Crime, and Errors & Omissions, typically do not adequately cover the information and network security risks of modern business operations. You may need to consider purchasing cyber or data breach coverage.
  7. Do you have strong safety programs and management oversight? If you believe in your management and safety programs, then accepting higher deductibles could yield premium savings.
  8. Do you have the right coverage in the event a customer sues? Even if you are not at fault, defending your reputation still will cost money. For example, General Liability does not cover claims arising out of the delivery of professional services. To address those exposures, talk to your agent about Miscellaneous Professional Liability.
  9. Is your policy with a top-rated insurance carrier? CNA is a leader in business insurance, with an "A" rating for financial strength from A.M. Best, the authority on the insurance industry. As one of the most trusted names in commercial insurance, CNA provides protection to more than one million businesses and professionals.
  10. Can you count on support when you need it? With quick claim service and flexible billing options, 100 percent of first-party claim customers who responded to surveys said we are courteous and professional. With more than a century of experience, CNA has developed a reputation for offering more than just a policy.  CNA delivers with experience that helps its customers tackle their challenges and risks.

The purpose of this article is to provide information, rather than advice or opinion. It is accurate to the best of the author's knowledge as of the date of the article. Accordingly, this article should not be viewed as a substitute for the guidance and recommendations of a retained professional. Any references to non-CNA websites are provided solely for convenience, and CNA disclaims any responsibility with respect to such websites.

To the extent this article contains any examples, please note that they are for illustrative purposes only and any similarity to actual individuals, entities, places or situations is unintentional and purely coincidental. In addition, any examples are not intended to establish any standards of care, to serve as legal advice appropriate for any particular factual situations, or to provide an acknowledgement that any given factual situation is covered under any CNA insurance policy. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All CNA products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice.

"CNA" is a registered trademark of CNA Financial Corporation. Certain CNA Financial Corporation subsidiaries use the "CNA" trademark in connection with insurance underwriting and claims activities. Copyright © 2017 CNA. All rights reserved.

One or more of the CNA companies provide the products and/or services described. The information is intended to present a general overview for illustrative purposes only. Read CNA’s General Disclaimer.
One or more of the CNA companies provide the products and/or services described. The information is intended to present a general overview for illustrative purposes only. Read CNA’s General Disclaimer.
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