A study by the British Insurance Brokers' Association found that 29 percent of British small- and medium-sized business owners don't read their insurance policies in full. Here are some other interesting behaviors the study revealed:
- 30 percent of women always read their entire insurance policy.
- Only 16 percent of men do the same.
- 47 percent read the full insurance policy summary.
- 8 percent never read the full summary.
The study also showed that it's not just insurance documents that business owners are breezing past – they also aren't reading bank account terms and conditions, rental car contracts, or software terms and conditions.
Though the study focused on British business owners, chances are the results wouldn't be that much different in the United States. For example, a 2010 study out of New York University showed that only one in 1,000 online consumers access a site's terms of services, and even fewer bother to read the thing.
So what gives? Surely business owners aren't averse to being well-informed. Perhaps the reason they are skimming past crucial information is…
- The legal jargon is too confusing to understand.
- Legal documents aren't very compelling reads.
Granted, no one expects an insurance contract to read like a YA novel. But isn't there some middle ground? How can business owners get the information they need without the legalese standing in the way?
We have a few ideas.
Resources to Help You Understand Your Small Business Insurance Policies
Reading the fine print on your insurance policies may seem like a chore, but you need to know what your policy does and doesn't cover. When you need to make a claim, you don't want the unpleasant surprise of finding you don't have coverage for something you thought was covered.
Here are some resources that can make understanding your coverage a little less complicated:
- Your insurance agent. Your agent is your go-to resource for all things insurance. At insureon, our agents can walk you through each of your policies and explain your coverage in plain old English. If you're looking to save time and take the guesswork out of the insurance process, ask your agent for this in-depth scoop. Also, be sure to ask about riders (i.e., add-on coverage), which can fill gaps in your policy and address risks unique to your business.
- The "Legal-Ease" Glossary. If you run across a term you don't understand, look it up in our glossary. It breaks down complicated legal terms into easy-to-grasp definitions and examples.
- Decoding Your Small Business Insurance Quotes. So you don't have a policy yet, but you're in the market for one. That means you'll need to apply for insurance quotes. But once those quotes are in hand, you might need some help understanding them. Consult this guide to learn about key terms in your quotes, how to prioritize that information, and what your next steps should be.
Though these resources can help you understand your policies, it's still good to read them all the way through. That way, you can ask questions and manage any changes to your business protection plan.
Plus, you were never one to follow the crowd. Dance to the beat of your own insurance-y drum, pour a cup of coffee, and get to reading.